The Science of Spring
Dr. Kristi Smith, D.Ed., M.Ed. CFE   •   March 21, 2023

Spring time is an amazing time of adventure and beauty! Warmer weather means that families can begin to get out of the house more and discover the world around them.

At Children’s Lighthouse we have many spring curriculum activities that focus on outside exploration. Infants & Toddlers will gather flowers outside into a basket as they discuss where they grow. Our Pre-K classes will release ladybugs, watch where they go, and write their observations in their journals. Our school-age children will be making flower seed pods as a community service project to help support the honey bee population. We are committed to helping children develop a love for outdoor science! You can learn more about our spring outdoor curriculum activities by taking a tour at one of our schools.

This Spring, use the ideas below to have your child explore the world around them like a scientist! Scientific inquiry is based on using open-ended questions to guide discovery. Open-ended questions are questions that cannot be answered with yes or no. You can bring out the little scientist in your child by asking questions that begin with how, why, when, where, and what.  Try the following questions and activities as you get out of the house and discover the world with your children.

  • What is in the dirt?- Go digging for worms in the garden in the morning when worms are more active. Find some and then measure and sort them from smallest to biggest.

  • How powerful is the wind?- Go fly a kite and let your child discover just how powerful and high up the wind truly goes.

  • How do plants grow?- Take a couple seeds and plant them in a small container inside the window sill of the house to let your child be hands on seeing every stage.

  • How does it feel? Go on a texture walk finding different things outside but before you pick anything up ask how does it feel to make a prediction and find out if it was right.

  • What can we find?- No on a nature scavenger hunt finding a list of common outdoor sights and objects.

  • What do birds eat?- Make a homemade bird feeder with a pine cone, peanut butter, and birdseed

  • What is out there?- Go out at night to look at the stars and ask questions about what your children think are out there.

  • How does the moon change?- Do a moon diary where every night you go out and draw what the moon looks like to discover how it changes, what patterns it makes, and how long it takes.

  • What happens when…?- Play a game of what happens when finding different things to put together to see the result. A favorite will always be mentos and coke but remember to stand back!
  • What in our yard it sink or float? Why does a rock sink? - Grab different objects from outside and make predictions on whether it will sink or float when put in water.

  • How do shadows change?- Create an object or tower with blocks outside. Pull a paper up and draw the outline of the shadow that it casts. Go back out again 1-2 hours later and redraw the shadows to talk about the changes.

  • Why does ice melt?- Put ice cubes outside and watch it melt. Talk about how heat impacts ice to cause changes.
  • How much will it rain?- Take advantage of that spring rain using a rain gauge to predict and keep track of how much rain we get from different storms.
  • How do butterflies grow?- Get a butterfly kit and watch butterflies grow from caterpillars into beautiful butterflies.

  • Is it liquid or solid?- Find a recipe for Oobleck online and watch as your kids are mesmerized. If you hit it hard it feels like a solid, but if you touch it softly it acts as a liquid!

No matter what activities you decide to do, the magic and science of Spring is waiting! Go out there and find what adventures and discoveries your young scientist can find today!

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