Gather Around Inspirations: Spring Learning Activities

I need to get outside ya’ll!¬†

Spring is in full swing here, and I love it so much I could just cry with joy! To be fair, I love every season. But when winter turns that corner into spring, I feel consumed with excitement. It is like the whole earth is waking up and unfurling before our eyes after its long winter slumber. The birds are singing all day long, the grass, trees, shrubs, and bushes are all the richest of bright greens, the weather is that perfect 75 degrees with a light breeze, the rain makes everything bloom, the lilacs fragrantly waft around the neighborhood, gardens are being tilled, and the spring storms rumble and shake in the evenings!

I know that spring quickly evaporates into hot summer days, so I am trying to soak this weather in and get Rebekah out in it as much as possible. I am also trying to talk to her about the flowers we see, the seeds we are planting, and the budding trees. Even though she is young, I am trying to teach her to give credit to God as the artist that created this beautiful earth. In addition to getting outdoors, I am trying to teach her about the seasons and what happens during spring. I know she is probably too young for most of this, but it helps me to organize our ever-evolving book collection.

If you are looking to expand your children’s book library, check with your local library to see when they have their big book sales. I walked away with two boxes packed with children’s books for less than $20. ūüôā Of course, if you are just looking for a particular book, I love using Amazon, because their prices are almost better than most bookstores, and if you have Amazon Prime, you get your purchase¬†in 2 days with free shipping! So, I kind of have a book addiction. But guess who found two awesome (quality wood) bookshelves at a garage for a total of $5?!¬†This girl!¬†I don’t know if it completely solves our bookshelf problem, but it will help!

But, on to my main topic today: spring children’s books and accompanying activities! When I was organizing my books and pulling out some seasonal ones to read with Rebekah, these seven really impressed me. (Affiliate Links)

  1. Tap the Magic Tree¬†by¬†Christie Matheson:¬†This book is a ton of fun for younger kids. Rebekah even enjoyed it at six months. The artwork is simple, but engaging. The text to art¬†ratio is great for young kids that don’t like to sit still . . . ¬†Plus, reading the book can be a fun activity in itself if you let kids tap the pages, or give your child an egg shaker¬†(Rebekah loves egg shakers).
  2. Sky Tree: Seeing Science Through Art by Thomas Locker: I have shared about this book in the past because I adore it! Its purpose is to help teach children to see science through the lens of art, which I think is a really unique and needed perspective. This book focuses on all four seasons through beautiful artwork, poetic descriptions, and thought-provoking questions. I think a great accompanying activity to this book would be to have your child either sketch or paint a tree (maybe one in your backyard). If possible, let them do it on a canvas board or nice sketch paper so you can display it. 
  3. DSCN3855DSCN3859¬†3. How Does a Flower Grow? The Story of a Little Seed:¬†This darling little book has been so much fun to read with Rebekah because 1) It is a board book, which she loves 2) the pictures are so colorful 3) it is very educational 4) it is perfect for reading before you plant flower seeds, your garden, or even just talk about the seeds on those pesky, fluffy dandelions! This book was a gift, and I have not been able to find it anywhere. Some similar books include Eric Carle’s¬†The Tiny Seed ¬†that even comes with a piece of seed-embedded paper to plant and one with beautiful illustrations is¬†From Seed to Plant¬†by Gail Gibbons. Of course, the perfect activity for this book is to plant flower seeds. Rebekah and I (ahem, mostly me while she played in the dirt) planted some marigold seeds and cherry tomato seeds last week. Since we are hopefully moving in June, I am aiming for plants that can grow well in containers!DSCN38624.¬†One Tree:¬†This was a cute little book that is made out of recycled paper. The pictures are pretty¬†and the it covers the seasons from the perspective of a tree and the animals that come and eat its seeds and¬†leaves. Plus, there is extra information about trees and preservation. If you have the capability to plant a tree, that would be the perfect activity to go along with this book. But another fun option to teach about recycling would be to make recycled paper. This tutorial for making plantable recycled paper requires a few cheap supplies, but it looks like a ton of fun! Also, check out all these ways to repurpose toilet paper rolls. I am totally going to starting saving them to plant seeds in.¬†DSCN38635.¬†A Book of Seasons¬†by Alice and Martin Provensen:¬†Sometimes the artwork in old children’s books can be a tad creepy… My husband certainly thinks so! He sometimes refuses to read certain books to Rebekah because the art makes him uneasy. I, on the other hand, thought the cartoon-style of this book was seriously cute. Plus, it was quite well written and gave great¬†ideas about what kids could do during the different seasons. I think taking a nature walk or letting your children run around barefoot in squishy mud or lush grass would be a fun (and free) activity to do after reading this book.¬†DSCN3872DSCN38586.¬†My Garden¬†by Kevin Henkes:¬†First of all, I love pastel watercolors! ¬†The¬†whimsical art in this book goes hand in hand with the adorable story of a little girl planting seashells, jellybeans, and lots of other fun things in her very own¬†imaginary¬†garden.¬†At first I thought it would make a better¬†summer book, but¬†it makes me think of Easter. A great follow-up activity would be to give your child a small garden. You could give them a pot to plant in, or till a small corner of the yard, or surrender a couple feet of your own garden. Let them plant the vegetables or flowers of their choice and care for it. Let them hunt for some smooth rocks to paint and line the garden with for an extra dose of creativity.¬†DSCN38677.¬†Wings of Light: The Migration of the Yellow Butterfly¬†by Stephen R. Swinburne:¬†The artwork in this book is beautiful. In fact it is what first drew me to it. It is educational in nature, but written in a compelling way that really invited¬†me into the butterfly’s journey. I think there are many activities you could do along with this book. In fact, I think I will create some resources and make a whole post dedicated to it. But, three great places to start would be to 1)¬†watch caterpillars¬†grow and let them go when they turn into butterflies with this Live Butterfly Kit¬†2) create a butterfly garden to attract butterflies ¬†3) make a butterfly feeder.¬†DSCN3870

The point of Gather Around Inspirations is to inspire you to enjoy books and activities with your kids, spouse, or even just yourself. I hope these give you some inspirational ideas for this spring!

What are some of your favorite spring books?

Also, don’t forget that today is the last day to view the free video series on The Truth About #MomFail Culture: