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5 ways to teach kids about nature this spring

Little girl gardeningI am so excited about spring — I can’t wait to get out there in the sun, soak up some Vitamin D and enjoy the brighter side of Mother Nature.

Spring is all about the birds and the bees. It’s such an awesome time for learning about babies, animals and the beauty of creation. Life cycles are visible everywhere in spring. There are life cycles of plants, butterflies, birds, flowers and insects to name a few. Get out among them! I know we will be.

I’ve come up with my favourite 5 learning activities you can do with your children this spring.

Not only will they teach your little ones about seasons but they’ll be engaging in reading, art, science and craft to name a few!

5 ways to teach kids about nature this spring

Caterpillars and butterflies

They are so easy and fun to make. Try reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar and having a go at making the butterfly on the last page. It’s tremendous, messy fun!

To make a butterfly, simply cut a butterfly shape out, paint one side and towards the middle then fold in half and voila! A beautiful butterfly. To make a caterpillar just paint some egg cartons. Use whatever crafts you have on hand to decorate.

Learn about baby animals

Spring is a great time for your little kidlets to learn the names for baby animals. Go out and visit a family friendly animal farm and do some naming.

If you’re at home try making a set of cards with animal names on one set and their corresponding baby names on the other and play memory or snap with the cards you create.

Go on a backyard hunt

Go into your backyard or to your local park and get hunting for some caterpillars and butterflies. You’ll be amazed how entertained kids can be when given a magnifying glass and told to go searching on leaves. Draw them a short checklist to tick off.

Hatch away

If you’ve got room in your backyard, try getting your hands on some fertile chicken eggs and buying a cheap incubator. Your kids will LOVE watching the little chicks hatch and better yet, you can reap the rewards later with some free-range eggs!

Check your council laws first though — make sure you know how many chickens you’re allowed to keep and if roosters are permitted (in case a boy chick hatches!).

Get planting

The sun is upon us so get planting! Try a little experiment. Teach your kids the word ‘photosynthesis’ Kids LOVE learning big words like that and they can learn the basics of what it means too!

Mung beans are great for planting as they sprout quickly. You can plant them in plastic cups with soil or just moist cotton wool. Try popping one in your garage or a dark cupboard and one in the direct sunlight. Wait a week and ‘bingo!’ A simple definition of photosynthesis is born – “Plants need the sun to make food”.

Apart from the last one, these activities can be done from baby through to primary-school aged child. Sure, you might be doing most of the work on some of them but who would’ve thought, mushing paint together and checking out baby animals could be so much fun!

Nature activities for children in spring

About Angela East

Angela is a writer, a former primary school teacher and a mum of two.

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