Spring is upon us, and our senses will be barraged with the sights and sounds of the changing season. What a great time to explore the emergence of spring through our 5 senses! Consider ways to welcome spring with these opportunities you can offer children utilizing their senses.
As spring arrives, there will be many visual elements for the children to explore on the playground. The leaves will be budding on the trees, flowers will be emerging, and robins will be pulling worms out of the ground. Ask the children to use their eyes to answer the following questions:
- What do you see?
- How does our playground look different now that the snow is gone?
- What type of flower do you think is bursting from the ground?
- Describe what the end of the tree branches look like, what do you think is happening?
There is always an element of excitement in the sounds of spring. The birds are chirping a lovely song, people are emerging from the winter hibernation and the sounds of children playing are prevalent throughout the community. Have the children listen to the sounds of spring. What do they hear?
- I hear a chirping bird, what do you think it is saying?
- Do you make any sounds as you walk on the grass? What about walking on the sidewalk, does the sound change?
Taste is sometimes a hard sense to explore with the children outside. We want to a make sure that whatever the children try to taste is safe to eat. However, there are some ways to use the sense of taste to experience spring. Spring tends to bring on new foods that were hard to find in the winter. You see more fruits and vegetable like asparagus, peas and berries. Consider bringing in some of these spring foods for a taste test. If it is a nice spring day, have your taste test outside. What does spring taste like?
- What do you think asparagus will taste like?
- Have you ever eaten peas out of a pod?
- Describe what the strawberry tastes like to you.
One of my favorite sensations during spring is the feeling of the warm sun on my face, the perfect sensation after a long winter. Spring affords many opportunities for tactile discovery, feeling the pussy willows on a tree branch, having blades of grass tickle your toes, or squeezing dirt and mud between your fingers. As the children explore through touch, offer some questions for them to ponder:
- Is the tree bark smooth or rough?
- What does the dirt feel like when you squeeze your hands together?
- What does sunshine feel like?
Ah the smells of spring! The smell of fresh cut grass, dirt, flowers and a spring rain storm. We often are stuck inside during the winter, so spring brings the smell of clean air and the anticipation of nice days. How does spring smell to your class?
- What does the tulip smell like?
- Do leaves have a smell?
- How do leaves smell different from tulips?
- What else do you smell?
Continue learning in the preschool outdoor classroom
Examine a spring petal, blade of grass, or leaf under the magnifying glass of The Adventurous Child Nature and Science Learning Center. Use the 90-degree mirror to study the object from different perspectives. Plant seeds in the gardens and observe, discuss, and document the life cycle of the plant.
Nature and Science Learning Center
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