It is my children’s first time experiencing spring, so we are basking in the glorious weather outdoors, but also bringing the outdoors in with a slate of no-cost flower, butterfly and bird activities.
1. Flower arranging
A springtime unit simply wouldn’t be complete without this year-round favourite: flower arranging. One of those activities where math and art meet. Details on setup here.
2. Flower pressing
I chose this vintage flower press for its oversized knobs which are easy for little hands to turn. I’m looking for flowers which can be pressed whole, like these British daffodils.
3. Growing butterflies
This was our first time growing caterpillars and watching them transform into cheysalides then Lady Monarch butterflies, and it was nothing short of magical for both the kids and I!
In this pic you can see the empty chrysalides, the newly emerged butterflies and what we have been feeding them- blood orange, mango, and “nectar” (sugar syrup) served on flower petals.
Not as easy as it looks! (And of course, flying it!)
5. Picture to picture matching (big and small)
A rather challenging form of matching, as it requires matching big to small and two different drawings of the same bird. I had been saving these British wildflower and garden bird prints since last October in eager anticipation of spring, and even asked Angie, the artist, to autograph them, hence they’re dated 2016 (bottom right corner of the standing floral print).
6. Matching spring-themed language objects to initial sounds
A happy accident that the objects were predominantly yellow: flower, egg, sun, parakeet and bicycle. Paired with our cursive movable alphabet (benefits here) but alphabet fridge magnets would do just fine.
7. Spring books
Just as we started the unit by observing the transition from winter to spring, we chose this book recommended by fridabemighty that placed spring in the context of all the seasons , and set it to the music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
I usually avoid electronic books, but the musical quality of this one was strong and resounding, not that artificial tinny noise I usually associate with electronic toys.
For more books, The Kavanaugh Report has a great list of spring books here and here; I used several of the books for a springtime homeschooling co-op last year and they were absolute hits with the children. For how to choose Montessori-friendly books, click here.
8. 3D butterfly art
I had been sitting on these gorgeous butterfly printables, which are actually designed as symmetrical puzzles. My children had just released their butterflies into the wild and adored seeing them flit around, so I set up a more challenging gluing activity for Dylan: to paint a line of glue only along the thorax and abdomen and leave the wings free.
Looks rather nice in a frame, don’t you think? We are using our interchangeable frame, which allows for easy swapping of art and the lack of a glass pane helps showcase the 3-dimensionality of this piece. (I asked Dylan if and where he would like to display his art- more principles of art here.)
Ending with some outtakes
Do also check out Part 1 of our Spring Unit featuring seven activities made using only leaves and a rock, and our Facebook page where we share how to build and sustain concentration and enjoyment in young children.