The First Day of Spring
For thousands of years, people have viewed the first day of Spring as a time to go out and celebrate. In Japan it is a time of family reunions, in the Middle East it is when Mother’s Day is observed and in the USA it has been when ice-cream parlors typically open for the season.
For my family in Boca, the first day of spring conjures up images of Rita’s Water Ice in City Place or soft serve from Dairy Queen in Coconut Creek. Unfortunately, this year local towns have asked that in consideration for those in our community at risk, people remain at home. So what are we to do when our family tradition dictates a trip out? We have decided to celebrate the first day of spring even though we’re at home. Here are my three recommendations for a fun day at home with littles.
Start a vegetable (or fruit) garden
While it might seem overwhelming at first, this is one area where my husband excels. Did you know with a ziplock bag, a paper towel and a mango seed you can grow a mango tree? Just clean the seed, dampen the paper towel and place it in the ziplock. After about a week, your seed will have sprouted and after another week, your mango will be all set to plant. Pick a spot away from power lines, plumbing, and fences, and in a few years, you too can have a mango tree. You can use the same technique to grow avocados too. If you’re wondering how to start a garden with supplies from your kitchen, my husband recommends saving the stumps of lettuce and onions and grow them too. This is an activity elementary-age children will find fascinating. Who knew you could grow new vegetables from half-eaten ones?
If growing a fruit tree seems like too much of a long term goal, try replanting some flowers. Our favorite plants for spring time are buttercups, tomato, watermelon, and Pachystachys lutea (also known as the lollipop plant). If you are still able to go out, Lowe’s and Hope Depot have these plants in abundance.
Do you remember in Steel Magnolias when two of the women in the salon were discussing the right amount of ingredients for Truvy’s Cake? Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa? Turns out this is the perfect recipe for a cobbler. This is an easy activity to do with kindergarteners since its 3 ingredients they can measure themselves. Set the kitchen timer for 30 minutes and dance to some Old Time Rock and Roll with the littles while you wait!
-One of cup self-rising flour
-One of cup sugar
-One cup of frozen fruit of choice (thaw and drain before mixing in)
-One cup of milk (optional, I think it adds to the recipe)
Serve over ice-cream. We have used frozen blueberries, frozen peaches, and frozen blackberries. My children favor the blueberries over any other type of fruit. From what I’ve seen in the grocery stores, chances are, you have all of the ingredients for this simple spring cake. If you bake it, post pictures in the comments of your creations!
The Virtual Party
With everyone from the President, to the mayor of our city asking that we not gather in groups of more than 10 people, my friends and I have decided to put our technology to good use. My friends in Rhode Island, Kansas and I have 10 kids between us, and that means that if we were all to meet up at one place, us moms wouldn’t be able to attend our kids’ party. So we devised the face-time party. Every day at 3:30 pm we call each other and play two rounds of Charades (thanks to Blues Clues my kids call this game Spell it, Pretend it).
If you want to have a virtual party First Day of Spring edition, but don’t have an iPhone to face-time I suggest the following apps:
-instagram (there is a video chat feature)
Whether you feel like getting back to nature, baking or throwing a party, I hope you have a great first day of spring! Let us know how you’re celebrating the new season with your children. If you need more ideas, try our list of 100 things to do with kids at home!