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Feb 24

Spring Forward is Coming... Here's How to Thrive!

by Meghan Fitzgerald

At 2am on Sunday, March 13th, most Americans will turn the clocks ahead one hour as we begin “daylight saving time” again. For most of us, this kicks off a stretch of notable “extra” daylight that will extend the ends of our days for the coming months. That change can translate into a euphoric optimism—a leap forward towards the good weather and more time to exercise, or even just more time to get things done. 

On the flip side, any change to our schedules impact young kids (and even many of us) and can feel like a disruption…and as parents, we often feel like our little worlds are held together with the thinnest of threads.

Here’s how to help your kids—and yourself—embrace the time change and move toward a new season with spirits lifted and schedules largely intact.

Lean into the Change.

Even though there isn’t actually an hour more of daylight on the afternoon of Sunday, March 13th, you experience a whole hour of daylight more, compared to the day before. This kind of abrupt change in your environment feels really noticeable—so much so that even little kids take note.

Though there are some movements to end the practice of turning the clocks twice per year, there is really nothing we can do to change how daylight continues to expand as we head towards spring. What we can control, however, is how we react to the extra light. And, how we react to changes in the environment like this one can model for kids how to adapt to the many changes, welcome and not so welcome, that life will throw their way.

So, we say let’s celebrate! What can you do with that gift of 60 minutes of daylight? Get out and play!

16 Ways to Celebrate 60 Bonus Minutes of Daylight

In addition to having fun together and experiencing joy (for which the benefits are long and lasting), you can even see the newly elongated day as an opportunity to teach kids a valuable lesson about embracing change. That is what inspired us to create our annual Spring Forward event

This March 13th, we welcome you to join tens of thousands of Tinkergarten families as we step outside and greet our bonus minutes of daylight in whatever way brings us joy. Here’s a bit more:

  1. Visit Our Spring Forward 2022 page to get 16 sweet ways to celebrate your 60 minutes of extra daylight. 
  2. Share images and stories of how you celebrate by tagging @tinkergarten and #SpringForward.
  3. You’ll automatically be entered to win Spring Forward prizes, including Oaki rain suits, Bogs rain boots and a marvelous mud kitchen for your home! 

Plan a Playdate!

Reach out to friends or family to welcome other people to join you in celebrating the extra 60 minutes of afternoon daylight on Sunday, March 13th. Doing these kinds of celebrations in community with others helps kids get even more benefit—it's as if the whole world is learning with them about how to embrace change with joy!

Help Kids Adjust.

As a parent, every time we change the clocks, it not only throws us for a loop, but it knocks our kids’ schedules out of whack, too. Perhaps the only tough part about “springing forward” is that kids have trouble going to sleep for a few days and are not ready for bedtime. Here are our tried and true tips to help make the transition a little smoother. 

Start Ahead.

If you can, move bed-back 10-15 minutes earlier each night starting three or four days ahead of the start of Daylight Saving Time. If your family is like mine and rarely plans that far ahead, just find solace in the fact that bedtime should go back to the normal hour in a few days.

Limit Blue Light.

Melatonin is a hormone the body releases to help us get ready to sleep. The blue light of screens tends to block the release of melatonin and even resets the body’s natural sleep rhythms, delaying bedtime. So, now more than ever, limit screen time for the hour before bed. 

If Bedtime Slides, try to Enjoy the Extra Minutes. 

Some kids have no problem going to bed an hour earlier, but if yours are like ours, their little bodies need a few days to transition. So, rather than fight it during the days it takes to reset, enjoy the time with soothing activities like reading an extra few stories, listening to calming music or nature sounds or making a cozy fort to cuddle in.

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Meghan Fitzgerald

Founder

After 20+ years as an educator, curriculum developer and school leader, I have my dream gig—an entrepreneur/educator/mom who helps families everywhere, including my own, learn outside. Prior to Tinkergarten®, I worked as an Elementary School Principal, a Math/Science Specialist & and a teacher in public and private schools in NY, MA and CA. I earned a BA with majors in English and Developmental Psychology at Amherst College, an MS in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College, and was trained to become a Forest School leader at Bridgwater College, UK. My worldview is formed in response to a my environment, culture, family, identity and experiences, and I love to learn from others. What I write in this blog will inevitably betray the blind spots I have as a result—we all have them! Please reach out if there are other perspectives or world views I could consider in anything I write about. I welcome the chance to learn and update any pieces to broaden our shared perspective!
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