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!
Create a New Trend
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?
Resurrect an Old Tradition
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.
Transforming the Ordinary into Special
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.
Stop along the way to visit the grandparents and have a picnic. While you're checking out the new spring flowers, pick a bouquet for grandma.
While every day activities can lead to rituals and traditions, you might find the spring holidays an excellent source of inspiration as well.
Spring Holiday Traditions
Along with warmer weather and fresh bright colors, Spring ushers in a basket full of holidays. Your celebrating could mean donning a mask on Fat Tuesday, hunting for Easter eggs, tricking a friend with an April Fool's Day trick, planting a tree for Earth Day, enjoying a delicious Mother's Day brunch, or feasting on Kosher foods. No matter what holidays you celebrate, you can create treasured traditions to share with the kids.
We asked a few of our members what makes their springtime special.
Jessica says, "Bella is three now. This year we made our first Easter Egg pinata with paper mache and bright tissue paper. She broke it all by herself. I loved her excitement, from making it, to finishing it, to breaking it! We'll definately do this every year."
Karlie shares that she, "...loves Saint Patrick's Day. My dad and I work together a make a crazy leprechan trap. Our rule is that we have to use stuff around the house. I have a bin in my room that I stash things in months ahead. After we build it and bait it, we go out for a green milk shake."
Carrie in Seattle shares that, "There's a small stream near our house. We walk past it each time we go to the library. Three years ago the kids noticed how much litter accumulated over the winter. We made cleaning it up our family's yearly Earth Day project. Each year we seem to add a bit more to the tradition. Now we've added a scavenger hunt, a bird and bug search and end with a picnic at the park."
Does your family have a favorite springtime tradition? Maybe you countdown the days to daylight saving time or hunt for the first wild flower. Please share how you turn ordinary days into something extra special!
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