“Too much rain, Mama!” “My boots are muddy!” and “Can we go somewhere where it is spring for real, not just you tell me it’s spring, but the weather doesn’t change?”
All of these are comments from my children, ages four and two, who, just like me, are ready for the nice weather! After the incredible amount of ice and snow this year, followed by the cold weather and rain, we are ready to come home from work and school and be outside without any kind of snow or rain suit on!
Luckily for me, my 2-year-old really loves the mud. I mean, he really loves it. We joke that his stage name when he grows up will be “Muddy Puddle” because of how excited he gets by rain and puddles.
Because of the everlasting ice and then mud season this year, we have really been creative in our after-school activities, so I compiled the list below.
What to do with kids when mud season seems to last forever:
- Spring is a season for changes, so each morning we look out the window to see what is new from the day before. First, we noticed the daffodils making their presence known, then it was the fiddleheads popping through, and just yesterday we saw a robin’s nest in our apple tree. Having them look at their daily surrounding environment has been way more fun and interactive than I thought. This can be good for any age – journaling or drawing the progressive changes through the seasons are a couple of ideas I have for when they are older.
- Puddle contest! We dress up in our rain gear and see who can make the biggest splash in the puddles in our driveway. Whoever makes the biggest splash must do a silly dance. It’s like a belly flop, but for puddles instead of a pool.
- Plant something. This year, instead of waiting for spring to come to us, we brought it to our house. We brought the kids to pick out their own seeds and they helped plant the starters. (Note: As my 2-year-old said after he did it, “We don’t eat the seeds. Or the dirt. Only food.”) Planting these seeds that will hopefully turn into food for us later in the summer provided entertainment, but it also served as a visual representation of moving closer to the warmer season.
- Check out the kid-friendly hiking trails at lower elevations. We live in Richmond, and RiseVT had a great program that had us exploring new and already adventured trails while we looked for a secret code. This brought us to the Audubon Trails, VYCC Farm, and the Long Trail at the Winooski River Footbridge in Bolton.
- Plan your summer adventures! My daughter’s goal for this summer is to hike Camel’s Hump. We have been looking at the Camel’s Hump map and planning our route. It has been fun to plan this hike with her and to teach her how to read a map. She is also learning about the geography of the mountains around her.
- “Hike” on the dirt roads. My son really likes to go to the “way top” of the mountains, so I told him we need to practice until mud season is over. We “hike” up the road behind our house and see if we can see any other mountains.
- Syrup Tasting: Since the sap is boiling and the syrup is being made this time of year, we decided to sample the syrup across the state. My children have decided… they like them all.
Hiking season is just around the corner, and it is a lesson in patience for all of us to stay off the trails to keep them healthy for us to all enjoy this summer. In the meantime, get creative and make that mud pie!