The calendar says spring is here (today – March, 20, 2013!), so the weather can't be far behind. You know the kids will be dying to get outside – and five minutes later, they'll be asking you for something to do. So hop onto your laptop and check out some super fun outside activities to keep them busy. Hurry: The early bird gets the worm!
Our feathered friends need a new home to start their family this spring, so give them a head start with this handmade creation. The Alpha II Bird Feeder Kit includes everything you need. Ages 7 and up will love building and painting these one-of-a-kind-creations. Purchase at CraftKitsAndSupplies.com for about $11.
How often do we tell them to stay out of the puddles? And how often do they ignore us? These frog rain boots have them covered. Bonus alert: They're cute, too! All styles available in My First (size 5) and children's sizes 6-13, plus young adult sizes 1 and 2. Shop Kidorable.com for these boots. $29.
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A craft project and outdoor fun all rolled into one. Color your own sled kite, then head over to the nearest park for an afternoon of running, laughing and soaring with the March winds. Includes six colorful crayons and a waterproof Tyvek canvas. For about $6 at Into The Wind. Ages 5-plus.
Teach them to garden by relating it to a favorite story. This kit does the trick. The Stone Soup Gardening Kit is packaged in a recycled steel case, with six varieties of organic vegetable seeds, plant markers, pencil, growing instructions, the stone soup recipe and, of course, a stone's included, too! Great for all ages. Purchase at Natural Planet for $22.50.
Ready for more hands-on gardening experience? These kid-sized tools come in a sturdy tote with room for gloves and seeds – perfect for the budding master gardener. With metal heads and wooden handles, they'll last more than one season. Available at For Small Hands for around $17. Ages 3-plus.
If you've got active kids ready to soar sky-high into those pretty blue skies, get your mitts on one of these classics. A popular pick since 1971, this latex-free vinyl toy measures 22 inches, has a safety handle and promotes exercise. Must be pump-inflated (not included). Snag it for about $30 on Fat Brain Toys. Ages 7-9.
OK: We've done the butterfly thing. Let's move on and try ladybugs with this cute ladybug kit! Order them and watch them grow into adult pink-spotted ladybugs in the included dome habitat; live arrival guaranteed. Pay special attention to the ordering instructions. Get them from Nature Gift Store for about $25. Ages 4-plus.
Get kids outdoors and active with this super-fun swingball game. The sturdy base can be set up on grass or pavement. Attach the tennis ball on its nylon tether, and volley the ball back and forth with checkerbat racquets. Tether can be adjusted to spin freely or travel up and down the pole's corkscrew-shaped sleeve. About $50 at HearthSong. Ages 6-plus.