By contributing writer Colleen
Spring is here! This has been the longest winter ever, or so it seems to me.
We’re all a little stir crazy, and I’m trying to get my kids outside as often as possible over the next few weeks. While I don’t want to abandon our homeschool routines completely, I want to get them excited about all the discoveries waiting for them outside.
It’s really easy to incorporate a little learning into fun spring activities. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
There is nothing more spring like than flowers sprouting in your home or yard. Pick up some flower seeds – marigolds, cosmos, calendula, or zinnia – whatever you like. Put some soil in old egg cartons and plant the seeds inside. Watch them grow with your kids. Have them draw their daily observations in a journal. Ask them to measure the sprouts each day, and plan where they should be transplanted once they get big enough.
Then, take the whole operation outside and transplant.
Butterflies are my favorite sign of spring, and, despite raising them every year since my 11 year old was two, my kids don’t tire of this springtime tradition. We reuse a butterfly habitat from Insect Lore and order new larvae every year.
This year, we are growing milkweed inside and ordering monarch larvae, and we will be participating in Monarch Watch as citizen scientists. The kids are super excited to tag monarchs themselves.
Stomp in Puddles
There are not many kids that would turn down an invitation to get their boots on and head outside to go puddle stomping. It’s just one of those things all kids naturally want to do when they see a puddle on the sidewalk or in a parking lot.
Stretch it a little: Trace around one puddle with a piece of sidewalk chalk on a sunny day and stomp in the others. While you stomp with your kids, ask them to predict how long it will take for the circled puddle to shrink perceptibly.
Hypothesize and then observe. It’s science in action.
Go on a Bud Walk
Take to the neighborhood or a nature center and work with your children to notice signs of spring. Compare buds from different trees. What is similar about them? What is different? Are there trees that are flowering already? Are there others that haven’t budded yet?
Spring is a great time to shake off the doldrums that may have taken over your homeschool as winter makes its last stand. Take those kids (and yourself!) outdoors. You’ll all be better for it.
What are some of your ideas for taking your homeschool outside this spring?
You might also like these Spring Science Ideas!