By: Blonde Two

Family outdoor activities

Officially the first day of astronomical spring in the UK this year will be March 20th. This coincides with the vernal equinox (when day and night are the same length). Here in Devon however, the signs of spring are already with us. In fact, some of them will be over by even the meteorological spring on March 1st. If you’re looking for a spring-related family outdoor activity that you can complete in your local area or garden, read on.

Get Outside and look for spring

Call me impatient but I start searching for the first signs of spring in October (well I do live in Devon). As the leaves drop from the trees and shrubs, it is surprisingly easy to find the next spring’s buds already appearing. As autumn and winter progress I keep an eye on these natural spring signals and it is around the time of my birthday at the end of January that I notice them start to change. This early on, the changes are almost imperceptible, tiny buds start to plump up, tiny green shoots appear in barren earth, and the great tits restart their bicycle pump impressions. The moment for that first flush of bright green leaves is not yet upon us but the hope is there. The earth is warming up, the sun is creeping back into my garden, and my fingers are itching to sow seeds.

Family outdoor activity

When my nearly-spring fingers aren’t itching to garden, my nearly-spring feet are itching to get out and walk. And there is nothing I like more in nearly-spring than a search for some of the signs of actual-spring. I don’t have young children anymore and am waiting patiently for grandchildren but I do know that if I had either, I would enjoy a game of SPRINGO with them. You can make your own bingo cards on any topic. Any teacher will tell you they make a great ‘make sure you listen’ learning tool. Over lockdown(s) Mr B2 and I have played home-made bingo in a couple of forms.

  • Masterchef Bingo – listening for phrases like ‘kick of chilli heat’ and ‘plate of food’
  • Boris Bingo – watching for hand/hair interaction and words like ‘alas’ and ‘unprecedented’

Spring lockdown fun for the whole family

However a bingo game that gets you and the family outside, and helps you look at your local (at the moment) environment with new eyes, has to be a good idea after nearly a year of different stages of lockdown. I have already started playing SPRINGO, and I thought you might like to join in. All you need to do is print out (or even just look at) the card linked below, and set off with a spring in your step (see what I did there). The clues aren’t all obvious (galanthophiles and spring chickens both catered for) but you’ll have fun looking for them. Go for one long walk or lots of short ones, its up to you, as long as you stick to current regulations. You can tick the box, draw a picture, or add a date, depending on how you feel.

Link to your SPRINGO card here.