Spring is just around the corner! The following ideas highlight a developmental domain while encouraging children to explore spring activities.

1. Grass Heads – In honor of Earth Day – April 2
Developmental Domain: Cognitive Development – Scientific Thinking and Problem Solving

Children use senses to explore materials and the environment; they express wonder about the natural world; and they make predictions about objects and natural events.

Materials:

  • Old pair of nylons
  • Grass seed
  • Soil
  • Small plastic containers (,jar or cleaned cat food tins
  • Elastic bands
  • Google eyes (the ones you sew on
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Spray bottle
  • Safety scissors

Directions:
1. Cut nylon at the knee
2. Scoop in 1 tbsp. grass seed
3. Scoop in preferred amount of soil / compacted (size of a softball).
Work the soil down to foot of nylon into shape of a head
4. Tie the open end of the nylon tight (snip excess nylon and leave about 3 inches dangling)
5. Have the children pinch the soil through the nylon to make it easy to tie an elastic around for ears and nose
6. Sew on google eyes.
7. Make glasses out of pipe cleaners
8. Place grass head on top of small container (have excess 3 inch nylon dangling into the container
9. Pour in 1/2 inch of water in bottom of the container every couple of days
10. Spray water gently over grass seeds on top 2 times each day
WATCH THE GRASS GROW and watch the children enjoy creating there own hairdo’s.

2. Hand-y Chicks
Physical and Motor Development – Fine Motor Development
Children develop small muscle control; use eye-hand coordination to perform tasks; and explore with a variety of tools (scissors, crayons).

Materials:

  • Yellow and orange construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons or markers

Directions:
1. On yellow paper, pre draw an oval shape and leave room on the paper for the child’s hands to be traced
2. On the orange paper, pre draw legs with web feet attached, and a triangle beak
3. Have the children trace their two hands on the yellow paper
4. Cut out hands, pre drawn feet, beak, and oval
5. Glue the hands on the sides of oval for the feathers
6. Glue the feet at the bottom and the beak towards the top
7. Use crayons or markers for the face and to color as each child would like

Hint: For some of the children that have trouble cutting their hands out around the fingers, you could have them close their fingers when tracing. This makes it easier for young children to be successful when cutting.

3. Shiny Spring Flowers
Developmental Domain: Creativity and the Arts
Children use a variety of art materials for exploration and creative expression.

Materials:

  • Heavy white paper
  • Precut if desired into large flower shapes
  • Corn syrup
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint shirts
  • Tempera paint in spring colors

Description:
1. Draw a large flower shape onto heavy white paper
2. Cut out flower
3. At the table help the kids mix tempera paint with corn syrup
4. Use the paint mixture to paint the paper
5. When it dries it is a beautiful shiny flower

4. Veggie Pita Pizzas
Developmental Domain: Language and Literacy
Children listen to a story and talk about the content; they follow directions to complete a task.

Read one of these stories:
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
More than Just a Vegetable Garden by Dwight Kuhn
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
In the summer, you may also want to visit a ’Farmer’s Garden’ or gather from you own garden.

Materials

  • Half of a mini pita per serving
  • Pizza cheese
  • Chopped raw vegetables (carrots, peppers, peas or broccoli etc)
  • One small jar of pizza or spaghetti sauce
  • Bowls
  • Spoons
  • Paper plates
  • Cookie sheet.

Directions
1. Carefully separate each pita into 2 circular halves, and lay on a paper plate
2. Assemble pizzas by spooning on sauce, adding veggies and topping with cheese
3. Place pitas on cookie sheet
4. Bake at 450 for about 5 minutes
5. Let cool a bit and enjoy!

5. Hunt for Spring
Developmental Domain: Approaches to Learning
Children show eagerness and a sense of wonder as a learner; and in discovering new things.

Find the first signs of Spring:
• A robin
• A flower blossom – dandelion or crocus
• Bugs and butterflies
• Tree buds
• Children playing outside without jackets

Make a list and use it for a treasure or scavenger hunt.