by Lempi Koivisto
Springtime, in all its newness, holds a special spot in our hearts.
You might be happy that the long winter's ended or you could consider the season as an opportunity for renewal.
Perhaps your favorite holidays occur early in the year. Maybe you just enjoy getting out of work while it's still daylight.
No matter why you look forward to Spring, you'll want to make it a special time for your child, too. Rituals and traditions let a child know what to expect. Anticipation adds to the fun.
"I realized this year, that we didn't really have any spring traditions, other than dyeing eggs," Elizabeth, a Pregnancy.org member said. "Now that girls are a little older, we'd like to start a few activities that they can look forward to every year."
Families have many treasured traditions and actively build new ones that help children understand the changing world around them.
What better time to create a new tradition than with a fresh, new season!
Creating a new tradition sounds complicated. It's not! Try something new, and if you like it, repeat it. If everyone loves it, schedule it again. If no one loves it, try something else.
Would you like to welcome Spring with a trip to the beach? Your new tradition can as simple as packing a lunch, grabbing the binoculars just in case you see baby ducks and bringing along a bag for treasures. Dress it up a bit with a Spring blessing ritual, a treasure hunt and a "first day at the beach" family photo.
The next trick is to talk about it and look forward to the new tradition with the whole family. Soon, that tradition will take on a life of its own and will become a sustaining part of your family's culture.
If you're struggling to find ideas, borrow from other cultures or from a religion, even if you're not religious. Look to other families. What do they do that your family might enjoy?
Think back to your childhood. Did you love that first day at the ocean each Spring? Harvesting strawberries in May at a local farm? Picking out a new outfit for Easter? Fishing by the river on a sunny morning? Having a special breakfast with Mom on Mother's Day?
Be inspired by your favorite old traditions, but don't be afraid to change it around to suit your family.
"Our family made a big deal out of transplanting annuals in the front flower beds. It was a two day project -- baking spring goodies for a snack, deciding which flowers, heading to the nursery, adding plant food, planting, adding mulch. We'd admire our work and enjoy our treat," Laura, a Pregnancy.org member shares.
"I live in an apartment but I still wanted my little girl to experience planting and caring for flowers," she continues. "We have three large pots on the deck that we fill with annuals and herbs each spring. It's what works for us."
Rejuvenating an old tradition might not be practical for your family. Modern life doesn't leave a lot of time for tradition. If you're facing a five-minute limit on time for tradition, one answer could be tweaking your everyday activities into traditions.
Every day, we take part in activities that can turn into traditions. Shopping, visiting grandparents or snuggling up with a good book and a quilt. All that's missing in the special springtime twist. These ideas can get you on your way to a "hopping" good time.
As soon as the weather allows, end a shopping trip with a snack from the store and play time at the park. Our favorite first spring "post shopping trip" is an apple with string cheese and a hike around the nature trail.
Sandal time! It's finally warm enough to toss aside your boots and break out the sandals. It might involve looking through flyers and a trip to the shoe store. Of course, you want those toes to be beautiful, so get out the polish and schedule the first pedicure of the season.