Spring is one of the most fun times of the year to explore nature with your child. There are just so many fun changes, from baby animals, different birds migrating through, and all of the beautiful rainbows that come from spring showers.
Here are a few fun Montessori-inspired spring activities to try with your little one this year:
Learn about weather
In many parts of the country, spring brings rain clouds in addition to warmer weather. Embrace the rainy days as well as the sunshine by exploring the weather.
1. Cloud gazing
Find some pictures of different types of clouds (or use a book) and then enjoy searching for them in the sky. Take it a step further and use cotton balls to create representations of the different kinds of clouds if your child is interested.
Spring is a wonderful time to talk about rainbows. Spend time searching for rainbows after rainstorms, and consider getting a prism to let your child explore rainbows even on sunny days. Have fun noticing the order of the colors and provide the correct colors of paint or crayons for your child to create a picture of what he sees.
3. Daily weather report
Use these fun letter board ornaments to allow your child to create her own daily weather report. You could also simply create a booklet with some drawing paper and encourage your little one to draw or paint the weather each day and see how it changes over time.
From baby animals to butterflies, spring is a wonderful time for children to learn about animals.
4. Bird watching
Spring migration makes it an exceptional time for bird watching. Try talking to your child about the different types of birds he might see this time of year. Have a bird watching adventure in your backyard or nearby park and see how many types you can spot together. Child-sized binoculars can make this even more fun.
5. Filling bird feeders
Filling bird feeders is something even young toddlers enjoy helping with. For older children, try providing several types of seeds and letting them mix or layer them together in the feeder.
6. Study butterflies
Children are understandably captivated by butterflies and spring is a great time to study them. You can simply read a book, or take it a step further and order a live butterfly kit to let your child see firsthand the transformation from caterpillar to a butterfly.
7. Create a nature table
Define a space such as a small table or even a tray or basket, and allow your child collect interesting things she finds in nature. Include a magnifying glass if you like.
8. Plant a garden
Young toddlers can help water a garden, slightly older children enjoy planting seeds and weeding, and older children can help design a garden and select the plants. Gardening provides an up-close look at how plants grow and is also great for independence and a sense of responsibility.
9. Collect flowers
Encourage your child to find and collect some of the little wildflowers growing everywhere this time of year. It can be especially fun to use a flower press to preserve his finds.
10. Celebrate Earth Day
Plant a tree, clean up a park, or join a community Earth Day event. These all provide a great opportunity to talk to children about their important role in taking care of our planet.
Montessori teachers refer to the practice of real-life activities, like cooking and cleaning, as "practical life." These skills are practiced all year long, but there are some fun and different ways to focus on them in spring.
11. Peel hard-boiled eggs
Spring is a great time to talk about how some animals hatch from eggs. Letting your child peel hard-boiled eggs can be a fun extension of this, and is also a great way to build concentration, as it can take quite a long time and significant effort for a young child to remove all of the little pieces of eggshell.
Show your child how to crack the eggshell and provide a small bowl for her to put the shell in. Bonus: Ground up eggshells are great for the soil in your garden.
12. Hull strawberries
Spring produce provides a great opportunity for little ones to help clean and prepare different fruits and vegetables, including hulling strawberries.
13. Scrub outdoor toys
If you're anything like me, your child's water toys got a bit dusty in the long winter months. Get your child involved in cleaning them up for the warmer weather to come. All she'll need is a scrub brush, a bucket of water, and some soap if you wish. She'll have fun making the toys beautiful again, and you can check something off the to-do list—it's a win-win.
14. Scrub rain boots
In many areas, rain boots get a lot of use this time of year. At school, we sometimes put out a boot scrubbing activity for children to clean their muddy boots and this is something you can easily replicate at home. Set up a little cleaning station, perhaps on the back porch, with everything your child needs to clean his boots.
15. Flower arranging
Flower arranging is an activity enjoyed by children in Montessori classrooms all year long, but it is especially fun in the spring when your little one can help pick flowers in the backyard or visit a local market and see all of spring's beautiful flowers displayed.
Set up the activity so that your child can do it herself. In addition to fresh flowers, she'll need scissors to trim the stems, a few little vases to choose from, a small pitcher for water, and a funnel to pour water into each little vase. Your home will look beautiful, and your child will feel so proud knowing that she contributed.
Perhaps the best way to enjoy spring with your child is to simply get outside, splash in the puddles, and soak up the sunshine, but hopefully, these activities will give you a new way to spend time together and enjoy the season.