After a crazy long winter, we’ve been having fun talking about Spring! Although the sky is the limit as evidence of Pinterest, it doesn’t take hundreds of dollars, multiple trips to the store, or hours of your time to have fun with your kids and teach them a few things. Here's what we've been up to this week: Learning Flowers - Spielgaben is a limitless play-based learning tool that we absolutely love. My kids have a lot of fun using the nature inspiration cards to build animals or plants. Here my oldest chose a sunflower because sunflowers “grow as tall as me”. He chooses his own pieces from what he sees on the example and re-creates what he sees on the card. Of course, you don’t have to have Spielgaben to learn about flowers – visit a nursery or plant your own.
Planting “Cwops” - My kids get crazy excited to plant crops, despite our varying levels of success in the actual outcome. They love mixing the dirt, putting in the seed, and watching things grow. It’s a good opportunity to talk about what plants need to grow, why we need plants, and where our food comes from. It’s so easy to do this, even if you just plant a few things, it’s totally worth it. If my kids are missing, I know they’re staring at their planted seeds, waiting for them to grow.
Making Easter Decorations – If you have paper, markers, and cotton balls you can do this! My boys diligently worked on covering the whole bunny with cotton and we even snuck in a little handwriting/spelling lesson when my oldest wanted to write “Happy Easter” (no boring handwriting book or blah-zay spelling test needed). Adding two marshmallow teeth was their favorite. Afterwards, playing cotton ball rain with an umbrella resulted in unstoppable laughter. Then they decided to decorate themselves with the cotton balls like the bunny they created. I love to just let my kids be kids, where their imagination knows no limits, and their joy is contagious.
Doing Crafts – Salt Painting is a fun way to mix it up - all you need is paper, markers, glue, paint, and salt. Here we've just made our designs. We'll paint the salt tomorrow with water colors (or watered down paint, whatever you have on hand). I helped my three year old with his drawings. My five year old had a lot of fun coming up with his own design. Both boys had no problem squeezing out the glue along the drawn lines. Sprinkling salt = messy = insta-hit.
Dyeing Eggs – Not the au-natural way! I tried for years with beets, carrots, and turmeric to dye eggs. It's not fun at all. Making the dyes takes to long, dyeing the eggs barely works, and honestly, you’re not going to be eating the shells anyway. Who cares if they’re not dyed with natural dyes! Spend that time making a healthy Easter dinner instead.
Making Cute Food - I'm not talking designer Bento boxes with hometown replicas made of exotic fruit. No time for that around here. Turn a healthy pancake into a bunny face and it will delight your kids to no end.