I honestly did not believe ol’ Phil when he said it was going to be an early spring this year, but whaddayaknow if that ground hog wasn’t right? March has been pretty darn beautiful (for the most part), and I have loved every second of it. The warm, sunny days have made for excellent adventures and reminders in how it really does not take huge efforts or large amounts of money to help your children create wonderful memories in childhood. It doesn’t take flashy and fancy toys. In the end, all they really crave is some fresh air and personal interaction.
Here’s a glimpse at some of our simple fun in the month of March…
Playgrounds for Days
It wasn’t planned, but the kiddos have had their fair share of playground fun over the past few weeks. They’ve been to exactly five different playgrounds! On top of that, Mamaw and Papaw stumbled upon an awesome deal on a pre-owned playground of their own, so now we have both a swing and a slide right here off the front porch. (I know… For most people you play in the back yard. But when you live in the middle of nowhere and your front yard is a giant field… That is where you play!)
Dorothy is excited about all of it… Slides, swings, climbing, “friends”… (She’s the girl that says “Hi” to everyone at the playground.) Jake just wants to slide non-stop—but that’s not all. He wants to do it by himself. Head first. And he laughs the entire time! I admit, the playground can be a kind of scary place—lots of high places, ladders and older kids playing faster and rougher than yours. But my kiddos get such JOY out of it, I cannot stress enough what a wonderful place you can take kids—at absolutely no cost to you!
Dairy Dip Day
On St. Patrick’s Day, being so beautiful as it was, I took the kids to the little soft serve dairy dip about 15 minutes from the house. For many, this might not be a big deal, but we don’t eat out much and they rarely (outside of birthday parties) get treats like ice cream. When you have a 1-year-old and a not-quite-2-and-a-half year-old, you really don’t need much ice cream. I spent $1.25 for a child size cup and gave them each a spoon. We sat on a picnic bench atop a hill, overlooking beautiful green farmland and they (surprisingly) did a great job sharing a super special treat.
Let’s Go Fly A Kite
Have you ever flown a kite with a toddler? Let’s be real… Do you even remember when YOU last flew a kite? It’s kind of one of those things like hopscotch or jumping rope—we think of it as a playground game our parents did. But, YOU GUYS! There is so much to be said for the simple activities that have been around for years. They hold a magic for kids that no technological device could ever produce.
Nana showed up with a kite a couple of weekends back when the kids’ cousins were visiting. The wind, which had been perfect for kite flying all day, of course went away when the kite came out. For an experienced flyer, it wasn’t too exciting, but the kids were very intrigued by the idea. At least Dot was… So much so that she talked about doing it again for the next week. The next time went a little better and she loved her job of holding the kite’s tail until Nana would tell her to let go. It FLIES! It’s almost more like dancing in the air! How much more fun for a 2-year-old does it get? So simple… Yet her shrills of joy were priceless. Buy a cheap little kite. Fly it. Share that joy with your kids.
Because Mingus’s family lives four hours away, we don’t visit too frequently, but March was our nephew’s birthday and definitely required a trip to Indiana. There are the obvious drawbacks to being the grandparent that lives far away, but there is an awesome advantage at the same time: Your home is this far-off wonderful place that you know will always provide for great adventure, fun and surprises. (I would know. I too had a grandmother who was a four-hour drive away.)
Dot woke up the morning of already talking about the long drive we’d take to get there. No child likes to be in the car that long (no adult does!), but the thrill of arrival was the ultimate pay-off. We even met them at their church’s fish fry, where there was also a playground. Delicious dinner and slides? That was a great way to start! Delicious food, playing with their cousin, new snacks, a birthday party, Dorothy’s own special room for sleeping–everything about it makes it so unique and memorable–and hard to convince them to leave. Visits to far away friends or family are great for you, and your kids will find them to be amazing adventures.
I challenge you to get outside with your kids next month. Enjoy interacting with them and breathing in the fresh air they crave. The perfect spring days come and go very quickly… Just as these days of magic and wonder with your kids will.
This just in! —> Eek! I put together some of our family videos and have a short vlog on our YouTube channel this month. Check us out here. Don’t judge! 😀
See how Holly Jo and her fam spent the month of March. See her vlog here.