8 ways to have healthy family fun this spring

8 ways to have healthy family fun this spring

Springtime is a great time for families to create wonderful memories together.

Whether it’s the perfect warm day meant for playing in the backyard or a rainy days meant for craft projects and trips to the museum, here are eight activities that will be fun – and healthy – for the whole family.

Go for a hike

Explore some of the local forest preserves, take a trip to Starved Rock State Park, go on a gnome hunt at the Morton Arboretum or explore the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

“The outdoor environment is an extension of the home,” says Tina Nelson, assistant director of childcare at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill. “The time spent outside is a valuable part of you and your child’s day.”

Don’t miss these major attractions

  • Learn “The Science Behind Storms” at the Museum of Science and Industry
  • Venture “Into the Bat Caves of Kenya” at the Field Museum
  • Take a #Spacecation at the Adler Planetarium
  • Escape to the ocean at the Shedd Aquarium
  • Enjoy story time at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Get in the kitchen

Cooking can be fun and it does not have to be challenging.

Make a simple trail mix or try one of the kid-friendly recipes from our Pinterest board such as frozen yogurt cones or peanut butter and jelly muffins.

Be creative

  • Paint a picture, build with Popsicle sticks or make a puppet our of a paper bag
  • Spray some shaving cream on a table with a few drops of food coloring and create an awesome sensory experience, Nelson says.
  • Make play dough
    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 cups warm water
    • 1 cup salt
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity) food coloring (liquid, powder, or unsweetened drink mix, peppermint oil, cinnamon, etc.)

Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes. When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle. If your play dough is still sticky, you simply need to cook it longer.

Have a dance party

Children may get stir crazy sitting inside for too long, and a dance party will give them a chance to burn off some of that pent up energy.

Host a game night

Break out some of those old favorites and spend time bonding as a family.

Take a trip to the library

Free books mean that kids can scoop up as many as they like and enjoy them for weeks to come.

Play outside

Kids love to play outside and adults love outdoor time, too. It’s a relaxing, stress-reducing, tension-relieving part of the day, and a time when much development and learning take place.

“Physical development is evident outdoors as children learn about their bodies in space, practice important physical skills, and exercise and strengthen muscles,” Nelson says.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.