The sun is finally peeking out from behind the rain clouds here in Oregon, and that means that Spring is slowly making it’s way here. Not only is Spring a time for rejuvenation, finally spending some more time outside, longer days, and enjoying the blossoms everywhere, it is a wonderful time to get your home and your family prepared for all of the warm weather to come.
If you spend a little bit of time now in early Spring thinking and planning ahead, you will breeze easily into late Spring, Summer, and even early Fall with wonderful learning spaces, a beautiful plan for outdoor exploration, and tons of fun to be had by all!
Here are five ways to use your Spring to prep for awesome outdoor time for the months ahead:
1. Explore how the world is changing.
Spring brings some of the most dramatic changes to the natural landscape than any other season. Things suddenly bloom to life, the smell in the air changes, animals emerge from hiding, the sun stays out longer, etc. Suddenly everything is fresh and new!
The absolute best way for your child to see these changes is to get out there and LOOK! Explore in a big way – how are the trees starting to look different? And explore in small, micro ways – are there more birds and butterflies outside? Where are they going and what are they doing?
Get your copy of this amazing new Springtime Nature Scavenger Hunt to make this exploration super fun and engaging!
2. Plan your outdoor learning space.
When everything is packed away from winter and the yard is still looking rather bland and boring, it’s hard to envision what everything is going to be like in a few weeks when the kids are outside all of the time. Use this “in-between” time to plan everything you want to bring into your outdoor learning space this year!
Need to revamp your rock pit or mud kitchen? Want to add a music wall? Time to build that fort you promised your kid last season? Is it time to replace some outdoor toys and materials? Want to add some lighting to your outdoor space so playtime can last beyond sunset? Make the warm weather really come to life by planning ahead and filling your mind with inspiration!
Browse our Natural Outdoor Learning Spaces board on Pinterest, check out this blog post for the three things you must have in your outdoor space, and peruse Instagram hashtags like #outdoorplayspace for awesome inspiration!
3. Get your hands dirty.
Nothing says Spring like gardening and planting, so get out there with your kids and get your hands in the dirt! If you garden every year already, invite your children to participate more in the planning process. Be open to trying something new or growing things in a different location.
If you’ve never gardened before, it’s a great time to start! Visit your local nursery together and grab some starts. Plant in pots, build a raised bed, grow some herbs in the windowsill… there are ways to get everyone involved in growing food. When children have a hand in growing their own food, they are more likely to try new things and develop healthy eating habits that last the rest of their lives!
If you want to explore gardening with some fun, hands-on, child-led activities, check out the Garden Theme from my A Child’s World Pre-K/K Curriculum!
4. Prep your indoor learning space.
When the outside changes, the inside should change along with it! Take a look at your learning space to determine what changes you can make to encourage different types of exploration and play now that your children will be spending more of their time outdoors than inside. One example: during the warmer months, we move most of our art supplies outdoors to encourage different levels of creativity and exploration (and bonus: the mess stays outside!). Maybe it’s time for some Spring cleaning? This is a great time to declutter, move things around, and prepare for a new season of learning!
Need some help? Check out this blog post about setting up your learning space and keep your eyes peeled on our FB page for an upcoming Nature Hack Challenge, which will help you bring more natural learning experiences into your home.
5. Refresh or rotate your book collection.
Still have Christmas books on the shelf? The start of a new season is a perfect time to refresh the books that you have available for your littles. Sort through and pull out all of the books that have to do with flowers, gardens, animals, bees, butterflies, springtime, colors, sunshine, etc. and display those around your home. Place them on activity shelves, change out your reading nook books, display them on a coffee table or next to their bed to encourage your child to reach out and grab a book anywhere, anytime! Choose a few to read aloud together as you eat dinner, at bedtime, or outside. Use a book with beautiful photos to inspire some art creations. Incorporating meaningful, quality literature throughout your home is the best way to encourage natural reading development!
How will you be spending your Springtime preparing for the months of beautiful, warm weather ahead?
Don’t forget to grab your free Spring Nature Scavenger Hunt printables by clicking the image!