Get excited for spring! Flower buds are starting to peek out. Birds are returning to the neighborhood. The sun feels warmer and brighter than it has in months, and the arrival of daylight saving time means it stays light later, too. Leave those thoughts of snowstorms behind. Spring is here and we have 30 fun ideas to get you in the mood for the loveliest season.
1. Grow something you can eat. We aren't just talking a little pot with grocery store basil. Pick out a fruit or vegetable that you and your grandchild can plant from seed and nurture together. Try tomatoes, beets, or any kind of beans. Ask a local gardening expert if you aren't sure what will grow. More tips for gardening with kids »
2. Go to a baseball game. The beginning of Major League Baseball season is one of the annual markers that warm weather is just around the corner. Take your grandkids out to the park for all the pomp and circumstance — and Cracker Jack. If you don't want to shell out for the pricey pro tickets, look into local minor league, college, or even high school games. Take the kids to the ballpark »
3. Sleep outside. This is one of the great thrills of childhood. Oh, don't be a stick in the mud — join in! Pitch a tent together in the backyard, get out the sleeping bags and flashlights, and have a ball. One grandmother's experience with the great outdoors »
4. Pick flowers. We aren't suggesting you violate any laws or annoy any neighbors. A picked flower here and there won't destroy any prized landscaping. Walk through your neighborhood or a local park and see how many shapes and colors of flowers you can collect. Don't forget to stop and smell them, of course.
5. Make flower crafts. Drying or pressing the beautiful blooms you find opens up a world of elegant crafts you can make together. Make cards, candles, soaps, and more. See our ideas »
6. Take an evening stroll. Listen to the cicadas. Savor the light of dusk. Wave to the neighbors. Enjoy the little things.
7. See all the new baby animals at the petting zoo.
8. Tie-dye T-shirts. Celebrate the colors of the season with this timeless craft. Older grandkids will love making a cool new T-shirt of their own design.
9. Wash the car together. Talk about good clean fun! Too few kids these days get to enjoy this wet and wild chore. Spray each other with the hose (a must) and scrub along to your favorite songs. Don’t forget to towel dry the car — it keeps the water spots to a minimum.
10. Climb a tree.
11. Dig for worms. Remember the amazing, and sometimes startling, discoveries under a stone in spring? Who knows what you'll find lurking below the surface of your yard. Get your hands dirty together and see what you unearth.
12. Teach them how to play golf. If you love the game, give your grandchild the patient instruction it takes to impart its wisdom. She learns a game she can play her whole life and you gain a playing partner.
13. Make flower arrangements.
14. Make a birdfeeder. Kids love to spot blue jays, cardinals, and other feathered friends. Bring the birds to your backyard with this fun craft you can do together. If you need help, get complete instructions here »
15. Go to a farmer's market. Take advantage of the comfortable morning temperatures and see what local farmers are offering. The markets provide countless opportunities to teach, and you might just get the kids to try a new vegetable for once. Kids love samples!
16. Show them how to get the honey from a honeysuckle flower.
17. Dust off the sports gear. Kick a ball, throw a Frisbee, shoot hoops, whatever sports activity that you and your family do.
18. Make your own stained glass. Your local crafts store is full of all kinds of fun projects that you can hang in windows for a dazzling effect. Take advantage of all that wonderful natural light.
19. Make pasta primavera. This simple dish is the perfect recipe to showcase the tastes of the season. Together, pick out a selection of your favorite vegetables. Saute them in olive oil and seasoning and pair with your favorite pasta.
20. Take their picture in a bed of flowers. Beautiful babies and beautiful blossoms, a match made in heaven. 7 tips for fantastic photos »
21. Get dirty in the yard. Mow the grass. Pull weeds. Till flower beds. Replant. Cut back. Find the fun in getting sweaty, and teach your grandkids how to manage the landscaping while you do it. Start a DIY project with your grandkids »
22. Make a fruity dessert. Skip the heavy desserts and opt for something fresh. Make a compote, pie, or crisp. Pair fresh fruit with whipped cream, ice cream, or yogurt. Try caramelizing fruits on a clean grill — it really brings out the natural sweetness!
23. Take your binoculars and go bird-watching.
24. Make a game out of spring cleaning. You'll be surprised at how much help you can get with this annual ritual by turning chores into games. Race to see who can fold and stow the most sweaters; send the kids on a scavenger hunt for the beach chairs and jumbo towels, or find another fun way to spin the tasks that lie ahead of you.
25. Have a garage sale and give the kids jobs.
26. Build a tree house. Not everything worth doing in life is easy. If you think you can handle this job, the house you build together will be a creation your grandchild will remember forever.
27. Hang prisms in windows to make rainbows.
28. Play in the rain. We spend so much time running to get out of the rain that we forget how nice a warm shower can feel as it soaks you to the bone. Put on your swimsuits and get out in the yard. More fun ideas for rain play »
29. Find a local set of swings. Show them how to pump their legs to go higher all on their own.
30. Eat outside together.
How well do you get along with your grandchild and other family members? Want to know if your personalities mesh?Find out here.