Today I am sharing "When Spring Comes" by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek and published by Harper Collins. Before watching the video, have a look at the song sheet below so that you can sing along with your child/children and if you have a scarf or kerchief you will be set for "popcorn kernels" and a new song "butterflies, butterflies".
I'm so glad that spring is here! I truly love all the seasons, but spring brings so much growth and colour after the dull end of winter, that I welcome this new season a lot. And best of all, it is so much easier to get outside and move around when you don't have to put so many layers on.
This week I am sharing one of my favourite sensory box ideas for you to try at home. It can be a bit messy, but it is perfect for this time of year. This sensory box changes daily and brings spring inside on those rainy spring days when we all need a new activity! On sunny days it can go outside which means less clean up. Because it changes everyday it provides lots of opportunity for learning, discussion and motor skill development.
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Spring Sensory Box:
*Any large waterproof container will work, but an old clear storage bin works the best.
*Old blanket, sheet, shower curtain, just something that can get dirty and will make cleanup easier.
*Gardening Tools: Old spoons, or forks, small gardening tools, popsicle sticks, just something that your child/children can use move the soil around
*Small cars, trucks, animals, anything your child might like to play with in the dirt.
*Seeds, you can use one type of seed or a mixture some suggestions include: flowers, grass, sprouts or vegetables. Flowers and vegetables can be planted outside when the weather is warmer. If you plant just grass seeds, grass is pretty robust your child/children can play with their toys in it, then once it gets long enough they can it trim with scissors.
*Spray bottle with water
Note: As with all sensory bin activities, your child/children should never be left unattended when playing with the sensory bin, there are items that could be dangerous to your child/children if left unattended.
Day 1: Spread the blanket on the floor, and place your container in the middle. With your child/children scoop the soil into the bin. Encourage your child to play with the dirt, let them explore what the dirt feels like. Talk about the soil with them - it's colour, feel, is it wet. Use the gardening tools and talk about them with your child too. When they are done, or you are ready to move on, pick-up the container and put it out of reach, fold up the blanket and shake outside for easy clean up and wash your child(ren)'s hands.
Day 2: Spread the blanket on the floor again and put the container of dirt in the middle, get out some toys that your child can play with in the soil. Encourage your child(ren)'s play, remember to talk with them about what they see and feel.
Day 3: With the bin of soil today, talk about how seeds grow into plants and plants need soil and water and sunlight to grow. Look at your seeds with your child(ren) and talk about their shape, size and colour. Let your child plant the seeds, don't worry how they plant them, with lots of water and sunlight they will grow! When you are finished, place the container in a warm sunny spot out of reach of small hands.
Day 4 and on: Water your plants each day, a spray bottle with a bit of water allows your child(ren) to water the seeds everyday without over watering them. Check your container to see what is happening. If you used a variety of seeds they will likely sprout at different times, look for roots and sprouts. Remember to talk about what you see with your child(ren) and ask them what they see. You can pull the seeds out and see what is happening, they may not grow, but it give your child a chance to see up close what is happening.