Thursday is the first day of SPRING! The new SEASON is marked by an equinox. An equinox happens only 2 times a year - it's when the sun is exactly over the equator. The spring (vernal) equinox is when the sun moves North over the equator - closer to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere - which means it's going to start warming up! It will keep moving north from the equator until it reaches it's greatest distance (summer solstice) and starts heading back toward the equator.
It's a good time to teach kids that Earth revolves (orbits) around the SUN every year! I like to have them walk (orbit) around an object like a lamp (sun) shouting Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall as they go around so they can get the rhythm of the seasons in a year. You can extend the lesson by discussing the difference between orbiting around the sun (year) and rotating on an axis (day/night) for those that are ready for the concept. They certainly will like to try spinning (rotating) as they make the orbit! With older kiddos you can show them this video from Khan Academy to help them understand that the tilt of the Earth is the reason for the seasons.
You can talk about the changes that occur through the year while doing a sorting exercise like this one from Totschooling: For the littles you can cut the sorting squares into strips to allow them to practice a simple scissor cut to cut off each square. Help them hold the scissors like they are shaking a hand and remind them to keep the scissors pointed away from themselves. It may help to hold the strips and line up the scissors for them and have them practice the 'cut'. Glue can be challenging for some but will come with practice..
There is a cute creativity from Easy Peasy Fun - help them with pencil grip as they colour. Demonstrate how you can stay in the lines when you go slow and put forth a good effort! Discuss the different colours you will use when you get to each new season!
Next up is my favourite part...get those kiddos out into nature and have them search for SIGNS that the seasons are changing. I've created a SCAVENGER hunt you can bring along. You may not find them all and that's ok! You can talk about why you didn't find all of them! What other signs did you see that aren't on the list?
Be sure to take a few minutes to just sit and take in the new season with your SENSES. First have them try to remember all 5 senses - eyes to see, hands to feel, ears to hear, nose to smell, and mouth to taste. Talk about the signs of spring that you can SEE (scavenger hunt). Listen for the birds. Feel the breeze on your skin and the heat of the sun (if it's out). Smell the fresh air and any flowers you see. Can you smell the grass, the mud, can you smell spring?!?! Talk about the different things you taste in the spring like maple syrup (btw, a Sugar Bush trip is a fabulous follow up activity!). And then it's time to let them go....let them run and explore!!
Then it's time for some singing! If you don't do any of my proposed activities you have to at least show them this video...one of my all-time fav preschool songs! (careful, it will get stuck in your brain!)
Laura from Evergreen
I've started this page during the COVID break to help the kiddos continue learning at home. Most activities can be done with kids of all ages if parents vary the level of content, participation and discussion appropriate to each child! (differentiated instruction). Before the break we were at letter S. Visit our facebook page for letter A-R activities at https://www.facebook.com/evergreenacademy.ca/