Spring is in the air and it is time to say goodbye to big, puffy jackets and snow and say hello to rain boots and blossoming flowers!
Springtime presents so many wonderful learning opportunities for Toddlers. Because Toddlers are in their Sensitive Period for Language and Practical Life, it’s easy to create everyday learning opportunities at home.
Below are a few activities from the Montessori classroom that you can replicate at home to celebrate spring.
Language Building with Birds
- Bird Matching: Pick up the Backyard Birds Toobs Set by Safari. Next, print pictures of the same birds (with minimal background) on a piece of white paper. Let your child match the bird figurine to the picture!
- Bird Identifying: My classroom loves the stuffed Audubon Birds by Wild Republic. We learn a new bird and its sound each month. By this time of the year, they are able to identify the birds outside by sound, including the Cardinal, the Robin, and the Chickadee, which we see on our playground daily! If you don’t have the audubon bird plush toys, that’s okay, too! You can easily look up videos of bird sounds online. Take a nature walk outside and talk about the birds that you see and hear.
Spring-Themed Practical Life
- Spooning Eggs: Pick up a few extra packs of egg dye and create a colorful work for your Toddler! After all the fun of making the eggs special colors, give your child a large spoon (a mini ladle works best) and let them spoon the eggs into the carton or onto a decorative egg plate. This allows for focus and concentration, strengthens their pincer grasp, and gets them working on left to right coordination (aka how they will learn to read!).
- Tonging Carrots: For the older Toddler, using tongs further enhances muscle strength in your child’s dominant hand. In the spring, we like to tong carrots (fake or real) from one bowl to the next.
- Making and Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs: One of our favorite “Food Prep for Snack” activities in my classroom is making hard-boiled eggs. The children love to help. They will need some assistance with the boiling part of course, but get them started on the peeling and watch with amazement! For further learning, they can cut the egg in half or use an egg slicer (my personal favorite kitchen tool).
Nature and Outdoor Learning
And, as always, play outside! Toddlers crave and NEED the outdoors and there is so much to see and do outside in the spring.
- Dressing Independence: On rainy days, put on your rain boots and go splash in the puddles. Let your child change out of their wet clothes and into their dry clothes to practice dressing independence.
- Language and Discovery: Look for worms in the dirt, plant seeds in your garden, discover insects, and watch the flowers bloom. Nature walks can be so simple and so full of new language discoveries, not to mention they create everlasting memories with your Toddler.
- Start a Collection: If you want to make a nature walk bracelet, get a piece of masking tape and connect it the opposite way (sticky side up) around your child’s wrist. They can collect things on the walk and stick them to their bracelet!
Spring is a time of renewal and discovery. We hope you enjoy this season with your Toddler. Happy Spring!
About the Author
Danielle Hines holds an AMS infant and toddler certification. She currently leads the toddler program at a Montessori school in Virginia and contributes to Guidepost Parent.
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