The official first day of spring is March 20. Though it is
unlikely that day will actually feel like spring in Chicago, now is
the time to start preparing your kids for the change of seasons and
eventual arrival of spring (after all, the weather will warm up at
A scavenger hunt is a great way to focus your child's attention
on the seasonal changes to come. To make this activity authentic,
create a list of sought-after items and distribute the list to each
member of the family. Create an incentive for your scavengers by
offering a spring-themed prize-like a bike ride along the lakefront
or an after-dinner excursion to your local ice cream parlor.
This list can include items commonly found in most Chicago
neighborhoods, but consider customizing your scavenger hunt to
include signs of spring that are unique to your neck of the
1. Bird nests
During the spring months, many types of migrating birds return to
the Chicago area. During this busy time, birds are building their
nests, laying their eggs and gathering food for their young. Visit
a nearby park or nature preserve to see if you can spot bird nests
and identify the type of bird making its home there. Birds of
Illinois by Stan Tekiela is a handy field guide to have on
2. Bulbs popping up from the ground
Crocus, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths all start to emerge from
the soil-always a sure sign of warmer times ahead.
3. Buds on trees and bushes
In particular, look for the lovely yellow blooms that are abundant
in our area in late March and early April when the temperature is
still on the cool side.
You know what they say about April showers, right? Throw on a pair
of rain boots and splish splash in Mother Nature's water works.
5. Baby animals
Spring is a time of rebirth and there is no better place to
observe this renewal than the animal kingdom.
6. The return of warm weather sports
Local parks that were filled with eager sledders and snowmen
builders just a few weeks ago are now home to baseball and softball
teams. Tennis courts and running paths once again see foot traffic.
Active Chicagoans happily take to the outdoors-join them and enjoy
another beautiful spring in Chicago.
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.
See more of Caitlin's stories here.
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