For some spring fun and learning combine kids, nature, Easter and enjoy this treat. We’ve done this activity before and were just waiting for a day to do it again!
Do your kids like to hunt for Easter eggs? Crystal, at
Crystal and Co calls this Reverse Easter Eggs. Kids start with eggs and instead hunt for things to put in them. It’s a sort of I Spy for spring scavenger hunt. Open 12 plastic eggs and place the larger half of each in an egg carton. Using just 6 doesn’t work, because then there are 2 items in each egg when you put them back together. Then, dress for the weather and head outside for treasures to put in each. This is what happened last time.
There were some wonderful spring surprises, like tiny little flowers hiding in the grass. Nature always has treasures such as bark, rock, twigs, dried seeds and pods, and other things down low at kid-level. Both Big Sister and Little Sister enjoyed looking for bits of nature. We tucked one item in each egg. Big Sister carefully closed them and we brought them back into the house. Opening the eggs to see what was hiding inside added to the fun.
With some sun on them, the rain puddles all around were sparkling like tiny jewels. We couldn’t put them in an egg but were happy to leave them outside. We left the daffodils outside too, almost like little suns.
In a recent article for the New York Post, Naomi Schaefer Riley wrote, “nature provides a laboratory for kids, enabling them to make observations about their environment and allowing their brains to recharge.” Time in nature provides other benefits too, for physical and emotional development, like lowering stress and anxiety and increasing creativity, problem-solving, self-regulation, and social skills.
Instead of treasures at the end of the rainbow, these were kids, nature, Easter and spring treasures in the rainbow colors of Easter eggs. And maybe in the heart of a child too?
To celebrate the day (finally!) how about a kids’ nature march into spring? Well, maybe more accurately a walk or run. No matter how kids move, the first day of spring is a call to go outdoors. Is there a playground in your area or a park? Besides sliding and swinging, a big, open space invites kids to run and chase. Nature herself seems to pick up the beat of little feet running and jumping with spring fever.
Once kids are dressed for the weather, it’s time to go outside. You may choose to go for a walk and see if there are any signs of spring. In some areas, as long as snow isn’t still hiding everything, there may be new grass showing on the ground. For those really lucky, a few early flowers may be reaching up to the sun. Often, spring rain or melting snow will leave puddles just right for splashing and jumping. And perhaps some dirt so boots and rain pants can get muddy. Looking up in the sky, trees may be wearing hints of green or bright, tiny leaves. Pink and white blossoms decorate some branches with the promise of spring. Birds could be returning and starting to build nests. Sometimes, noses can pick up a smell of spring too.
Nature shares her different colors, moods, and seasons with us when we take time to connect. The most recent statistics reveal that currently young children spend only 7 minutes a day outdoors in nature. It’s like the latest generation is divorced from what used to be the most common activity of kids, playing outside. How much of your day were you in the house? For many of us, we spent little time inside and most of our lives out. Not only have kids lost the connection to nature, they have also lost much of their play time. For a simple play-of-the-day today, can you and your child enjoy some fresh air and celebrate the day with a kids’ nature march into spring?
Kids can celebrate the first day of spring. Google has a new doodle with some pink blossoms that pop up on the trees. So does our neighborhood. A new doodle popped up on the sidewalk just in time for spring.
Celebrating often means some kind of party. To kids, parties mean balloons and cake. The first day of spring is a wonderful reason to celebrate, so what kind of picture would kids draw on the sidewalk? They’s color up some balloons and cake, of course.
Kids have a spontaneous joy that adults envy. While we are all cheering that winter is done, done, done, when kids get excited, they seem to bubble over. A family down the block has young children too, one preschooler and one who has just started school. According to Google, spring arrived this year one day early, so they went outside yesterday to draw about spring.
Chalk balloons went up and down the sidewalk, in both directions from their house. Not just a few, but lots and lots. They spent a great deal of time coloring balloons and after balloons. They must have had a great big box or whole pail of sticks because the balloons were thickly colored. The size started fairly large and got smaller and smaller towards the end. The kids were likely getting played out. In this case, the pun is very much intended because to them this was play.
Drawing on the sidewalk is a wonderful way to spend time outside soaking up some welcome sun. Children will have their own ideas about what to draw. We can also ask them what they see in the spring. Are there cherry blossoms in your neighborhood? Any new green leaves on the trees? There may be some early flowers. You might want to walk around in your area to check out some signs of spring. Isn’t this a great idea so kids can celebrate the first day of spring?
Isn’t this a great idea so kids can celebrate the first day of spring?
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