I know that it’s still technically winter and that it’s still about 45 degrees out, but the sun is shining and the birds are chirping and I’m looking to warmer days and not turning back. If your kids are also antsy to get out in the sun, there are a few ways to make their playtime enriching and educational. Whether you’re sending the older kids on their own or joining the little ones in the fun, you can confidently promote playing in the dirt with these spring outdoors programs.
Garden Explorers at Old Stone House & Washington Park
Where: 336 Third Street at 5th Avenue
When: Wednesdays April 10-June 12, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
What: Kids ages 7-11 get to explore all aspects of gardening by starting seedlings, harvesting fruits and vegetables, working with compost, preparing simple foods, and studying the plants, flowers, insects, and garden dwellers that they’ll find along the way. They’ll also have a chance to create art with the plants and play games.
Additional Info: The program offers free pickup from PS 321 and The Children’s School. Light snacks will be provided.
Registration: The ten sessions cost $325; register here.
Brooklyn Forest Parent-Child Classes at Prospect Park
Where: Classes meet at Grand Army Plaza or the Long Meadow.
When: Monday-Friday, now through June 14, 9:00-10:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
What: A Waldorf-inspired outdoor class for kids (ages 6 months to 4 years) and parents, in which families travel across the park, spotting forest animals and engaging in play-based learning, physical work (think a lot of digging for worms and building huts), sing-alongs, and the fostering of a connection to nature and wildlife.
Additional Info: Brooklyn Forest offers a free trial class. Snacks are provided.
Registration: Sign up for one session a week, for a total of 15 sessions, for $413.96. Register here. All Long Meadow classes are full except for Wednesdays.
SPRING BREAK BONUS
Blooming Naturalists at Prospect Park
Where: The Audubon Center
When: March 25-April 2, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
What: A week of training for up-and-coming naturalists. Kids will learn how to use the tools of the trade and keep a nature journal.
Registration: Free, no registration required.
Spring Sprouts at Prospect Park
Where: Lefferts Historic House
When: March 25-29, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
What: Kids and accompanying parents can check out how the herb gardens are coming along this spring and plant their own pot of herbs to take home using newspaper, soil, and seeds.
Registration: $3 for adults, children 16 and under are free; no registration required.
Photo via Old Stone House