I think it’s finally here – Spring! It was a long cold winter that held out well past it’s welcome. It’s now mid May and my tulips barely have buds. The apple tree in the back yard, that is always in full blossom by the third week in May, barely has any leaves yet. Every night I check the weather so see if it’s going to freeze at night and then go out and carry all of our precious annuals into the garage to keep warm.
But we have finally got a taste (oh I hope it’s more than a taste) of spring and my family has devoured every second of the nice weather. Even though we do spend a fair amount of time outdoors in the winter – skating, sledding, shovelling snow and yes even using the trampoline – and we love it, there is just something special about spending time outside in the spring. Everything is fresh and green. You can leave the parka in the closet and trade the snow boots for rubber boots or running shoes. You can actually stop moving and not freeze!
Spring in our backyard is a busy time. There is always the yard work that didn’t quite get done because the snow came soon than expected ( you think we could anticipate that by now). There are flower beds to clean up, bulbs to plant, mulch to put down. This year has been extra busy in the yard because we’ve completely redone our back yard. We built a deck and pretty much rearranged the whole space. I even found a way to repurpose Molly’s favourite ( but now much too small) rubber boots.
Our daughter, who is days away from turning four, loves pitching in and helping. She helps me dig in the garden, pulling weeds and planting flowers. She rakes leaves and fills her little wheel barrow with mulch for the flower beds. She also is prone to get distracted by lady bugs. I actually think that is at least half of the reason she loves gardening so much – the lady bugs.
Of course, it’s not all work (even though we love this type of work). We also take time for just pure play. If it rain’s we put on our rubber boots and walk around the neighbourhood looking for puddles to jump in. We play catch. If we get a really warm spring day we turn on the sprinkler and get wet. And, of course, we spend time on the trampoline. It has become the anchor of our backyard. We will be busy working away and Molly will just announce that it’s time to bounce! It’s pretty perfect actually. She get’s play time and since the trampoline is in the heart of our yard, we can either sit on the patio and relax or we can carry on working. This is one of the major benefits of having the world’s safest trampoline. I know that when she is in there, with the door safely zipped, I don’t have to stress about her getting hurt. I want to make it abundantly clear that we DO NOT leave our four year old unattended in the trampoline, no matter how safe it is. She is always in clear view and only feet away from us. Bouncing, giggling, generally having a blast. And once she has bounced herself out she is quite content laying down on the trampoline watching the clouds and telling us what shapes she she’s in them. Or just sit quietly and think whatever wonderful thoughts four year olds think.
Of course the trampoline isn’t just for her. And she quite enjoys watching us take our turns jumping too. Higher mommy, bounce to the sky! And quite frankly I not only have fun doing it, I love the workout too! So does my husband. The trampoline has quickly become a family favourite activity. And Molly’s birthday party is coming up soon and she’s very excited to have her friends try out the trampoline! I have a rule sheet already to go to make sure that everyone stays safe. Here’s a little peak of part of our rule sign:
For us being outside and being active is just how we live our life. We do our best to keep the “work” fun and with a little one that’s not very difficult to do. She is eager to learn and eager to help. We make sure we put in plenty of just fun time, have lots of snack and water breaks, and laugh every chance we get. Spring is short here on the prairie so we take every chance we get to enjoy it. It’s good for our mental health. It’s good for our physical health and it’s good for our family.
Has spring finally arrived in your neck of the woods? What fun things are you and your family up to?
Author: Shayna Murray
Blog: Mommy Outside the Box