There may still be some snow on the ground . . . but days are staying lighter for longer, spring weather is creeping up on us! I’m trying to get ahead of it this year, unlike every fall/winter when suddenly it’s freezing and I have to scramble to buy gloves for the boys. If your kids are like my boys, you played outside plenty in winter, too. But play changes in springtime – we’re out longer, in the front AND the back yard and all around our block, and the creative ideas are flying as the boys switch from one activity to another.
Here are my top spring must-haves for outdoor play, including some you may not think of that you need!
Car wash supplies – to wash away winter dirt and salt, and clean cobwebs off of bikes and riding toys
Sports stuff – soccer balls, croquet, tennis, hockey, whatever. We really shouldn’t need to buy this every year, but somehow our garage ends up being a vortex that eats our stuff (i.e. my boys don’t put it back where it belongs, and we end up not having everything we start the season with), so we often need to replenish.
Toy lawn mower – sadly, I think we’ve outgrown these, but they were a favorite! Especially the ones that doubled as bubble machines. My kids may be a bit old for these now, but they do still take them out sometimes and create new games with them. And when they don’t these mowers are great to have around for when younger neighborhood kids are over.
Bubbles – you may have seen from IG posts that we’ve managed to have fun with bubbles all year. But once we’re outdoors more for spring and summer, we go through them FAST! Stock up on big bottles (see pic above!), and of course, a bubble machine for some automatic fun.
Bike pump: this is mainly on here as a reminder to me. Not just the pump, but also the needle thingy that you need to inflate the sports balls. We buy them every year. “We” lose them every year. (Yes, I know, it sounds like we need an organization specialist here. I swear I have it under control . . . I just need my little army of boys to comply with my organization!)
New bike helmets: test your current bike helmets to see if they fit! If not, get new ones early in the season so you’re not caught without one when you want to ride.
Bug catcher — My boys love to dig for worms, catch bugs to feed to frogs, and lots of other super-cool nature stuff (that often gives me the willies). They do this with regular shovels and pails we have, but sometimes it’s fun to jazz it up and use an actual bug-catching set, and it makes a great birthday gift for spring/summer birthdays.
We are lucky to live in a neighborhood I’ve nicknamed Happyville. One of those neighborhoods where bikes line the bottoms of driveways and you can hear kids shouting, laughing, playing from down the street. It’s also the neighborhood where we’re constantly feeding kids!
Serving tray– I remember when we received one of these as a gift, and I thought I’d never use it. I was so wrong!!!! When there’s a bunch of kids over playing in our yard, or even just my own three munchkins, it’s nice to do snack-time outside rather than bringing the mess inside. A tray with high sides like the one shown below makes it easier to bring out all the snacks and drinks at once, even if I feel a little Mrs. Cleaver-ish doing it. (yes, I know many of you are too young to even know who that is, but google her for a slice of good-old-days TV)
SNACKS!!!! I find it best to have quick/easy snacks that you can bring outside in bulk and serve quickly, because you know how kids’ sudden starvation occurs! We do a ton of fresh fruit — berries are nice and easy and so delicious. But we also rely on packaged snacks. Here are some favorites.
And of course, Wet Ones wipes to clean those worm-digging hands before snack-time.
Remote control cars: These may not typically be on your spring must-have list, but they’re so much fun to race up and down the driveway. There are a zillion to choose from . . . some work great, some don’t . . . so read reviews before choosing.
Power washer – These are so helpful for getting the house spring-time ready, looking fresh and clean — but also for cleaning off spring/summer toys like water tables or sand boxes. Just don’t let your kids spray each other with it. That can hurt.
Don’t forget your sunscreen for that skin that hasn’t been outside in the sun for months!
What else is on your spring must-haves list?
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