One of the things I love most about living in the UK is the definitive change of seasons. I love it when Summer turns to Autumn, Autumn to Winter (hello, Christmas!), and then after what feels like an age of slightly depressing January and February, SPRING appears! It seems to have happened a little earlier this year, possibly due to the mild winter we’ve had, but either way i’m certainly welcoming it. We have more of a spring in our step (arf arf), and the children seem to feel SO much easier to deal with when we can all get out and about more!
Here some Spring-themed activities we’ve been up to lately:
1. Growing cress in egg shells. For 99p in Sainsburys, you can buy a pack of cress seeds that last for ages. Collect and wash some old eggs shells, place a piece of damp cotton wool/paper towel in the bottom of each one, and then sprinkle the seeds on top. Place on a sun-filled window sill, and watch them grow within a few days. Great for little ones who don’t want to wait weeks/months for most other plants/vegetables to appear, as they get quick results with these. This has been a great introduction to Freddie as to how plants grow, and he can now explain that plants “need water and the sun to grow big, Mummy”.
2. Downloading free spring/nature themed printables to colour in. Very popular with both F & S, especially colouring in the woodpecker one (Nanny and Grandad have a noisy woodpecker at their house). Great introduction to animals/plants that tend to appear in the spring. My favourite sites for these free printables are Nature Detectives and Coloring.WS.
3. Bug hunting. Last summer I bought a bug box from a shop that had a magnified, clear top to it, so we could carefully catch bugs, put them in it to examine them closer, before letting them go again. I give Freddie and Sasha a bucket, and we go around the garden looking for unsuspecting creatures. This was a big hit the other week whilst clearing the garden, as moving lots of items that had been untouched all winter made lots of bugs and worms come to life!
4. Making Chocolate Shredded Wheat Nests. These have to be one of the easiest (and tastiest) first ‘cooking’ activities you can do with your toddler, and really take me back to when I was a child and used to make them. Great with it being Easter soon, and learning that birds make nests to lay eggs in. Messy though!
5. Having a go at this Cotton Wool Lambs. easy toddler craft.
6. Go on a spring scavenger hunt, in the park, garden- anywhere where any nature may exist
not the verge on our busy road where all plants die due to car fumes. My little ones love trying to find the plants/animals/bugs/objects on the list, and understand the pictures easily. Next week there will be a post on my blog with a FREE scavenger hunt printable that I’ve made!
7. Invest in a few spring/nature themed books to read. Favourites here include ‘That’s Not My Lamb’, ‘My First Book of Garden Wildlife’ , ‘My First Book of Garden Birds’ and ‘The Ugly Vegetables’. The kids love the ‘Garden Birds’ book, as we currently have blue tits nesting in our bird box, so birds are a huge novelty at the moment. Freddie is a proper twitcher right now, and watches them using the binoculars he got for his birthday!
8. Watering plants with ‘sprayers’. I picked up some mini plant sprayers from the supermarket for a quid, filled them up, and let Freddie and Sasha go mental watering the plants in the garden with them. They’re not powerful enough to damage any plants, and kept them occupied for AGES.
9. Get them involved with your Spring Cleaning. Mine love cleaning the patio doors, wiping ‘food fall out’ off the floor with wipes (weirdos), and dusting and polishing stuff. Bet you can find something off of my Spring Cleaning Checklist to keep them occupied! Start ‘em young, that’s what I say.
10. We also LOVE jumping in puddles, planting sunflower seeds, clearing leaves from the garden, and welly wanging on the grass!
What do you like doing with your little one in the spring?