Spring is the time to think "GREEN!" This month the BUZZ is focusing on family activities that can be shared outside in the spring weather. It is important to think of things you can do right in your own backyard or in a nearby green space. These ideas were selected knowing that access to places, materials, or store bought items could be a challenge.
Moving from the “SCREEN” to the “GREEN”
Family Picnic Fun
A family picnic is the perfect activity to embrace the "GREEN." You don't even have to leave home. Your picnic could be in the front or backyard. If you live in an apartment or condo, you could try eating on a balcony or patio. If that isn't available, you could drive to a nearby green space. Be sure to bring a blanket to establish that picnic vibe. Pack something to eat, bring a favorite storybook or two, add some bubbles, and you have a fun family activity!
Creativity With Sidewalk Chalk
Little and Big Kids love to color with sidewalk chalk.
Colorful and easy to clean up, sidewalk chalk can provide hours of creative fun. You can give kids a prompt such as “draw a magical castle” or offer ideas by creating outlines with masking tape, or even tracing their hands or simple objects. It’s always fun to create a hopscotch game for older kids, or even an obstacle coarse. Check out this video by PBS Kids and see how kids created their own obstacle course!
Take A Family Hike
Living in Colorado we are fortunate to find lots of great hiking spaces. The mountains provide the perfect "GREEN" backdrop for a hike.
When going on a hike, it's always a good idea to bring a snack like Trail Mix!
Skip the store-bought trail mix and make your own at home. Making trail mix at home is awesome for several reasons:
  1. You can make it exactly the way you want, using only the ingredients you you like. This is a great way to guide your kids’ choices.
  2. It’s generally less expensive, because you can pull together whatever you have on hand.
  3. It’s a great way to involve even the littlest kids in making their own snacks. This a great way to teach them about making good choices when it comes to what they eat.

Here are some possible "ingredients" for home-made trail mix recipe!

M&M’s candies
Chocolate chips
  Pretzels
Goldfish crackers
Dried fruit
Nuts
Cereal (Cheerios, Chex, etc.)
Mini Swedish Fish
Marshmallows
Raisins
Popped Popcorn
Go Camping in Your Backyard
If an all-out camping trip isn’t in the cards, set up a tent right in your backyard and sleep under the stars...with the comforts of home right inside!
A Little Dirt Never Hurt!
Give kids a few hours where it’s perfectly OK to touch the mud. Think of it like sand and build castles, using plastic cups for molds. The best part? Everything rinses clean with a garden hose.

Springtime Stories
Llama Llama Loves Camping
By: Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama goes camping for the very first time and learns a valuable lesson: what seems scary can actually be super-duper FUN! Your little llamas will love relating to their favorite picture book character as he faces new and challenging situations.
The Hike
By: Alison Farrell
The Hike is about how fun it can be to explore nature in your own backyard. Here is the best and worst of any hike: from picnics to puffing and panting, deer-sighting to detours. This read aloud comes from the librarian at the San Francisco library!
Spring Is Here
By: Will Hillenbrand
Mole can smell that spring is in the air, but Bear is still asleep after his long winter nap !
Excitedly he taps on the window and knocks on the door-- he even tries playing a trumpet to wake his friend so they can celebrate together. But Bear keeps snoozing. Mole is determined; he milks and gathers and bakes a special springtime surprise for his friend-- the perfect way to wake up! This read aloud video is complete with sound effects!
Let It Rain
By: Maryann Cocca-Leffler
The snow is melting, flowers are blooming, and a light rain is falling. Spring is finally here! Click here for another read aloud video!
Are you looking for fun ways to share more books with your children? Check out two great options:
  • @SavewithStories is new on Facebook and Instagram. Check out the video playlist of celebrities reading their favorites to benefit Save the Children and No Kid Hungry.
  • "Goodnight With Dolly” will feature Dolly Parton reading a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time. Series is on at 5 pm on Thursdays. Watch all episodes and learn more HERE.
Virtual Resources from the PPLD
Click the logo or visit PPLD.org/virtual to see what's new for families with young children!
Resources for Families from Family SPEAK
FamilySPEAK.org is a website especially for families with young children. See our website for ways to Build a Strong Family, a video library on developmental miliestones, and blogs related to emotional well-being, nutrition, health, and learning at home. (Many resources are COVID-19 specific to help address current issues you may be facing.)
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Alliance for Kids, El Paso County's Early Childhood Council and initiative of Joint Initiatives for Youth & Families
Allianceforkids.org | 719.634.8045 | Facebook @Allianceforkids
Family SPEAK is a project of Alliance for Kids | Family SPEAK .org | 719.466.0099