Really (REALLY) Simple Spring Activities You Can Do At Home

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I don’t know about you all, but when spring hits, so does new inspiration. I transform from a person in hibernation to someone new, energetic and inspired. With that comes a burst of creative energy and if I’m not careful, I can bite off more ideas than I can chew. So I need to remain honest with myself. I am not going to transform into a beautiful Martha Stewart-like crafty butterfly. I’m still me. I still prefer simplicity and ease and my kids still prefer fun.  I have a feeling I’m not alone in this, so I wanted to share some really REALLY simple spring activities to help you embrace spring with your young kids.

Music Appreciation- Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

What you need: 

  • A Music Player of some sort (Youtube, Amazon, Spotify, etc)
  • Ears

What you do:

Vivaldi is my favorite composer so I love any excuse to play “The Four Seasons” for my kids. The Spring movement is a little over 3 minutes long. Ask your kids to close their eyes, and just listen. Afterward, ask them what they imagined as they listened. Talk about what instruments you heard. If you don’t know what the specific instruments are, you can talk about whether you heard lots of strings or percussion or brass. Ask your kids if anything reminded them of Spring.

If you want to fancy things up: The podcast, Classics for Kids is a great resource for further exploring classical composers. They have an entire episode dedicated to Vivaldi: Spring. This podcast is so engaging while keeping kids’ attention span in mind. Each episode is only 6 minutes long and packed with fun info!

 

Science-Weather

One of my favorite things to teach in spring is the weather, and one of my favorite ways to encourage my kids to observe the weather is to keep a weather journal.

What you need:

  • Paper or spiral notebook
  • Stapler (if using loose paper)
  • Writing Instruments
  • A window or door

What you do: You can do this any way you want. I like to ask my kids to draw pictures of their observations because it takes more time and brain power. I like to make sure they record what they see, hear, touch/feel and smell. This gets them used to observing while using all of their senses (except taste because my kids would eat the grass if I let them).

Fancy it up: At the end of the month, use your observations to chart a graph. How many days were sunny? Rainy? How many were above 50 degrees? Below 50 degrees? 

 

Science- Flower Anatomy

What you need: 

  • At least 2 white carnations
  • Vases, mason jars or cups
  • A package of food coloring

What you do:
This is a great lesson on how plants and flowers soak up water through their stems. Ask your kids if they know what plants and flowers need to survive, and how they get those things. Explain to them that flowers suck up water, like a straw. To prove it, you pick a color to put in each vase and see what happens to the flower. Ask them for their predictions. “What do you think will happen to a white flower sitting in blue water?” Write down their predictions and sit the flowers near a window. In a few hours, the flower will tint and by the next day you will definitely see a change in color. 

Please ignore my disgusting window. Clearly, spring cleaning hasn’t happened yet.

 

Fancy it Up: Take it a step further by learning about photosynthesis Little kids LOVE learning this big word, and there are a ton of kid-friendly videos. We love The Leaf Song.

 

Art- Impressionism

What you need: 

  • Paper
  • Paint, watercolor, pencil, any writing instrument
  • A place to sit outside

What you do: Teach your kids about the impressionistic style of art. Basically, it means that you paint what you see. If you want to look up examples, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, and Manet are all examples of impressionist artists.

Fancy it up: Georges-Pierre Seurat is a post-impressionist artist who is famous for the style of pointillism.  This article has some great examples of pointillism. Try your hand at it. Little ones can use bingo markers or dot paints because that’s totally pointillism! You will find you have a bunch of little impressionistic artists in your midst and the fresh air will do everyone some good.

 

Art- Stamps N’ Stuff

What you need:

  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Water or soda bottles
  • Patience and realistic expectations

What you do: Use the bottoms of water bottles to make a field of flowers. Move this activity outside if you want to minimize the mess!

Our result is definitely not Pinterest worthy, but it is a lot of fun and a good way to spend an hour or so.

Fancy it up: Rumor has it that if you cut the bottoms off of celery and use it as a stamp, the result is a rose-like flower shape that would add a fun dimension to this project.

 

Literature

I just love pairing books with activities. It helps the kids remember the books and it enriches the activities as well! I have a million favorite books, but I will share my two favorites to do in the spring. You may be surprised that they aren’t at all spring themed, but lend themselves nicely to super simple activities.

Harold and the Purple Crayon

What you need:

  • Butcher or packing paper
  • Tape
  • A purple crayon
  • The book -I suppose you could find a reading of it on youtube, but any excuse to buy a classic book is a good one.
  • Magic eraser for if your kid gets carried away with creativity

 

 

What you do:

  • Read the book
  • Tape a giant piece of  butcher paper on the wall
  • Give your kid a crayon and instructions to STAY ON THE PAPER while fully expecting their creativity to carry them on to the wall the paper is taped on.
Your kid may look at you like this when you tell them they can draw on the wall…
but soon enough they will enjoy the freedom

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

What you need:

  • The book
  • Access to dirt
  • Play clothes
  • Digging materials (cups, spoons, sticks, rocks, digging trucks etc)
  • To be ‘ok’ with dirt

 

 

What you do: 

  • Read the book
  • Challenge your kids to dig a hole big enough for Mary Ann to live 

I know that sounds too easy. It does! But my kids worked on their dirt hole all summer long, and they loved it. We still have a gigantic hole in our back yard. Maybe we will plant a tree or something.

You may be thinking to yourself, “did this woman just suggest that I tell my kids to dig a hole, listen to a song, and observe the weather?” Yes, I did and I will tell you why. I sincerely believe that we have made early childhood learning too complicated. We easily buy into the idea that we have to give our children something grand to do when in reality children are capable of turning simple things into something magical and special all on their own. It’s ok for them to be a little bored sometimes, and it’s ok to encourage “simple” activities, like these. 

Do you have any simple spring activities to share? I’d love to hear your ideas.

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Jess and her husband live in Providence with their 4 kids. Jess stays at home full-time with her tiny humans and is figuring out how to manage her home, manage her homeschool, and manage her own sanity. She is mostly convinced that 2 out of 3 is the best she can do! After the kids go to bed, Jess enjoys ice cream and Netflix. Or ice cream and a good book. Or just ice cream in a dark quiet room. Being a mom is a wild and unpredictable ride. While Jess has figured out that she cannot juggle it all, she can try to find joy in the small moments as her own family grows and evolves. Her life, (like her house) can be a mess sometimes, but Jess hopes her readers find encouragement in knowing they aren't alone in the challenges and triumphs of motherhood.