It's been a long hard winter for much of the country, but (knock on wood) spring finally appears to be here to stay. Take advantage of the sunshine and warmer weather and embrace this opportunity to get your whole family out of the house. These outdoor games and activities are perfect to enjoy together.

1. Blow bubbles. Let one family member blow, while the others race to try to "catch" the bubbles as they fly away. It's a simple game, but it makes for an afternoon filled with exercise, fresh air, and fun.

2. Go fishing. There must be a pond or lake somewhere nearby; grab your fishing poles and enjoy a lazy day by the water.

3. Dig for worms. There is nothing my kids enjoy doing more. You can even buy a worm farm if you want to bring the worms indoors.

4. Start a garden. The ground has thawed and the time to start planting is now. Kids can pick up rocks, plant seeds, fetch water and, of course, enjoy tasting the fruits and vegetables that result.

5. Read a book. You don't need to be indoors to enjoy a great story. Choose one of these 20 Terrific Books to Read With Your Kids This Spring, curl up under a tree, and let the words transport you to another world.

6. Enjoy one of the outdoor attractions your city has to offer. In my hometown of St. Louis, we're all about places like the St. Louis Zoo (it's FREE) and the Missouri Botanical Garden when the weather gets warm.

7. Take science outside. Learn something new by conducting outdoor science experiments.

8. Play Shadow Tag . You could play regular tag, but take advantage of the spring sunshine and start a game of shadow tag. (You need the sunshine to create the shadows).

9. Play Capture the Flag. You probably played this game as a kid; now it's time to introduce Capture the Flag to your own children.

10. Go on a picnic. Don't stress; a picnic doesn't require as much preparation as you think. Take your cues from this article on How to Have a Spontaneous Picnic in 15 Minutes.

11. Camp out in the backyard. Pitch a tent, roast marshmallows and tell spooky stories around the campfire. You can do all these activities during the daytime too if you don't want to actually sleep outdoors.

12. Visit the Farmer's Market. Most markets start to open during the month of April (and a few during March). Challenge your kids to taste the most exotic items available.

13. Host a family field day. From wheelbarrow races to obstacle courses, get your family moving by setting up a field day in your very own backyard.

14. Draw with chalk. What is it about sidewalk chalk that never gets old? Draw self-portraits, or create a hopscotch and start hopping!

15. Jump rope. With so many different games to play, jumping rop will never get boring. Check out The Jump Rope Institute for games, rhymes, and inspiration.

16. Watch the clouds. Lie on your back, stare at the sky, and try to spot the shapes in the clouds. Sometimes simple games are the most fun.

17. Have an art class. Bring your materials outdoors (it helps if you have an easel), and challenge your kids to draw or paint the items they see in nature.

18. Create a Spring Bingo Scavenger Hunt. Your whole family will be busy searching for items like a bird's nest, a trail of ants, and a puddle with this cute Spring Bingo Scavenger Hunt from Spoonful.

19. Get out the Moon Sand. My kids love Moon Sand, but after one too many mishaps, I refuse to allow it in the house. Fortunately, it's perfect for a day spent molding and squishing on the back patio.

20. Play Bean Bag Tic-Tac-Toe. Create a giant tic-tac-toe board on the ground or in the grass (masking tape or few pieces of rope work well for this) and then take turns tossing the bean bags marked with X's and O's. Sounds easy, but it's actually quite a challenge.

21. Climb trees. Do kids even know how to climb trees any more? Make it your mission to teach them.

22. Take a hike. Collect flowers, sticks and other items you may be able to use for spring craft projects later. Or take a camera and work on your photography skills.

23. Wash the cars. It's not exactly a game, but it can be fun when everyone pitches in to help. On a warm day you can all put on your swimsuits and dream of the even warmer season that is just around the corner: summer.

Do you play outside with your kids? What are your favorite games and activities?