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?
What could be more awesome than an activity which combines spring, Easter and nature? This triple play has lots of kindergarten readiness fun and learning and appeals to kids of practically any age.
There are so many tremendous and creative ideas in the early childhood community.This activity is called Reverse Easter Egg Hunting by Crystal, at Crystal and Co. Instead of hunting for eggs to find, kids find things to put in the eggs. It’s a sort of What’s Inside the Eggs hunt.
In between spring rain showers, we went outside to see what we could find. We had 12 plastic eggs, opened up and ready in an egg-carton. 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.
Have you heard the term “nature-deficit”? This was coined by Richard Louv, a journalist and author, who has written 8 books about children and nature. According to Louv, “The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of…the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.” He believes that some alarming childhood trends can be connected to a “nature-deficit”, or a lack of a connection to nature. One of the solutions is to support opportunities for children to connect with nature, just like we did as we looked for things to put in our eggs. What a super activity! What do you think of this triple play for Easter, spring, and nature?
A gray rainy day meant we spent more time inside today than outside. There were some things that needed to be done so we got a start with the spring cleaning. Do you include your kids with chores around the house? Having kids help with with tasks where appropriate also helps them learn responsibility, pride … Continue reading Spring Cleans Up With Fun and Learning For Kids
More than plants grow in Spring. Did you know that Spring can help grow children’s learning in math, science, language, kindergarten readiness, and more? While writing today’s blog post I found 2 bits of information that fit together like pieces of a puzzle. The first was a video from First 5 in California. During the … Continue reading Spring Grows All Kinds Of Learning For Kids
The first day of spring is sort of like New Year’s. It’s the beginning of something new with early shoots peeking above the ground. Many animal babies are born in the spring too. In a way did you know that early learning is like the seasons? Whenever we learn something, there is new growth. For … Continue reading Spring Comes Around and So Does Learning
Does your child like rocks? Putting rocks in pockets also puts lots of learning, fun, and even kindergarten readiness into brains. Here’s another example of childhood play that grows along with the child and into adulthood. Children all over the world collect rocks, and so does my friend and colleague Colin Martin. Just like the … Continue reading Child’s Play That Rocks Now and In the Future
On our Earth walk yesterday we saw dozens of trees covered with white blossoms so today for some kindergarten readiness fun and learning we made something white–popcorn. Popping corn is an activity that involves all the senses. We could hear the popcorn starting to pop and then more pops and more until it was quiet … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree
A play-of-the-day came with the unplanned spring activity of picking dandelions but it had some powerful learning and simple fun. When my 4 year-old helper came with me to a friend’s house, we had some tea at the table and noticed a package of bubble-tea straws, the really big ones.Four colors of straws came home … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Picking Dandelions Math Fun
Kids have fun getting things and themselves messy and dirty and they also have fun cleaning up. Cleaning can be both fun and learning, too. The list below is only a few of the ways that kids can ‘spring clean’. Small plastic toys spend a lot of time on the floor. With a small cloth … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Spring Cleaning Can Be Fun For Kids