Spring is finally here! After many months of cold, snow, rain and wind, the season of spring brings a literal breath of fresh air to the world. Spring is a wonderful season to explore with children! There are so many changes taking place each day. Some are big changes while others are very small. Exploring the season of spring opens the door for you to address so many developmental areas in a fun, hands-on way.
Here are just a few ideas about how you can explore the season of spring with your group. Just keep in mind, of course, that the weather varies greatly in different parts of the country. You may live in a place where temperatures are already into the 70’s while others may live in a part of the country that still has snow on the ground. This is OK! No matter where you live, there are always changes taking place and now is a great time to find them!
Spring Exploration Ideas:
A Spring Walk & Book: Go for a walk around your outdoor play space. Look for signs of new plants pushing up from the ground, buds on trees, birds returning from their winter homes, etc. Take along a camera or your smartphone to take photos of the signs of spring the children find. Then, print these out, tape to sheets of white paper and have children dictate a sentence, or sentences, to describe each photo. Assemble into a book.
What are buds?: Take unbreakable magnifiers outdoors and invite the children to look for buds on trees. Can they find some? What do they think is inside? Encourage them to share and then open one to find out. For more advanced children, this experience also opens the door to talk about photosynthesis and how trees and plants use their leaves to make food.
The Colors of Spring: In many parts of the country, spring brings and explosion of color. See if the children can find all of the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) while seeking out signs of spring either in your outdoor play space, at a local park or even in your neighborhood. This activity also opens the door for children to learn the difference between living and nonliving things.
Tracking Temperature: As adults, we know that spring can be a temperature rollercoaster ride! Some days it is very warm while other days it is very cold. Locate an outdoor thermometer you can stick to a window so the children can see if when indoors. Each day, at the same time, have the children read the thermometer and then record the temperature. This process will expose them to a thermometer as a measuring device will also introducing them to larger numerals. Continue this process each day for as long as you would like and then use the data the children gathered to create a line graph on a long sheet of mural paper. The children, when looking at the graph, will be able to see visually how spring is often a season of up and down temperatures.
What will Bloom First? If you have flowers in your yard, have the children predict which ones they believe will bloom first. Write down their predictions and then, as the flowers bloom, have the children compare their predictions to the actual results.
Most importantly, while spring can be chilly, wet and muddy, it is a wonderful season of change to explore with the children. Get out there and keep your eyes, ears and even nose open for the signs that spring has sprung in your neck of the woods!