Spring has come, sort of, to our area. I love spring. I love seeing things start to grow again. Also, the weather is nice – so it’s a good time to be outside. To celebrate, I took my children on a signs of spring scavenger hunt.
This was a very simple activity, but the children really enjoyed it. We started out, after lunch, and talked about how to tell when it is springtime. We brainstormed some ideas of what to look for. Then we went looking for examples of those signs. We had a lot of fun scavenging around for the items we listed on the list.
Objective: to help children identify the signs of spring
Start by brainstorming some of the things that can be found during the springtime.
Make a list of things to find.
Go and find the items and take pictures of those things.
We looked for very general items on our list: new leaves, bugs, rushing water, budding flowers, calves, plowed field, and a bird. Other items that could be added include specific flowers – like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, and dandelions; specific bugs – like bees, butterflies, ants, and caterpillars; and specific birds – depending on what is native in the area.
We went down to a nearby stream for our first scavenger hunt area. I was hoping we could walk along the edges of the stream, but it was fenced off. I didn’t see the fence when I scouted out areas earlier. However, at the stream we were able to find three items on our list. We found bugs, new leaves on trees, and rushing water.
Next, and because we live in such a rural area, we climbed into my truck and went out looking for baby animals. Our list included calves, and a plowed field. We found both of these items — as well as a bonus item: budding flowers – by driving around our neighbors’ fields.
Finally, we needed to find a bird. We drove about looking for a flock of birds, but couldn’t find any. As we turned into our drive, we found a bird high up in the trees near our house. So, we were able to find all the items on our list.
This was a great activity because it got the children looking – really looking – at what was happening around them. When we passed another plowed field, all the children excitedly pointed and yelled that there was a plowed field. The children noticed the bulbs coming up in my garden and the new shoots of grass. They also noticed the butterflies, bees, and ants – because we looked for bugs. I found myself, hours later, looking more closely at the beauty unfurling itself around me. And it’s amazing what is happening during this beginning of spring! Our signs of spring scavenger hunt, though simple, offered an exquisite view of what is happening outside. It opened the eyes of my children to the wonder around them and reminded me of the miracle spring is.