The long dark nights of winter seemed to have lasted a lifetime, but with bright, sunny days becoming more and more frequent, Spring is well and truly just around the corner. The better weather brings a whole host of new and exciting activities that can be done on weekends and after school both inside and outside to celebrate the season. Here at St Peter’s, we know how difficult it can be to keep activities varied and children entertained, so we’ve made a list featuring just some of our favourite spring-inspired activities for you to try over the next few weeks and months.
Make a Homemade Bird Feeder
Gather bird seed, a flat baking tray, a big pine cone, smooth peanut butter and a blunt table knife, find a surface that is allowed to get a little bit messy and you’re ready to make your own bird feeder! Pour the feed onto the baking tray and move into the centre of the table to avoid any spillages and cover every nook and cranny of the pine cone in peanut butter. Roll the now covered pine cone in the bird seed until it is covered, tie a piece of string to the top of the pine cone and hang it to a tree or branch in your garden. The local birds may take a while to find the food, but once they do, keep a bird book handy so you can spot, identify and tick off any that you see. Younger children can learn species by giving them other names such as Rodney the Robin and keep an eye out for squirrels!
Go for a Wildflower Woodland Walk
Spring is one of the best times to explore the great outdoors and appreciate the various flora and fauna that is blooming all over the countryside. Here at St Peter’s Prep, we’re lucky enough to be located amidst some of the most beautiful countryside and there’s no shortage of colour during this time of the year. On a windy day, find a blossom tree and younger children can shower in the falling petals.
Plant a Veggie Garden
Planting their own vegetable garden teaches children to be resourceful and demonstrates how you can look after plants to watch them grow and eventually eat the produce! Take a planter, the desired seeds – we recommend lettuce and sugar snap peas – soil, trowels and a watering can and find a spot that gets the most sunlight during the day. This provides a great opportunity to talk about science, photosynthesis and how plants need sunlight to grow. Fill the planter with soil and bury the seeds gently leaving a good distance between each one. Tend to the garden daily for the next few weeks, watering and watching as the sprouts grow and help your child to identify the various parts of the plant.
Explore the Underwater World of Pond Dipping
Spring is a great time for wildlife, but none more so than those that dwell in ponds and water sources. Frogs leave spawn in their hundreds in any pond or puddle they can find and these will soon turn into tadpoles and tiny little frogs that are fantastic for children of all ages to observe. Take a plastic container, a net and a magnifying glass and draw a figure of eight in the water with your net before gently unloading your findings in the container, which is half full of water. Examine your findings and identify as much as you can – if anything remains unidentified take a picture of it to research when you get home. Make sure all creatures are returned to their natural habitat gently before you go!
Spring Cleaning Solutions
Spring cleaning might not be the first activity that comes to the minds of children when they think about fun things to do, but believe it or not, making the cleaning solutions is a great endeavour for budding scientists! Make your own cleaning solution using one part distilled white vinegar and four parts water. Compare it with a shop bought solution, using the instructions on the bottle. Keep the concoctions separate and clean different parts of the floor, comparing and recording results of each, perhaps on a score-based table. Repeat this for surfaces, bathrooms and anything else you might need cleaning, before asking your child to let you know which they think is the most effective. This is a lot more fun than it sounds and children will enjoy the feeling of helping you out whilst also providing an insight to which you should use in the future. Check out our recent blog post, How to Encourage Your Child’s Hobbies, for more information on how to support interests such as science.
Tree Climbing Adventures
In the age of screens and social media, sometimes the better weather provides the perfect opportunity to set down the tablets, mobiles and gaming consoles and have fun in the environment around you. Encourage the adventurous instincts of your child by allowing them to climb trees, as long as an adult is there, ensuring they are aware of the potential dangers and inviting them to use common sense to decide which trees they can and can’t climb. Heading to a public woodland provides a plethora of trees for them to climb, while children who prefer to keep both feet firmly on the ground can try their hand at den-making.
That concludes our suggestions of fun spring activities for you and your family to try out over the next few weeks. With the Easter holidays fast-approaching, keeping young minds engaged has never been more important and you can make the most of this time off by embarking on activities all together. Do you have any other suggestions? Share them with us and other parents of children at our independent pre-school in Devon.