As winter fades and the first signs of spring start to appear, teachers can plan activities that celebrate the new life evident all around. The change in season provides fresh ideas and new motivation to plan lessons that will entertain and teach toddlers. Activities centered around spring will be a welcome change from the winter doldrums and give a new excitement to the classroom.
Children usually don't mind getting dirty, and toddlers will be happy to help with a planting project. Fill some small cups with potting soil and plant vegetable, flower or grass seeds. According to Toddler Activities at Home, two- and three-year-olds can help with the planting, as well as the watering each day. Even if it's still chilly outside, toddlers will get to experience spring inside as they watch their cups of dirt transform into thriving plants.
Create Personalized Flower Crafts
In addition to planting real flowers, toddlers can help create flower pictures that can be taken home and treasured. On a piece of construction paper, let toddlers glue pieces of green paper to create grass, as well as a stem and leaves of a flower. Glue a yellow paper muffin liner as a blossom, and cut petals out of yellow construction paper to be glued around it. Glue a small picture of the child inside the muffin cup to finish off a spring daffodil.
Signs of Spring
On a warm day, take the children outside to look for signs of spring. Before going out, talk about how things change in the spring. Look for new leaves, birds that have returned from migration and animals that have come out of hibernation. Family Fun suggests creating a scavenger hunt with a list of things children need to find, such as a flower, a bud on a tree or a brightly colored bird.
Bubbles and Chalk
After being stuck inside for several months, children will enjoy participating in activities that have been set aside for awhile. Take toddlers outside with a supply of bubbles and chalk. Children can practice small motor skills as they draw and color on a sidewalk or play area. Blowing bubbles helps develop facial muscles that toddlers need for speaking. When they get tired of blowing, teachers can blow bubbles so toddlers can chase them and work on their running skills, which is appropriate for two-year-olds, according to Mayo Clinic.
Follow the Leader
Toddlers are able to follow simple, one-step instructions, so practice this skill by playing a fun game of Follow the Leader. Teachers can model a movement and then direct toddlers to copy them. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers should be working on walking on tip-toes, standing on one leg for a short amount of time, kicking or throwing a ball and bending over without falling. Teachers can incorporate these skills into the game that they can play outdoors on a nice day, or indoors on a rainy spring day.
- toddler girl outside image by Trevor Goodwin from Fotolia.com