• Lawley76

Springtime Fun for Kids by Elyse Brantingham

With spring approaching, there are lots of us getting outside more and enjoying the beautiful weather before the rain starts to come. I personally love the springtime and the crisp air, the bike rides, the beautiful flowers, and just being outside in general. But, if we’re experiencing rain or a continued winter, it can be more challenging to keep kids entertained and out of trouble. I have a few activities that are my go-to’s for keeping my kids engaged and learning, while also having so much fun.

1. A Nature Scavenger Hunt

My kids, no matter the age, love this activity. If you cannot get outside, you can always modify and make it a scavenger huntaround your home. There are different versions of this activity that can accommodate different age ranges, so pick whichever is suitable for the kids in your home and get hunting! Here are a few that are my personal favorite:

Fun at Home has this great printable to keep things simple for younger kids. They can even color it as they find the items.

Make and Takes has this brilliant colored sheet that can be used in a variety of ways. I especially love the idea of using this for a birthday party activity! Kids can be given a paper bag and collect the items seen on the list.

The Homeschool Den has a more detailed scavenger hunt list that is great for older children.

Doing Good Together has a beautiful worksheet that also allows kids to get creative with their own additions.

2. Spring Lego Builds

I have a home filled with LEGO lovers, so any time we can incorporate that into our home, they just eat it up. It’s fun to get the pre-made packs, however, it’s even more fun to design your own builds out of the LEGO that you currently have. There are all sorts of spring LEGO ideas that can be found on the internet, but this LEGO Challenge Calendar by The Brick Life is a favorite for our family because it allows the kids to be super creative, and I love all the things that they come up with. If you’re a teacher, this could also be a fun thing to send kids home with over spring break. You can start any time, and there is no right or wrong creation for each of the prompts. Let their creative minds run wild!

3. Planting Flowers Sensory Bin

I don’t know about your kids, but mine love to help in the yard. Sometimes that help doesn’t really amount to much and they just use the garden bed as a make-shift sandbox. So here is an idea that kids LOVE, and it allows them to plant those flowers over and over again.

For this sensory bin, you will need:

- A large plastic under-the-bed box, or any plastic tub that you like to use for sensory play

- Dry pinto beans: You can find these for super cheap at the Dollar Tree

- Silk flowers: Can also be found at the Dollar Tree

- Little tin pails: I got mine from the Target dollar section

- Kid’s gardening tools: I also got these from the Target dollar section

My little one loves scooping the beans and filling up the little pails, and the thickness of the beans helps to keep the flowers in place. I separated the flowers so they could arrange various combinations of colors, and it was loads of fun!

4. Make a Worm Observation Jar

Spring is always a good time to get outside and let your kids dig in the dirt, and letting your kids make a worm observation jar will be something they talk about for a while! These jars are a great way to see what worms do for the earth, and I highly recommend using a clear plastic jar so that your kiddos can see everything happening on the inside. I started this activity with a little more introduction on the life of worms, and we read Yucky Worms: Read and Wonder by Vivian French.

Then we got to work!

We don’t have a lot of worms in our yard, so we bought a package of nightcrawlers in the bait section at Wal-Mart. My boys couldn’t get enough of them!

We filled our clear plastic jar with layers of dirt and sand. By layering the two, you can easily see how the worms will tunnel into the ground, mixing the soil and making spaces for roots to grow stronger. In between layers, we also added some leaves so that the worms had more food as the leaves decomposed.

We covered the outside of the jar with black paper so that the worms would be more likely to make their tunnels at the edge of the jar where we could see them – and it worked!

After the worms sat for a day or so, we took off the paper and checked out the jar!

Unfortunately, this is the only picture that I got, but almost two weeks later, the worms visibly mixed up the layers of dirt and sand. We added a little water along the way to make sure things stayed moist, and then we released them in our yard when we were done watching them.

I hope you enjoy these spring activities and ideas, and that you get warm weather soon so you can find more time to be outside! Happy Spring!

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