There are so many ways to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, both at home and out and about in the greater Cleveland/Akron area with your babies and toddlers. Here are some favorite ways to engage your little one in springtime fun.
Blow bubbles. Traditional bottles of bubbles, bubble wands, and bubble machines add lots of fun and giggles and chasing to any outdoor play.
Splish and splash. Water tables can provide hours of easy, fun, safe exploration outside. Many water tables come with a fun theme and floating toys to begin with, such as pirates or ocean life, but you don’t have to stop there. Raid your kitchen for bowls, spoons and the like. From water “baking” to making a sprinkler with a colander, you have a whole world of fun right in your cabinets. Add some dish detergent or baby soap for a bubbly fun time giving toys a bath.
Explore the clouds. Even the smallest children will love lying on a blanket looking up at the sky. Point out shapes and create stories with the fluffy clouds floating overhead.
Chalk the walk. Sidewalk chalk is a great way to teach both colors and motor skills while outdoors. Who doesn’t love seeing a driveway covered in a child’s artwork? It’s guaranteed to make you smile.
Go on a bug, bird or flower hunt. You can show your child different shapes, colors and animals, all within your own yard while fostering a sense of exploration and wonder. If it’s a rainy day, hunt for worms or measure how much the rain made your flowers grow.
Grab a hose and turn your children into your garden helpers. They will be soaked. The flowers won’t be. But the laughter will turn into a great memory.
Have a picnic. Any meal is more fun sitting on a blanket in the sunshine. Take mealtime and snacktime outdoors to enjoy the weather.
Collect rainwater. When the forecast calls for rain, set out some buckets or bowls and see how much rain water you can collect. Use the rainwater to water the flowers. Make sure to jump in some puddles along the way!
Paint a rock. Painting rocks to hide for others to find has become a huge trend. Paint some rocks at home in your backyard and, once they’ve dried, pack them up and take them to a park to hide for others.
Out & About
In Northeast Ohio, there are many fun, free-to-inexpensive things to do with your child beyond your backyard.
Head to the beach. We are lucky in Northeast Ohio to live near the beautiful shores of Lake Erie. From Huntington Beach to Edgewater to Mentor Headlands, there are miles of beach to enjoy with your child. Bring sand toys, a blanket, sunscreen and snacks to enjoy a day at the shore.
Visit your neighborhood playground. You can swing, slide, hide your painted rocks, and also meet other parents and children out and about.
See the animals. Visit the Akron Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (free for residents of Cuyahoga County on Mondays) or the Lake Metroparks Farmpark for a fun day of animal exploration. If it’s a rainy day, head inside to the RainForest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Go on a nature “hike.” Find a trail within the area’s vast system of metroparks or the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and take a stroll. This is perfect for babies, who will love cruising in their stroller, while you get some exercise, too. Notice the animals, nature and beauty surrounding you, both for you and your child.
Go on an ice cream tour. Nothing says springtime like ice cream and there are a myriad of great local shops in Northeast Ohio to enjoy a sweet treat. We suggest doing a multi-week comparison study to find your favorite flavors and locations.