Things you can do as a volunteer and how to become one
For years I have thought about trying to volunteer more than I do right now. I do give time every year but I give it in huge waves (like the PTA Silent Auction) and...
Spring is a wonderful time of year to assess your kids’ development and supplement their learning. Young children will especially enjoy learning about the season and experiencing the many different sights and sounds of the changing weather.
During the summer, children have more time to play and pursue personal interests. You can take advantage of the last few weeks before break by being intentional about what your kids are learning. Here are eight ways you can keep your kids learning at home throughout the spring.
Your kids can learn a lot about nature just by spending time outside. Encourage them to pay attention to their surroundings and ask questions about what they see. For instance, a three-year-old might notice an ant home filled with busy insects.
Older children can pay attention to the changing weather and notice when different flowers start to come up. Because children are closer to the ground than adults, they’re in a prime position to notice the changes in nature and start learning about their local environment.
Spring is the best time to plant seeds and learn more about the anatomy and life cycle of plants. If you’re intimidated by growing a garden, don’t worry – you can start with a single plant in your windowsill.
Teach your kids how to take care of it and have them draw the plant at different stages of its life. Younger children can answer simple questions about color, texture and shape. You can combine hands-on gardening with graphics about how plants produce chlorophyll and oxygen.
During the spring season, birds will migrate back to your area and start having babies. Take this opportunity to teach your kids about local bird species and birds in general. You can build a birdhouse together and spend time watching a feeder each day.
Discuss what birds eat, why they migrate and how they build nests. You can even go on nature walks to spot as many bird nests as possible. Have your kids draw and color different types of birds or make them out of clay.
Baking with your kids is basically a chemistry lesson. They have to practice measuring ingredients, following instructions and cleaning up the kitchen when they’re done. You can start cooking with your kids when they’re very little and increase their level or responsibility slowly over time.
Some good spring recipes include strawberry shortcake, berry scones and flower-shaped pancakes. Incorporate spring herbs into meals and try your hand at baking bread. Your kids will love punching it down!
To ensure your child spends time on learning, sign them up for an online spring class. Choose something that focuses on science or a topic your child loves so that it’s a fun experience for them. As part of this class, you can help your child practice time-management and focus skills.
When kids join online classes, they have to create their own classroom. This means they should have a designated space for working and special support from their parents to ensure they stay on task. You should also find ways to apply what your kids are learning in their everyday lives.
To encourage reading this spring, create a special reading space for your kids. Books should be stored at eye level so they’re easy to find. Use blankets and cozy lighting to create a place kids want to come back to. You can find books at the library that talk about spring to stock your kids’ shelves.
You can also invest in spring-themed books that you bring out every year. Younger children will enjoy reading stories about animal characters and science books about the weather and time of year. Older kids can read books that are a bit more technical and keep advancing their reading skills.
You can also add some fun puzzles to your kids’ learning arsenal this spring. For younger kids ages 4-5, choose puzzles with big pieces so they’re easier to put together. Older children can gradually start working puzzles with more and more pieces.
Playing with puzzles improves motor skills and trains kids to be focused on finding a solution to a specific problem. It teaches them about shapes and gives them practice matching items that go together. You can find many spring-themed puzzles that will be fun to work specifically during this season.
Learning at home can be challenging because there are so many distractions. By time blocking your schedule, you can empower your kids to get their work done every day. That way, they can enjoy playtime without having to think about working more later.
Time blocking breaks your day into different sections of time, each devoted to a specific thing you need to do. For example, you could block your kids’ day into sections for getting ready, playtime, family time, school time, evening chores and getting ready for bed.
There are so many ways to engage your kids and help them learn at home this spring. Use these eight tips to get started. Because every child is different, you’ll need to experiment a little to see which ideas work best for your family.
Keep your learning goals in mind as you complete these projects. Examples of learning goals include improving motor skills, developing responsibility and learning more about how plants grow. You can use creative activities to make these spring lessons as fun as possible for your kids.