Yesterday the final snow cleared on the front lawn and the yard was humming with sounds of new life as the birds set up house in the eaves and the crocuses pushed through the now visible flowerbeds. Spring is upon us and there's no better time to turn a corner on some better habits for the whole family.
Clean, clean, clean. There's something about better weather that makes you want to get things in order and make a fresh start. Even the messiest among us here are making a concerted effort to clean up and I was downright shocked when one of my kids announced it was time for a total room overhaul. Use the energy of the fresh new season to make a point about the happiness that ensues when things are in order.
Say no to screens. After a winter of being hunkered down in the media cave, sunny hints of spring ahead are the perfect push to get the screens to dim. I've noticed my kids are naturally more happy to play outside and if they do want to play video games right now, they are opting for the more celebratory round of Guitar Hero than the more strategic games they prefer to play in winter. Put your foot down and say this will be the spring and summer of less screens, more outdoor fun.
Get out the bikes. Our bikes have been piled up in a heap in the garage all winter, but yesterday no one asked when the temperatures hit low 60's. I looked out from the kitchen window and every single thing with wheels that ever lived in the garage was in motion. The neighborhood kids rode in circles on our driveway and all I could see was weeks of happy bicycle bliss ahead. Better to start as early in the good weather as possible!
Start planning for summer. If your kids are school aged like mine, there's no reason why they can't be included in the plans for summer fun. Have a family meeting and solicit ideas. Where do we want to go? What new thing do we want to try? What skill is this the summer to master? There's nothing worse than hauling your kids off to activities and summer camps that they never wouldn't have picked if you've given them the choice, so get them in the act right now.