The evenings may still be dark, and the last of the winter frosts may still be to come, but spring is most definitely in the air. April is the perfect time to shake off the winter blues and find new opportunities for family fun. Whether it’s with a stand-up comedy show in your living room, a picnic in the backyard, or a cooking session in the kitchen, there’s no shortage of entertainment to be had. All you need is a little creativity and a dash of imagination… or failing that, our round-up of the 10 best family activities to enjoy in the month of April.
1. Get Gardening
April is the month the garden starts to wake up from its winter slumber – no wonder then, that April is National Garden Month. Take advantage of the warmer days by getting the whole family involved in some spring planting. Weeding flower beds, planting hanging baskets, deadheading… even the most boring gardening chore can be fun when everyone gets involved. Don’t forget that gardening’s about more than just flowers. As Real Simple suggests, planting veggies like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and bush beans can be a great way of teaching your kids where their food comes from… and might even inspire fussy eaters to start digging those greens.
2. Host a Garden Party
Having fun doesn’t have to be complicated – or expensive. April is the perfect time to start enjoying the garden, and what better way to do that than with a family garden party. Set up some chairs, some blankets, and a few tables, then ask the kids to show off their creativity by decorating the yard however they like (you might want to equip them with a few balloons and banners to get them started). Leave the fancy food to one side, and whip up some simple but tasty sandwiches, jellos, cupcakes, and cookies. Add some music, a few flagons of lemonade, a couple of party games and voila… the perfect recipe for a fun, family afternoon.
3. Start a Book Club
Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday on 23 April ( not to mention Poetry Reading Day on April 28) by starting your own family book club (and no, you don’t have to read Shakespeare if you really don’t want to). Choose books the whole family can enjoy – trust me, no one’s too old to get a thrill out of Roald Dahl. Every week, pick a new narrator to read a chapter aloud. You could even mix things up by letting everyone voice a different character. Once you’ve finished the book, talk about the themes, your favorite characters, the morals – or if that sounds too intense, just watch the movie adaptation and decide which you prefer.
4. Draw a Picture of a Bird
April 8th has the honor of being Draw a Picture of A Bird Day (and no, we’re not kidding. It really exists). Even if it’s too late to celebrate the day itself, don’t miss the opportunity to tip your hat to our feathered friends with a little bird appreciation. Set up a bird feeder in the garden, then get your kids to list as many different species that visit as they can. Once they get bored with that, set them (and yourself) up with some paints, some pencils, and some paper and ask everyone to draw their favorite bird.
5. Make a Family Tree
April 9 is Name Yourself Day, and what better opportunity to get your kids interested in the family tree? Grab some art supplies and get everyone involved in drawing yours up. With each new family member you add, look up the origin and meaning of their name, and get the kids to add it to the branch.
6. Write a Poem
Celebrate International Haiku Poetry Day on 17 April by tapping into your family’s poetic side. Start by teaching the kids the basics of how to write a haiku, then get everyone flexing their creative muscles by writing one of their own. Regardless of whether you all write to the same theme or each go your own way, it’s a great way of getting the kids interested in poetry.
7. Have a Cook-a-Thon
April is a foodies dream. Pig in a Blanket Day, National Zucchini Bread Day, National Garlic Day… whatever food you can think of, April probably has a day to celebrate it. Make the most of the opportunity to indulge your inner glutton by throwing a family cook-a-thon. Ask your kids to draw up a list of food they’d like to try, get the supplies in, and then get cooking.
8. Start Your Own Barbershop Quartet
As The Spruce notes, April 11 is Barbershop Quartet Day. Celebrate in style by creating your own family group (if there’s more than four of you, don’t worry- a bit of improvisation never did anyone any harm). Give everyone a role (in theory, you’ll need a lead, a tenor, a bass, and a baritone, but again, get creative with the roles if you need to), pop some barbershop on iTunes, and start working on those harmonies.
9. Make Time for Math
Trying to get your kids interested in math might seem an uphill struggle, but there’s plenty of ways you can make it less of a chore… and what better time to try than in Mathematics Awareness Month? If you need some inspiration, Very Well Family has some great ideas on how to make math fun, from playing online math games to composing math poetry.
10. Laugh it Up
April is National Humor Month, and a great time to introduce your kids to the joys of comedy. Make humor the theme of the month, with a different activity every week. From competitions on who can come up with the best knock-knock jokes to throwing a standup comedy night to having a comedy movie weekend, there’s no end of ways you can bring on the belly laughs.