The Magic of Spring
March 22, 2011 ~
Father winter is finally beginning to loosen his chilly fingers that have been clasped so tightly over the past several months. The smell of fresh-cut grass and fields of green, speckled with flowers and furry little critters scampering about, are distant memories soon to reappear with the onset of spring. Spring is on its way, and with it comes the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the outdoors, shed a few layers of clothing and welcome back long, sunny days. Here are some ways your family can revel in this transition and learn what makes this month so special while having some fun too.
Celebrate the Science of Spring Though the first day of spring doesn’t offer a guarantee of spring-type weather, if you know where to look there are signs that something special is happening. Just look up, and you and your child can start your journey. You can tell by observing the sky that the days have begun to get longer, and around March 20, the Earth enters the vernal equinox, also known as the first day of spring.
Scholastic has a very detailed and engaging section on this topic that the whole family can learn from, with activities and materials to use throughout the year to track the tilt of the Earth’s axis and answer questions like, “Can an egg really be balanced on one end during the equinox?” Learning about this together will not only be educational, but also an eye-opening experience for all.
Explore the Outdoors All winter you have spent time reading indoors by the fire or under the blankets. As buds appear on trees and the sounds of singing birds start to fill the air, take your children on a nature walk outside with a few favorite books. When weather permits, take reading to the hills and enjoy the warm sun and natural light it provides while taking in the new life sprouting up at your feet.
In parts of the country where it may still be too cold for outdoor adventures, try taking a trip to the library and check out Eric Carle’s “The Tiny Seed.” This book, with wonderful colors and illustrations, follows the life of a seed on its long journey to becoming a plant. If you can’t go to nature, bring nature into your home with books, the Wildlife Channel or National Geographic magazines.
Spring is a magical and beautiful time of year, ripe with chances to explore natural wonders – from the tilt of the planet Earth, to the mystery of the tiniest seed. Inspire your child to learn what makes these things possible and why springtime science is so very special.