It depends on whether you follow the astronomical or meteorological seasonal calendar as to when you believe spring begins (click here for more information). According to the astronomical timetable it was March 20 this year, while for the meteorologists it was March 1.
The general consensus is that spring arrives sometime in March and usually brings with it warmer weather, longer daylight hours and beautiful blooming flowers, plants and trees. It’s also a traditional time of year for rediscovering the UK’s great outdoors and enjoying more days outside with the family.
So why not spring into spring and try something new with your nearest and dearest?
10 great ideas for springing into spring
1) Hug a tree (or two or three): Matthew Silverstone's book Blinded By Science (read more here), reveals the many health benefits of hugging trees, including the positive effects it may have on your psychological well-being.
The book also reveals a number of studies that have found that children benefit physiologically from spending time around plants and trees. So get amongst the trees this spring!
2) Make a sundial: With the sun now higher in the sky it's the perfect time to make a sundial. These “gadgets” have been made and used since ancient times and utilise the shadow of the sun to tell the time. You could find a sundial in a country garden or nature reserve to see what they are all about and then learn how to make a sundial on the Met Office website here.
3) 5X50 Challenge: Sign up with your partner and children to the 5X50 2015 challenge and pledge to do some of exercise each day. You can choose what exercise you do every day but it must continue for 50 consecutive days. Alternatively, you could form pairs or teams and complete the 50 days between you. For more information, visit the 5x50 website here.
Recent research has shown that the benefits of daily exercise are improved mental and physical health. It’s also said that to change habits for the better you need to do something for at least 21 days. By the time you have completed the 5X50 Challenge you will find it a bit odd if you don’t exercise daily.
4) Try bird spotting: Spring is the time when many birds breed. It’s also a good time to observe our feathered friends from your garden, local park or even through the window. Many birds will be showing off their plumage and engaging in courting rituals to attract a mate.
All you really need for bird watching success is a keen pair of eyes, or binoculars, and a bird book or for reference (click here to see the RSPB bird guide).
5) Hunt for Easter eggs: All kids love a traditional Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday. You could plan one at home, hiding mini Easter eggs or hard-boiled eggs all over the garden and giving your children clues to follow to find the eggs. Regatta have even shared an alternative Easter Egg Hunt with fun-filled activities to accompany the hunt itself (click here).
6) Hunt for treasure: You don’t need to wait for Easter to hunt for eggs. Instead, log on to the Geocaching website (click here) and find a suitable cache to go in search of. There are thousands of caches hidden in towns and countryside across the UK.
You can choose a short walk or an epic hike to suit your fitness levels, timescale and aspirations. Having a reason to walk can make a family day outdoors so much more fun.
7) Go wild at a spring festival: The Wild Spring Festival takes place in Dumfries & Galloway, south-west Scotland, from April 4 to May 4 and offers more than 100 events wildlife events. From frogs and fishtails to badgers and buzzards, and from red deer and reptiles to otters, ospreys, bats, moths and the charismatic red squirrel, there will be plenty of opportunities to be amazed by spring wildlife.
Zip wires, balance beams, hanging platforms, tight-ropes, scramble nets, white knuckle bridges and gap jumps are all part of the fun of tree top adventure playgrounds.
9) Discover the wonderful world of Tale Trails: Take to the trails with a fictional element to keep even your littlest entertained and engaged. Written by mountain expert Anja Phoenix, each unique Tale Trail has a colourful map that kids can follow on one side, and a fun story on the other side which can be used to spot things and search for clues along the trail.
10) Do something new: Whether it’s Canadian canoeing, sea kayaking, canyoning, walking, a zipwire, an aerial forest walkway, archery, cliff jumping, wild camping, zorbing or wakeboarding; there is an outdoor activity for everyone.
Make this spring the time that you book your family into a new activity and simply give it a go.