Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my lovelies!
I thought this day provided the perfect opportunity to think about celebrating spring. Spring is my favorite time for nature study, because there is So Much to learn. Here on the farm, all kinds of awesome spring things are happening. So I have to get my boys outside to get my teaching on. You should, too.
I mean, use your own kids. Mine are taken.
Spring on the farm
Patches of green are popping up everywhere.
Ways to celebrate spring
There’s an awful lot going on. The best way to celebrate spring is to take your littles outside for a nature walk. Record all the incredible changes in a nature journal. Point out bird species you haven’t seen all winter. Look for animal tracks. Try to figure out which trees will fruit and which will just provide shade.
Set up a weather station. It’s so easy to make a rain gauge. We just tape a ruler to a mason jar with clear tape and check it every time it rains. These are also great for studying evaporation. You can find directions to make an anemometer to measure wind speed here. We made one of these a couple years ago and it worked great! Here are some simple directions for making a weather vane to measure wind direction. You can also make a homemade barometer to measure air presssure. The year we studied weather, we made all these and more, set them up on the patio table, and had a blast tracking the weather every day for a semester. The cool thing about doing this in spring is that the weather is so changeable, you’re sure to have plenty of new statistics for your weather chart.
Grow plants from seed. There is no better way to study how plants work than to be responsible for them. We are lucky to have a greenhouse, but you can start seeds in the house in a sunny window. And seed packs can be found for as little as 10 cents a pack. The lesson can be stretched even further if you grow vegetables, such a tomato plant or cucumber vine. Then your littles can also track how the plant goes from seed to seedling to plant to flower to fruit to yummy snack. There’s even a free pumpkin/jack-o-lantern life cycle worksheet in my subscriber freebies!
Set up a bird watch. The Great Backyard Bird Count is long over, but you can still find a ton of free information there to help you. This is an exciting time in the bird world, because everyone is coming back up north from their winter homes in the south. Around here, we get to hear the lovely call of the sandhill crane as it passes through on its way farther north. But my favorite is the Canada Geese that land on the fishing hole and call to each other all morning. I don’t think there’s a sound in the world quite like that. It makes me wish I could fly. Or at least understand what they’re saying. I love Canada Geese. The herons come back to the pond, too, though they’re much more elusive. It kind of makes them more fun to spot. I can’t even list all the songbirds that are back already. Woodpeckers, chickadees, bluebirds… My yard is bright and filled with song. It’s a perfect time to remind littles about how life changes.
Visit a wetland
Visit a pond or other wetland and keep an eye out for frogs, toads, and turtles. Listen for their sounds. Watch the banks for tracks. Go fishing! You know that’s one of our favorite spring and summer activities. If you’re looking for a great notebooking page to help study spring animals, check out my animal study.
I’m sure I’ve left things out, but you’re getting the idea. Everyone wants to get outside after our “long winter’s nap,” so get your littles out there and let them explore!
Spring Unit Study
Because I love ya, I’ve made up a 10-page Celebrate Spring unit study that is free for my subscribers. It has information on the equinox, birds, insects, flowers, and buds. I hope it helps you enjoy and learn about spring with your littles.
Whatever you do to celebrate this new season, make sure it’s fun.
And don’t forget to dress them in blue today. You know, so you can pinch them!
Want even more spring book fun? Check out: