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After a long winter, spring has officially sprung! By now, everyone wants to be active and outdoors, which is also a terrific way to redirect children’s behavior. After a cold winter inside, we probably all need to check our behaviors and attitudes.  Fortunately, it is time for family activities like hiking, biking, and gardening. Spring sports are another fun activity for families to enjoy. Something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood or to a nearby park offers opportunity to connect with your children.

We love this reading list of books with springtime themes as an additional activity for kids of all ages. Reading is an easy and educational way to spark creative activities that build developmental skills. When you combine activities that correlate with the books they are reading, you end up with an enriching activity they’ll love. Engaging all their senses produces a variety of therapeutic experiences for your child.

Children with sensory processing issues can benefit from a change of scenery. Start by enjoying a book together such as A Seed Is Sleepy, by Dianna Hutts Aston. The gorgeous illustrations of a wide variety of seeds in this book make it a wonderful addition way to study of seeds and plants around the world. Once you’ve read the story, take an adventure to find all things grown from seeds. How many different varieties of flowers and plants can you find? This activity is a healthy way to redirect ADHD behaviors, as your child will be getting exercise and focusing on finding plants at the same time.

Does your child or teen suffer from anxiety? Calm their nerves with Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. This charming book is about Miss Rumphius, a woman who wanted to travel the world and make it more beautiful. As you and your child enjoy nature, talk about the things you see that make your part of the world more beautiful. Take time to notice flowers, trees and other springtime treasures.

Spring is a wonderful time for garden adventures, both in the backyard and through the power of reading.

-Deb Chitwood

Your neighborhood park offers wonderful opportunities to increase motor and sensory development. After some fun play time, read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This classic book is the story of a young girl in England who discovers a secret garden and brings it back to life. Explore the park with your child and decide where you could plant your secret garden. Sketch out an imaginary garden design together!

For families with children approaching their teens, we encourage you to find books that complement their current interests and books that expand upon those interests. Ditching screen time for some quality time together benefits both you and your child. Mud Pies and Other Recipes by Marjorie Winslow provides great inspiration for imaginative adventures right in your own backyard. Make mud pies or stone pizzas and focus on having silly time as a family! These are the moments when memories are made.