Despite the rain we have had all the signs that Spring is here. The buds are popping up, birds are chirping, lambs race around the fields. Now it’s time for us to get outside and explore a different aspect of nature. There are so many experiences for new language, life cycles to explore and ways to make learning fun.
The activities you’ll see are from Twinkl. As much as I’d love to claim them as my own ideas, I don’t have time or energy to make these all myself. Everything is ready made and available a touch of a button so it’s really handy.
We have done this checklist for every season so far. Now it’s time for the Spring Checklist. We waited for a sunny day…well a dry day at least and headed to a local park with our checklist and pen. We went for a walk around the woods and J would tick off when he found something (we didn’t see everything in that visit but we looked at photos of our visit to the farm to see if we found anything there…so that was lambs and bird ticked off we just have two more items to see). This activity is great for learning new language. Some of the names of items he already knew but there was a few new ones. It’s important to expose children to new words so even if they don’t use them, it gives them an understanding of language.
It’s also great for early years science (‘understanding the world’) as you can learn about nature, feel the textures of the buds, hear the birds and smell the flowers. It’s a great opportunity to talk about growth and changes in nature. This is the beginning of biology. Lastly it helps with pre-writing skills. Even if it is simply a mark in the box it is still practising holding a pen and learning that marks can have a meaning.
Bigger and Smaller
For this activity we explored maths. In the Early Years Foundation Stage this is part of ‘shape, space and measure’. We used the spring theme and downloaded the different size animals. We started with just 3 different sizes ‘small(est), big(ger)/middle and big(gest)’. If your child is older or has good size comparison skills then you can use all 6 different sizes (which J did insist to do towards the end, he did really well). This is a great opportunity to expand language. Big and small/little are the two basics of size language but there is a lot more vocabulary to add. First there’s the word endings such as ‘bigGER’ or ‘bigGEST’ but also a chance to use other size comparison words such as tiny, ginormous and large.
There’s different ways to use these resources. You can create collages where your stick the pictures in order, make Spring crowns or add paperclips and go ‘fishing’ for the right size in the sequence.
Those who read our blog regularly will know that J uses PECs to help with his social communication. PECS is a system where you use pictures/symbols to communicate. I downloaded the spring pictures to use in J’s PECS book so we can make ‘I want’, ‘I see’ and ‘I feel’ sentences. The photos are clear so perfect for us to use.
These can be used to talk about what we see when we’re out and about. Last year we took animal photos to the farm so J could tell me what animals he saw and which were his favourite. This year I am taking them alongside his sentence strip so we can create sentences.
The photos can also be used for displays, create story books (older children can write underneath the photos about the animals, or practise writing the animals names) etc. There’s a lot of possibilities with open ended resources like this.
There are some great power points of different life cycles on Twinkl. I showed J and he choose The Sunflower. I think this is because we recently planted some in the garden and we were happy to see they have now sprouted. The power point is simple but very clear. It gives opportunity to talk and J could ask questions. He asks ‘what’s that?’ and ‘where?’ so we talked about our own sunflowers and where we planted them.
You can print the slides out and create your own book, or use to go alongside growing your own sunflowers. We used the power points to talk in future and past tense. I asked what J thought would happen next, what was happening/changing. Similar to the checklist activity this is a great biology activity. Even in early years our children can be scientists.
There are a lot of fantastic craft opportunities this time of year. I have created a Pinterest board full of different Spring examples. Twinkl also has a great Spring Craft activity pack which I hope to explore over the next couple of months. J isn’t a big fan of crafts but I’m hoping to find something to entice him to have a try.
As I write this I can hear the rain. Hopefully we’ll get some more sunny days as we have some great farm trips, more beach days and fun in the garden to be had. If you have any great activities that you’ve enjoyed I’d love to hear them.
Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Twinkl and have been for many years. I do not receive money for any of my blogs which include Twinkl links. I am a Twinkl Blogger and as such I receive my membership for free in return for my posts. However, all opinions and views are my own.