Spring


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Toddler Celebrations: Spring

Activities

Flower Math: Provide your child a variety of flowers (hand-drawn, silk, clip art, or paper cutouts).  Count the petals of each flower together, or sort them into groups (big/small, colors, etc.)

Early in the season, go for a walk and look for signs of Spring.  Celebrate the signs of new life that you see.  Point out to your toddler birds, green grass, tree buds, etc.

Make your child a birds' nest game.  Cover an oatmeal container with brown paper to make a nest.  Paint clothespins to look like birds.  I made mine blue, then added eyes, a beak, and wing and tail feathers.  Explain to your child that birds live in nests.  Show him how to stand above the "nest" and drop the birds in.  Your toddler might also enjoy clipping the birds to the side or shaking the container to make the birds "fly" out.

Try indoor mudpies.  Let your child fingerpaint and play with chocolate pudding.  Make cleanup a little easier by either seating her in her high chair and placing the pudding on the tray or by covering your table with an old vinyl tablecloth.

Plant seeds in a flowerpot.  Let your child help you scoop the dirt, place the seeds in the dirt, and cover them up.  Grass seeds and marigold seeds usually grow fairly well.

Crafts

Raindrop Painting: Cut a raindrop or an umbrella shape out of paper.  Help your child drip or flick blue paint onto the paper to make rain.  Make sure you cover the work surface well or work outside!

Make simple flowers with cupcake liners.  Use a glue stick to spread glue on one end of a popsicle stick.  Help your child press a cupcake liner onto the glue.  Alternatively, draw flower stems on paper and help your child glue the liners to the top of the stems.  Spray the flower with perfume or air freshener to make it smell good.  The color-your-own flowerpot in the picture below came from Oriental Trading.

Make a raindrop picture by cutting several raindrop shapes out of an old cereal box.  Use temporary adhesive to attach them to a sheet of paper.  With a foam paintbrush or a sponge, help your toddler use blue paint to dab over and around each raindrop.  Move the raindrop shapes and dab over them with another shade of blue paint.  Remove all the cardboard shapes and show your child the raindrop design that is left behind.

Feather-Painted Bird: Print a picture of a bird.  Let your child dip a craft feather in paint to use as a paintbrush on the picture.

Rainbow Cloud: Cut a cloud shape from white cardstock.  Help your child spread glue over the cloud and place cotton balls on the glue.  Cut three 12-inch lengths of colorful crepe paper streamers.  Help your toddler glue them to the bottom of the cloud.

Handprint Flowers: Trace your child's hand on multiple colors of construction paper and cut out the handprints.  Cut out a circle from one color of paper.  Layer the handprints on top of one another, and place the circle on top of the palms.  Stick a metal brad through the stack.  Fan the hands out, so they look like a flower.  Add a green paper stem.  (Thanks to my friend Jennifer for this idea!)

Make a flower collage: Cut flowers and leaves from colored paper (consider letting your child choose the colors).  Lay out a sheet of clear contact paper, sticky side up, so your toddler can set the shapes on the contact paper.  Lay a piece of white paper on top and trim any excess contact paper from the edges.

Paint a paper kite.  Cut a kite shape from paper and let your toddler paint it.  Punch a hole in the bottom and tie on a string.

Books

Yellow Umbrella, by Jae-Soo Liu

Mary Had a Little Lamb, by Iza Trapani

Big Red Barn, by Margaret Wise Brown

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle

Simon Finds a Feather, by Gilles Tibo

It's Spring!, by Samantha Berger and Pamela Chanko

April Foolishness, by Teresa Bateman

Touch-and-Feel: Farm, by DK Publishing

It's Spring!, by Linda Glaser