Now is the time of year that young children should be spending large amounts of time outside. The weather is warming up and there’s so much to explore out there. Try these fun activities on for size – they are ALL EDUCATIONAL at this level:
1. GO FOR A WALK: Find some (secluded of course) places to just walk in nature – there’s so many signs that spring has arrived. We went for a walk at Delta Ponds and found flowers in blooms, turtles sunning themselves on logs, spring geese coming and going, baby goslings, a big blue Heron...and so much more. When you get home make a poster (a map of where you walked, a “newspaper article” complete with hand-drawn illustrations, a travel brochure, or write a story of your adventure (your child will dictate it and you can write it). You can also collect nature items to make fun collages – twigs, flowers to press, moss...anything goes!
2. PLANT A GARDEN: There’s no better way for a young child to learn about the wonder of spring than to have them plant some seeds in a garden or a pot and then watch them grow. There are also amazing practical life opportunities as the child water, weed, and tend the plants as they grow. If your family is planting a garden this year, try giving your child his/her own special plot to look after.
3. DRAWING NATURE: A sketch book and some pencils is all your child needs to go outside and draw some things he/she sees in their backyard: a robin digging for worms, hummingbirds and bees flying around, a myriad of flowers in bloom, trees also in bloom, or if you are lucky a frog or a salamander in a puddle… there’s so much to see and draw. If your older child is so inclined teach them some basic camera skills and let them take photographs.
4. RIDE A BIKE: go for bike rides – its perfect weather for it.
5. MAKE A FAIRY GARDEN: Get a pot and fill it with potting soil and plant some tiny plants, use pebbles, twigs and other fun things to make little houses, paths and places for fairies to live.
6. READ ABOUT SPRING THEMES: Find some books that teach your child about life cycles, chicks, frogs, geese migration, birds, ladybugs…
7. GO ON A BUG HUNT: Turn a box into a bug house and take your child outside to look for bugs – this is the perfect time of year to find all types of bugs and little children just love tiny things.
8. PRESS FLOWERS: Find tiny wild flowers and press them in a flower press or between layers of paper towels and heavy books. In a few days the flowers will be dry and very flat – wonderful for making cards for the grandparents or bookmarks. Just glue on the card and when the glue it dry cover with a piece of clear contact paper.
Happy spring ...and GO OUTSIDE AND HAVE SOME FUN IN THE SUN!!