8 simple ways to celebrate spring with your toddler (and never leave the neighborhood)


Oh my goodness, I LOVE this magic week when all the flowering trees are bursting with pink blossoms! I can’t get enough of them!

I treated the girls to a tea party in the park yesterday, and they had a grand time. The impetus was the arrival of our Cuddle + Kind dolls, Charlotte the Dog and Chloe the Bunny. These darling hand-knit dolls (which support a great cause) were just begging for a tea party – and who was I to say no?

The girls used a tin tea-party set from Etsy. I swoon over its English rose pattern, and the tin lends a vintage vibe – while making it much more practical than porcelain for young tea-party goers. I packed a pink parasol I scored for a dollar at the Woodbury garage sales earlier this month and picked up a few pink macaroons from the Hyvee bakery to add novelty to the tea party.  

Maria wore this $13 Amazon prime cotton frock in pink aptly called a “twirly” dress. Jane wore a hand-me-down from Joules that pictures cherry blossoms and hot air balloons, a combination that sets my heart aflutter.

We had the park to ourselves and a warm, breezy morning to soak it all in. Ahhhh!

I bet I’m not the only Minnesotan who has been feeling a bit of seasonal whiplash. It feels like we jumped from winter to summer in the span of about two weeks. So I’m trying to savor these May days and focus on spring things.

Summer will be here soon enough, with its longer days and wider pockets of free time. For now, here are eight super-simple ways to celebrate spring with your toddler – without leaving your neighborhood!

I considered more involved activities – paint a bird feeder, plant flowers – but decided to focus on quick-and-easy ways to seize those little pockets of time that emerge in spring – a burst of fresh air before bed, a 10-minute breather in the morning, those low-key outings that don’t require gobs of sunscreen or scheduling. That’s what makes spring so sweet: its simplicity.  

  1. Feed the ducks. The perfect use for stale bread or those crusty end pieces!
  2. Have an outdoor tea party. Grab whatever food is handy and, if you have time, mix up some pink lemonade.
  3. Blow bubbles. Ten minutes of pure bliss for a toddler.
  4. Use those rain boots! Embrace the rain.
  5. Read outside. Spread out a blanket in a shady spot and enjoy a built-in bird soundtrack.  
  6. Pick flowers. Bestow a toddler with a basket, and she is sure to feel important! The lilacs are nearing their prime, and the dandelions are abundant.
  7. Draw with sidewalk chalk. Channel Bert from Mary Poppins and add a little pastel beauty to your driveway.
  8. Fly a kite. This one’s also inspired by Mary Poppins. It’ll lift your spirits and slow your pace.

Happy spring! 



 Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and three young children in Inver Grove Heights. Write her at christina@mnparent.com.


Special thanks to Cuddle + Kind for supplying complimentary dolls for review and photography.