Spring-what does it mean to you? Whatever you think about when you think of Spring; be it baby lambs, Easter, planting flowers in your garden, blossom on trees etc, these are the things you should show your children. Then they can find their own things they enjoy about Spring and each of the other seasons.
I had a think about Spring and all of the fun things we can do to teach our children about the changing season- here I have included a few ideas for things to do in Spring.
- Trip to the farm/wildfowl trust-well it is the time of year to see lambs and chicks!
- Cress heads-growing cress gives results so quickly it's great for young children as they don't have to wait weeks to see it grow. Use an empty egg shell and with paint or felt tips put a face on your egg shell. You won't need to draw hair on as your egg is going to grow some! Fill with cotton wool or kitchen roll. Sprinkle with cress seeds and watch your egg person grow hair! When the cress has grown cut it and mix it with crushed hardboiled egg to make eggy sandwiches. Make sure you keep the cotton wool moist but not too wet.
- Chalk pictures-try drawing on paper-black paper works great with chalks, on the fence, wall, or patio in the garden (remember to wash it off afterwards!) Try using the chalks after they have been in water for a while.
- Make musical instruments-guitar-using an empty cardboard box (a cereal box is good) asking an adult to help you, cut out a hole from the middle of one side of the box. Next use elastic bands to put around the box. When you pluck the elastic bands they will make a sound. If you use thick and thin bands you will get different sounds. Shaker. Use an old clean yoghurt pot, plastic drinks bottle or cardboard tube. You can use almost anything you can find around the house to put inside the shaker-beads, buttons, lentils, rice, pasta etc. Each will make a different noise so if you make lots of different shakers you will be able to make lots of music! If you are using a drinks bottle, simply put a bit of your chosen filling inside and put the lid back on. If you are using a cardboard tube or yoghurt pot you will need some strong paper and an elastic band to cover the hole.
- Car Boot Sale-Have a clear out of toys and clothes, head to a car boot sale and then let your children spend their money on new toys or clothes.
- Decorate flower pots and plant flowers-you could use plastic flower pots, but terracotta ones will work better. It is best to use emulsion as this will not wash off if the plant pot is outdoors and it rains. However if the pot is for a house plant then you could use normal paints and even decorate the top rim with a ribbon. you could paint patterns, faces, butterflies, ladybirds or anything else they want. These are a great gift and cheap too!
- Design words searches -I used to love doing this! To start you will need a square with smaller squares in it. Using squared paper or draw squares on a piece of lined paper. Next you need to think of words to put in the word search (maybe all on the same topic or just random-its up to you!) Write these words into the puzzle-one letter in each square. The words can be written forwards, backwards or diagonally. When you have put all your words into the puzzle fill in the empty squares with random letters. Now your puzzle is ready for someone to have a go!
- Sew a Spring Picture-using material or thick paper or card; draw the outline of the picture. Then carefully and with adult supervision use a needle and thread the stitches around the outline you have drawn. Use different coloured threads for different images to make your picture bright and colourful! The best threads to use are wool, tapestry or cross stitch thread as they are thicker than normal cotton. You are able to buy large blunt needles from sewing and craft shops which are easier and safer for children to use. To make this easier you can draw simpler images and use a hole punch to make the holes for the thread to go through.
- Go on a Bug Hunt-In the garden, parks, forest or woods, it really doesn't matter-you will find creepy crawlies of some kind! Why not go on a bug hunt and see who can find the most, or who can find the most different bugs. The best places to look are under logs and stones. Take containers with you to catch the bugs in to look at-make sure the lid has a few small holes in and you release the creatures when you have finished.
Spring is so full of promises of new life and fresh starts-a perfect time to appreciate families!
Ria has 2 girls and previously worked in nurseries for over 15 years and left managing a day nursery when her eldest was born. She now works for Raring2go! as our Digital Content and Strategy Manager
If you are interested in writing for Raring2go! or featuring on our site please email Ria.