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A Family Guide to Outdoor Exploration

Welcome Spring! A Family Guide to Outdoor Exploration

There is no time like Spring,

When life’s alive in everything,

Before new nestlings sing,

Before cleft swallows speed their journey back

Along the trackless track (...)

An excerpt from ‘Spring’ - Christina Rosetti 

Spring is here! And very welcome indeed. Are you someone who enjoys the colder winter months, cosied up under blankets? Or do you prefer the lighter mornings, the sight of little lambs and snowdrops peeping through the grass? Perhaps you enjoy moments of both? At Eeny Meeny we are very thankful for lighter mornings and evenings, especially with little ones who are early risers and night owls. Something feels hopeful about the longer days. Equally, while we always advocate for getting outdoors whatever the weather, there’s certainly something far more appealing about going outside and enjoying nature when it is kinder to us with sunshine and blooms! With that in mind, in this post we’ll be sharing our tips and ideas for getting outdoors and enjoying what nature has to offer in this exciting, budding, transient season of spring.

Firstly, you’ll need the right clothing! While wet and cold weather lends itself more obviously to overalls, coats, hats, gloves and scarves, spring can be a turbulent weather season. You and your little ones are best layering up with fleeces, thinner clothing, sturdy boots and the classic wellies. It’s worth thinking about investing in an all-in-one with a detachable outer lining and inner fleece at this time of year - as you’ll be able to take one item of clothing out, then take off the thicker elements when things warm up. A double-layered overall, of course, also means you’re investing in just one piece of wear, rather than more than one, as these clothing items do tend to be a bigger investment than others. Our absolute favourites are the British brand, certified B-Corp - Toastie Kids.

All togged up? Time to think about what you’ll be spotting out in nature! Spring is an utterly magical time of year to explore how the world changes as things warm up, just like its cousin autumn. The change from winter to spring, while gradual, is also the most stark - from bare trees and cold weather to warm, buds, and lambs being born! If you’re thinking of an outing, getting out to visit new lambs is a lovely start. Just a note - make sure you only visit RSPCA-approved locations with qualified lambing workers, and you do not get up close with new mothers and their young. Watch and marvel at a safe and respectful distance! 

If you’re after something outdoors that is a little more low-key, a spring walk in local woodland is a firm favourite of ours. Look out for buds and spring flowers like those recommended on Gardener’s World: daffodils, snowdrops, primroses and hellebores are your usual go-to's. Why not collect a few if you find an abundant public spot, and try flower pressing? Or start to grow your own tree with the new planting kit from the Den Kit Company?

This time of year is also a lovely chance to observe your local bird population. The RSPB have a lovely selection of resources for use by primary schools and early years providers, as well as a list of great spots to visit local wildlife which can be used easily in the home space instead. Why not take a pair of binoculars or their bug spotter kit and see what you can spot, or if you’re staying closer to home and want to encourage our feathered friends nearer to your garden or local park, try The Den Kit Company’s ‘make a pizza for the birds’ kit. 

A final tip for enjoying the magic of spring is revelling in it while relaxing with an alfresco picnic. Of course, the opportunities to do this in a relaxing way do vary depending on the temperament of your little ones and their age - but getting outdoors to eat can be a lovely change of scenery and a chance for reflection. Our children are definitely the most calm with a snack in hand, that’s for sure!

Whether you take a full lunch or simply pack up a few snacks, getting out into the great outdoors (or just your garden or local park) with some refreshments can be a wonderful way to encourage your children to sit and observe what nature is doing.

Older children might like to have a snack while drawing or painting what they can see, particularly flowers and birds nearby. Nobodinoz has a lovely range of picnic containers and goodies to keep the picnic stocked, sustainable and stylish too!

How are you marking the turn of the seasons? Will you be taking a planned walk or visit to the local farm? Perhaps you’re simply glad to see the sun a little more, and have those early morning wakes accompanied with sunshine rather than darkness. Either way, we hope you get some peace and joy from this hopeful time of year.

Happy spring!

Emily Hanson

Freelance Writer, Education and Play Specialist

Emily Hanson is a freelance writer with specialisms in education and play. Emily holds a PGCE and M.Ed from the University of Cambridge - although her proudest achievements are her two beautiful daughters.

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