Remember! If you begin feeding the birds at this time of year, you need to keep feeding them at least until there is plenty of natural food around. We feed them all year round, so the little birds can count on being able to eat here.
Spring Tray Play.
Each season I lay out a different tray. In spring we use fake grass. Mini Easter eggs. Felt flowers and butterflies and mini animals like bunnies, chicks sheep to play around with.
The kids can match up mummy to baby, sort the animals into groups etc.
I even found some mini carrots to use as food for the spring bunnies the kids love it. They play for hours experimenting with this tray and learning all about spring.
There is so many things you can grow from seed in Spring. The soil is warming up, the days are longer and it’s a joy to grow a beautiful flower from a tiny seed. Try fruit, flowers or even vegetables. Here’s a guide to growing fruit with kids.
We grow most of our seeds in loo roll tubes. They can be planted in the ground along with your seedlings to avoid root disturbance and they also help to keep the water available to the roots. We sow sweet peas in these pots as well as courgettes.
Here is a list of the 12 easiest plants for kids to grow to help give you some ideas.
Make Flower Faces With Spring Flowers.
We love doing this with dandelion flowers and daisies but you could use any Spring flowers. BUT but before you go digging up the flower bed please ASK A PARENT. We have also written messages in the park like “have a nice day” hopefully to cheer people up, as well as making faces like this one above. It’s a fantastic way for kids to express themselves outdoors.
If you need to keep track of your Spring time Activities why not download my FREE Weekly Planner? It’ll keep you super organized so the kids don’t have a chance to get bored!!
Collect Wild Garlic
Collect the leaves and flowers of this Spring plant to eat raw in salads or cook it down like spinach and make pesto. This is perfect for pasta dishes and it can be frozen in ice cube trays to use later in all sorts of meals. It has a subtle garlic flavour that is wonderful.
Plant A Fruit Tree.
Garden centres and supermarkets are full of fruit options at the moment. Pick something you love to eat and pot it in a pot. Patio trees are small and compact and perfect for a pot. We picked up some extra strawberry plants and spent some time planting them up in this huge plastic pipe.
In spring there is a food gap. The crops from last year and over wintering varieties are coming to an end and there isn’t much growing. It’s fascinating to see what the farmers market has to offer. Make a point of buying something unusal and try to cook something with it. It could be a vegetable soup, lasagna, or some veggie crisps. Experiement!
Celebrate Earth Day.
Reduce reuse and recycle!! We love to recycle rubbish and reuse it for some of our crafts. Paper tubes are fantastic for sowing seeds in, making into telescopes or a ton of other stuff. For crafting, we also use cereal boxes and we can even reuse milk jugs as watering cans. Use your imagination and try to reuse 10 items this week. It’s easy if you try. This craft from iheartcraftythings.com is easy but a good lesson on recycling
Search for Tadpoles.
Pond dipping and tadpole finding is best done in later spring. Its amazing to see what is out there. Remember to take a guide boom with you so you can identify your catch. Always put the animals back where you found them.
To help the kids learn how frogs grow. We collected some frog spawn and water and took it home. We place it in a tank of pond water at home with a few large stones in it. Here, we could watch the tad poles slowly change over the space of a few weeks into tiny little frogs.
Once they were fully grown, we took them back to the pond they were collected from and released them. It was such an amazing experience for the kids. We kept a chart in our nature journals of the experience and the drawings the kids did along the way. To make your own nature journal check out this post or download the sheets here.
Grow a cress caterpiller
Easy peasy and a firm favourite every year.
Collect some emptg yogurt pots and decorate with eyes and mouth etc. Fill with a little soil or cotton wool balls. Soak the filling till it’s damp then sprinkle with cress seeds. Keep in a warm place for a couple of days then you can sit back and watch them grow. Once the seedlings grow large enough, you can have fun chopping the hair off and eat it in a salad orsandwich. Or you can use loom bands as hair baubles and give your caterpillar some funky hair-dos.
Spot some Blossom
In spring fruit trees like cherries, apples, pears and sloe berries send out a stunning show of colour in the flow of tiny flowers all over them called blossom. Each year as we walk we try to find new blossom trees. We use our nature journals to record their location and later in the year we go back and see if they have any fruit. It’s tricky to tell which blossom tree will grow what fruit untill the fruit grows. But last year we found 3 amazing plum trees. We have walked past these trees for years and didnt notice them. Obviously we didn’t walk there at the right time when the trees were laden with fruit. Only pick from trees on public land, not from people gardens and preferably not near a road.
Loom band making
At this time of year, the weather can be unpredictable so I save the loom bands for when we have to change plans. Last year we made these lovely St Patrick’s Day loom band key rings and necklaces.
Feed the ducks.
The kids love feeding the ducks. We venture out in the Spring armed with some cooked rice, left over peas and sweetcorn and feed the ducks. Please don’t give bread as this can be dangerous for birds.
St Patrick’s Day Celebrations.
We will be having a colour treasure hunt. I hide coloured shamrocks all over the house and garden and the kids have to find one of each colour to make a rainbow. Each colour has a word on it and when you lay the colours out in the correct order the spell out where the pot of cold can be found ( gold chocolate coins of course. Here is how we remember the correct order with this little rhyme
Easter is a wonderful time for Treasure hunting, Each year we get lots of plastic easter eggs and fill them with mini chocolate eggs and other treats and we have a massive hunt in the woods or the garden.
Everyone loves it! We also try to make an easter egg pinata each year for a few extra goodies.
We craft a lot over Easter too. This is the cute little pom pom bunnies we made last year!
For Easter we always try to bake something tasty too, We made these yummy rice crispy cakes with mini chocolate eggs for snacks over Easter.
A bug hotel can be made almost anywhere and out of most natural things. The main point is that is it somewhere dry and warm the bugs can go to get shelter from predators.
Build A Den
Lastly, we will be building a new den. Each year we have built a giant wig-wam in the trees that we use as a base when we go for walks, picnics and tree climbing. It is a fantastic learning activity for the kids and they start to see it as theirs. They will plan decorations the can make for it and ways to make it feel more like home. They ask to go there on a daily basis so they can look after it. Wonderful.
There are so many ways to make a den, We start by finding a large sturdy branch and lean that in the knot of a tree. Then we lay other branches against it to make a Tee-Pee big enough for us all to sit in. You could take a hammer, saw and nails with you and build a more permanent structure but we feel privileged to be part of the woods and happy to let out creations return to nature each year. It’s exciting to rebuild each year and try new ideas.
So that’s our list to start with. Spring will see us spending a lot of time outdoors. I can’t wait to get out in the fresh air and have fun. What will you be getting up to with your kids?