Spring Into Action (part 1)
Though you wouldn’t know it by looking out the window, spring is here. With warmer weather, children will finally get to spend more time outside. Now would be a great time to prepare for spending lots of time outdoors with your school age afterschool and summer program. But you don’t have to do it alone. With a little planning, children can share in the preparation for days in the great outdoors.
Start by surveying your outdoor spaces
If you have mulched areas, check mulch depth, as mulch usually compresses during winter. Borrow rakes and have the school-agers help break up and spread the mulch. Families may be willing to donate mulch to supplement areas that need. Check grassy areas for bald spots; again children can help fill in patches with grass seed, and even plant flowers. Ditto for helping spruce up weather worn outdoor furniture with a coat of paint or a child inspired design.
Next survey your equipment.
Have the children help take an inventory of your outdoor equipment. Together decide which items are work keeping, and what items are ready for the trash or recycle bin. Speaking of recycling,
here is a great video
of making surprisingly sturdy jump ropes with grocery bags and duct tape. Make sure that there is a variety of different items to use, and enough equipment for the number of children in your program. Consider the amount and type of use equipment will receive; here is where spending a bit more will result in higher quality and more durable equipment. Some inexpensive items to add or replace are bubbles, sidewalk chalks, Chinese ropes (made from extra thick rubber bands) and Frisbees.
In part two, more ways to take advantage of the warm temperatures will be explored by taking the inside out.