8 Spring Activities for Preschoolers
1. Backyard Scavenger Hunt
The next time you walk around the neighborhood, host an interactive scavenger hunt to teach your preschooler about spring. First she can listen for the sounds of the season. When she hears one, you can cross it off your scavenger hunt search list. The sounds might include frogs or toads, music from an open car window, a bird singing, kids playing outside, a lawn mower, and a woodpecker.
You can also point out the sights of springtime, including a plant emerging from the ground, a budding tree, a flower in bloom, people sitting outside, open windows, and someone riding a bike. If your preschooler crosses all of the items off her list, reward her with a prize—like a trip to her favorite ice cream shop!
2. Spring Rubbing and Collage Project
Sometimes, the best way to deal with spring weather is in small doses. This spring art activity for preschoolers provides outdoor and indoor components, so you can get some air but not freeze in the changeable spring temperatures.
What You Need:
- Sheets of paper. White works well but colors are fine, too.
- Crayons and colored pencils. Older kids might want to try charcoal but that material may be too messy for the littlest artists.
- A bag to carry your art supplies in . Pick a big bag that's easy to get things in and out of, like a beach bag or a large shopping bag.
- A large piece of poster paper
- Glue stick
Hunting for Supplies: Set off on a walking tour of your neighborhood, or another location you haven't walked in for a while, like a local park or a downtown shopping area. Keep an eye out for interesting surfaces. You might see tree bark, a park bench, cobblestones, or signs. Anything with texture will do. Place your paper over the textured surface and rub over with a crayon or colored pencil until the image starts to form. Don't hold back—get as many rubbings as you can on your walkabout. That will make for a more successful collage.
Making the Collage When you get home, spread your work out and admire your collection. Then choose the most interesting looking ones and break out the scissors. Cut out shapes from your rubbings and glue them to your poster board. You can arrange them in order, making a rubbing map of your walk. Or you can glue them at random for a more abstract effect.
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3. DIY Bird Feeder
As another spring art activity for preschoolers, you can make a DIY feeder to welcome birds into your yard! To start, rinse out an empty plastic milk jug, and have your kid decorate it with paint, markers, stickers, or other art supplies. Cut a hole in the side of the milk jug and fill it with bird seed. String some thin rope through the cap, then hang the DIY bird feeder from a tree in your backyard. Whenever a feathered friend comes for dinner, take the opportunity to teach your kids about birds and nature.
4. Fruit and Vegetable Garden
A kid who can't get enough of shovels, pails, and dump trucks may turn out to have a natural green thumb. Choose seeds of your child’s favorite fruits and vegetables. Together you can prepare the soil and plant the seeds. Not only will your preschooler develop motor skills, he’ll also learn about environmental science and ecology. He’ll also understand cause and effect once the food grows throughout the summer and fall.
5. Outdoor Obstacle Course
Want to improve your preschooler's balance, agility, and confidence while also enjoying the spring weather? Build a backyard obstacle course! Here are a few ideas:
Hurdles: Prop pool noodles on some overturned cardboard boxes that measure in at a height your little ones can leap over, suggests Amy at Let's Explore. Got super tiny tots? Just lay some rolled-up beach towels on the grass for them to hop over.
Sidewalk Jump: Head around to the driveway or front sidewalk for this one. Inspired by the long jump, test your kids' jumping and balancing skills in this activity created by Jennifer at The Craft Patch. Draw a series of circles on the pavement with sidewalk chalk and have kids jump from circle to circle without falling "off."
Tricycle Relay: Set up some buckets or other obstacles along the driveway or sidewalk and draw a path with sidewalk chalk to show kids how to weave around them and back to the finish line. Have each cyclist complete the course separately, timing them as they go.
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6. Butterfly Collection
Collecting live butterflies is a wonderful way to get kids excited about nature—and all you need is a net and a ventilated vessel for carrying the winged creatures back home. Check the toy and seasonal aisles: Many stores stock butterfly habitats, lightweight, collapsible mesh containers that are perfect for carrying into the field and observing the catch. You can also turn this into a spring math activity for preschoolers: How many orange butterflies are in the vessel? How many wings do you count in total?
7. Handmade Spring Book
Is the weather a bit too cold and rainy for outdoor activities? Then encourage your preschooler to put her own spring story on the page. It's easier than you might think. "For the littlest ones, you can have them pick out pictures from a magazine or online. Cut them out or print them and paste them onto the pages, then have your child narrate a story to go along with the pictures," says Wendy Lawrence, a Nashville-based mom of two who blogs about children's books at The Family That Reads Together. Encourage your child to talk about springtime in her story—blooming flowers, playing outside, birds and insects, etc. It’ll definitely foster excitement for the season ahead!
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Of course, you can teach your kid this classic playground game on the driveway. But if it’s a little too chilly, you can stretch the life of an old yoga mat by turning it into an indoor version. With a ruler and pen, lightly outline a hopscotch board on the mat, then cover the lines with duct tape strips (we use duct tape rolls and sheets purchased from a craft store). Use more tape to add designs to each square. To make an indoor tossing "stone," fill a child's sock halfway with rice and knot the end. Find the traditional hopscotch diagram and play instructions here.