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Spring Activities

Springtime Activities that Incorporate Literacy, Math, Science, and the Arts: Walking in Nature

by Ellen Booth Church
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir

Ah, Spring! Time to wake up from the long winter and welcome a new season with some fun and educational activities you can share with your child… both inside and outside your home.

Spring is the perfect time to take a walk. You and your child will notice many changes in the world outside. Little plants are peeking through the ground. The birds and butterflies are returning, and warm breezes are blowing. As you walk together, point out the changes that you see. Take the time to stop and observe the world around you.

Here are 5 Spring Activities for you and your child to enjoy together:

1. Take A Hike! Start with a leisurely stroll outside in the neighborhood. If you have a park or garden nearby…by all means GO! But you can see amazing things just by walking around the block or down the street. Don't forget to take along a magnifier so you can see all the details up close and personal! (Mombo Snake Magnifying Glass by Melissa & Doug)

Here are some books for inspiration: 2. Watch the Clouds! While you are out for your walk, focus on the cloud formations overhead. Children love to name the different shapes they see in the clouds. Ask your child to tell you what he sees and then make up a story about it! When you get back home, have him paste cotton balls on blue paper to make his own cloudy sky. Invite him to tell you a story about his picture!

Read these sweet cloud books together: 3. Think Green! At this time of year the earth is just starting to wake up. Little plants are beginning to grow, as the ground comes back to life. Dig up a deep rectangle of earth from somewhere in a garden. (Be sure you have permission!) Put the soil in a clear plastic container and take it back home. Moisten with water, cover with plastic wrap (poke a few small holes for air), and place it on a sunny windowsill. As the sun warms the earth in the container, little plants will start growing like magic!

Here are some great gardening kits for kids:
  • Sprout and Grow Greenhouse by Educational Insights: This transparent "nature's window" allows gardeners of all ages to watch seeds sprout and grow into plants-right before their eyes!
  • Science on a Gardening Adventure by The Young Scientists Club: Your young scientist can experience the fun of gardening through exciting hands-on science experiments…. including making a terrarium.
4. Feel the Wind Blow: As you walk together, notice the spring breezes and the freshness of the air. Invite your child to observe how the wind moves the leaves, branches, and other growing things. When you come home, experiment with making your own "wind" by making a simple paper fan. Fold paper of different weights to create several fans. Then test them out as tools for moving objects. Try using your paper fan to blow a feather across the table. Then try the same thing with a rock. Ask your child why one works but not the other. See what other experiments you can perform.

These books about fans are fun and educational: 5. Blow Bubbles! Bubble blowing is a classic springtime activity. It's also a great opportunity to learn more about air. (You probably never thought about it, but bubbles are really made of air. It takes air to fill up the soapsuds to create the bubbles.) Have some bubble-making fun at home. All you really need is some soapy solution, a bubble wand, and air! Invite your child to make a bubble wand using common household items like a turkey baster, some pipe cleaners, a berry basket, or a fly swatter!

Experiment with bubbles using these wonderful toys:  
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Meet Our Expert
Ellen Booth Church
Early Childhood Consultant
Well-known early childhood educator, Ellen Booth Church spent several years as both a pre-k and kindergarten teacher before becoming an early childhood assistant professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is currently an educational consultant, keynote speaker, curriculum/product developer, and writer, dedicated to enriching the lives of young children and their families. In addition, Ellen is a columnist for Scholastic's Parent and Child magazine as well as the author of many books for teachers and parents. In the world of Children's Television, Ellen has consulted for PBS, Nelvana, and Cartoon Network on a wide variety of projects.

You can find out more on Ellen Booth Church's website.
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