terrarium with roman soldier - photo by Brittnay Haag
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You may not be able to travel for the kids’ spring break this year, but make it a memorable one and spend time in your own backyard, or at a local nature space. The weather is finally starting to warm up, and your garden and yard will be coming back to life soon. Get outside and get your hands dirty with a few garden activities for everyone to enjoy.  

Make a maze with sticks - The ice storms were brutal on our trees this winter. Yards are still littered with branches of all sizes. Have a little fun while also getting the yard picked up for spring- arrange the sticks into a giant maze in your yard. Keep arranging the sticks to create new challenges. Invite neighbors over to play too. Don’t forget to stack them nicely when you are done! 

Make a Terrarium - Terrariums are a great way for kids to be creative and make their own little green world. Visit your local garden center for a quality soil mix and pint-sized plants that fit perfectly in small containers. Check out the dollar stores for containers and decorations. Create a dinosaur park, fairy garden, or tropical paradise to add to your home decor.  

Spring Scavenger Hunt - Get outside and hunt for signs of spring! Look for birds, bees, bunnies, spring flowers blooming, birdhouses, mushrooms, or worms. Or use your senses and discover new sounds in your backyard or pops of color in your garden that are arriving with the warm weather.  

Nature Art - Go on an adventure and collect various items from nature: seed pods, sticks, dried flowers or leaves, rocks, pinecones, evergreen branches, or other natural finds. Create a piece of art with the materials you found. Make your very own self-portrait using air-dry clay as the base; create a crown fit for a nature-loving prince or princess by attaching the materials to a headband or strip of paper.  

Seed germination experiments - Become a scientist and set up experiments with your garden seeds. Investigate what plants need to grow by testing the variables (water, sunlight, soil), study what seeds germinate the fastest, or dissect a lima bean seed after soaking them in water for a few hours. Some seeds that germinate quickly are beans, sunflowers, radishes, and lettuce. 

Paint with mud - Dig up some soil from your yard and mix it with water until it has the consistency of paint. Discover how different soils are different colors and textures too! While you are digging up the soil for your kids, collect some for a soil sample from your yard too! Visit your county Extension office for directions to mail your sample to a testing lab.