Spring Into Spring (from I Love Dirt! by Jennifer Ward)

Stimulates relaxation and exploration

It’s springtime! Trees are stretching and yawning. Buds are pecking. Birds are gathering materials and building nests. Seeds are seeking sunshine and sprouting. Awaken a new sense of wonder for your children by discovering the offerings of spring.

Select a spot outdoors where you and your child can stretch and observe. Take a moment to relax and look around. Can you find signs of spring? Flowers? Buds on a tree? Seedlings? Observe the earth around you as it prepares for a season of new growth. How many different signs of spring can you count?

Go on a spring hunt, seeking out new growth in your region. Landscapes tend to transform as if overnight when spring beckons. Search for signs on tree branches, flower stems, and succulents such as cacti. Search for animals that have returned or awakened from a winter slumber, now that spring has sprung.

Spring is soft; new grass, new buds, gentle breezes, gentle sun. Experience the softness of the season. Feel the breeze on your faces. Together, take your shoes off and gently brush the soles of your feet over the new blades of grass. Gently glide the palms of your hands over them too. Let spring’s softness tickle your senses.

Crouch down with your child and practice sprouting like blades of grass. Slowly straighten your legs and grow upward. Extend your arms toward the sky, breathing, relaxing, and taking in spring. Crouch low and pretend that you’re a flower, getting ready to bloom. Then do it–slowly. Get into action and find a smooth, grassy area where you can tumble in somersaults.

Help Me Understand
Q: What makes new plants sprout in the spring?
A: They get more sunlight than they were getting in the winter. In the spring, the days get longer, brighter, and warmer. These things help new plants to grow.

This activity is excerpted from:
I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You & Your Kids
Discover the Wonders of Nature
Jennifer Ward
2008, Trumpeter Books

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