Spring is a magical time for kids! After the winter, everything begins anew! Take your kids outside and watch for signs of Spring’s arrival. Observations over the course of only a week can provide the children with great fun and many learning experiences!
Spring Nature Walks - Nature Walk Record Sheet
Materials needed: 1 nature walk record sheet.pdf per child, 1 clipboard per child, crayons or markers. Take your students outside on a nature walk so they can use their sense of sight to find and record the items listed on the worksheet. As each child finds one of the items, they can circle or cross off the item from their list. When you return back home or to the classroom, discuss the things the children found (compare and contrast the items that each of the children found.) One child may not have seen a tree, but others may have. See if the children can recall what kind of items they found. For example, one child may have crossed off the vehicle after seeing a blue car. Another child may have seen a red van. This activity can lead to a large follow-up discussion.
Extension: Depending on the season and your location, your students might be able to find different items or objects. Use the blank record sheet to write, draw, or glue pictures from magazines of things you want your students to find.
What can your children HEAR? Have the children close their eyes and try to determine what they hear when outside on nature walks! Turn up your speakers and close your eyes…listen carefully, what do you hear in the video clip below?
Set out an assortment of beans, rice, and small items in containers. Ask parents for assistance in gathering enough toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls for each child to make a rain stick. Have the children decorate the tubes with markers, crayons, fabric strips, collage materials, etc. (seal one end of the toilet paper roll with wax paper (doubled-over for strength) and a rubber band prior to setting out for the children.) Have the children fill or spoon beans, rice, and/or small items (beads, shells, etc.) into the tubes until they are approximately two-thirds full. When done filling the tubes, help the children seal the final end of the tube with wax paper (again, doubled-over) and a rubber band.
Extension idea: Have the children bring the rain sticks to circle/carpet time and listen for the different sounds they make. Is one rain stick softer or louder than the others? Do they really sound like rain or something else?
Have the children gather several items in a bag. Bring the items inside to help the children explore the items with their sense of touch. What do the items FEEL like? Help the children brainstorm words that describe what they are feeling. Are the items rough, smooth, bumpy, scratchy, itchy, soft, hard, scaly, etc.? Glue the different items on a poster board and write the descriptive words underneath each of the items found.
What do your children SMELL on the nature walks? Again, have the children close their eyes and use their sense of smell to find things in nature. Collect a variety of items to have the children smell (some suggestions: tree bark, grass, flowers, berries). Go outside after a spring rain and ask the children to describe what they smell. Brainstorm words that describe different smells – fresh, musty, moldy, woodsy, etc.
Make a Spring Senses Sensory Bin where the children can explore items from your nature walks. Set out magnifying glasses, tweezers, rocks, twigs, paper or real flowers, dirt, different textured ribbons, and grasses in a large bin or drawer. Let the children explore different items using their senses of touch, smell, sight, and hearing. *Watch for children with seasonal or other allergies as tree bark, flowers, and grasses (among other items in nature) can make allergies worsen.
Umbrella Snacks for Spring
Set out apple slices, banana slices, chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, and cheese sticks for the children. Post a picture of an umbrella and have the children try to use the snack materials to make an umbrella. Have the children describe the TASTE of their umbrellas (are they crunchy, sweet, sour, bitter, etc.) It is a fun activity for snack time and the children will amaze you with their creations!
For MORE Spring, The 5 Senses, or Weather Activities, see the Easter Thematic Unit, The 5 Senses Thematic Unit, or the Spring Weather Unit at: The Preschool Toolbox!