Afterschool Express: On the Hunt for Spring

Grab your camera  and off we go! 

A new season is starting to sneak up on us... at least down here in the South. 

Teaching our children to become observers is a vital lesson in life.  We're going on a walk around our neighborhood to see if we can spot signs of Spring.  Do you see it yet in your neighborhood? 

Grass is turning green
Bushes are sprouting new leaves
Trees are blooming
Bushes are blooming
Tree are growing tiny leaves
Roses are growing red leaves
Seeds are starting to sprout in the garden.
Bird are making nest in the trees
Baby duckling have even arrived at the Duck Pond. 

Take your child on a nature walk and see what they can discover with their own observation skills.  Find a way to document this change with them over a time period.  Using a kid friendly camera from their view is fun.  We used this Hunt for Spring Checklist to write down what we saw.  Here are some of our favorites from our walks this week afterschool. 

This is what we saw on our walk to my sister in law's house... a Peach Tree

This is what we saw on our walk by the pond...ducklings

This is what we found in the back yard...a Strawberry Blossom 

We transplanted some strawberry plants and by the end of the week they had a blossom!  Time to make our Plant Labels for our Learning Garden.  We even followed Amanda's post about planting Potatoes, my daughter's class planted them too at school.  It will be fun to compare.  

Create a Spring Journal
Later in the week we would come home and write in a Spring Journal what we observed.  Observation is a great skill to use.  When creating your own Plant Journal, have  them illustrate it first , it will be fresh on their mind and in the camera for reference.  Then they can write about what they saw.  Encourage them to include details.  Go out a few days later and observe with them if things have changed. 

More Journal Ideas:
Make a spring collage out of pictures from magazines or real objects
Glue the discoveries you find onto a page and then attach the words. 
Younger children doing this activity can cut out and add spring words to their pictures.
Practice finding the beginning sounds of spring objects they draw.



Not quite ready to see outdoors changing yet? 
Start an indoor garden!  Don't forget Your Plant Journal!

Additional Resources for Spring
Julie from Just Playing Around has a Great Idea for Observing Spring with her children. 
Spring Treasure Box from Little Wonder Days
Sharing Birds with your Child 
First Day of Spring!  Share your Spring Photo on our facebook page
I wonder how spring looks in different parts of the world?



The Educators Spin On It
This week's party is hosted by Mama Smiles

The Afterschool Blog Hop is co-hosted by:




Come Join the Fun and Grab our Button!
Little Wonders' Days

LOOKING FOR MORE ACTIVITIES?
                    
It's Spring!  Let's Get Out into the Garden!  Here's our Kids in the Garden ideas 
Here's our  After School Activities and Adventures  
Tip Junkie handmade projects
We've linked up!  

19 comments:

  1. I love these ideas! It's a little early for spring in Massachusetts, but we'll enjoy seeing the signs of spring as they arrive!

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  2. Great post. No signs of spring yet here... but this will be a fun spring activity!

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  3. Great ideas. We're in Texas, so I think we'll be doing this soon.

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  4. To be truthful I'm a little said spring's already here. I'm so glad Maryanne, Kelli and Litlass that you'll be able to do this once your spring arrives there.

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  5. This is a great list of ideas for spring-watching! It would be great if you'd like to link-up this post with our spring carnival :)
    http://sunnydaytodaymama.blogspot.com/2012/02/all-year-round-blog-carnival-spring.html

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  6. Thanks Sunny Mama, was just getting ready to do that!

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  7. Hey there, just stopping by as a new follower from the Blog Hop. I wish you much success with your Blog, come visit me sometime too :) Crystal www.dearblondie.blogspot.com

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  8. We don't have spring yet in Colorado, but I love your activities ... they make me hopeful! I pinned your post to my new Kids' Spring Activities Pinterest board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/kids-spring-activities/. Thanks for hosting Afterschool Party! :)

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    1. Thanks Deb for pinning to your Spring Board. My parents are right there with you in CO, love it there. Before you know it the bulbs will be popping up and leaves popping on branches.

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  9. I love this idea - we're starting to see the signs of spring here in the south of the UK - I'm wondering how to adapt the idea for a 2 and a half year old - lots of sticking and collages as well as flower pressing I think is going to happen.

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    1. I love your ideas Rainy Day Mum, anything hands on for Tots is perfect for their age! Let me know if you need me to adapt the journal or checklist for your little one.

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  10. I love taking my children on a nature walks and I love how you've extended that here. Very cool.

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  11. Thanks so much for adding this to our Spring Carnival. :) I've featured it here: http://sunnydaytodaymama.blogspot.com/2012/03/all-year-round-week-two-7-ways-to-get.html

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    1. Thank you so much for featuring our post Sunnymama! We love the Spring Carnival and all the great resources and ideas it provides!

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  12. Thanks for linking up on my "It's a Spring Thing" linky party! I love your ideas and photographs!

    Mary
    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

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  13. I love your senses sheet, I saw it being used at http://rubsomedirtblog.com/ and had to come over here so I could find the original to pin. I am going to be using it a lot with my son and didn't want to lose it.

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  14. We blogged about our own Spring Hunt too ( http://littleboybluetoddleschool.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/spring-hunt.html ) and think your printable would go along nicely with our continued observations.

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  15. Love these ideas, but love the idea of spring even more!

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  16. This makes me miss having little kids! Nine isn't that little, is it? This looks like a lot of fun.

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