family life, parenting, seasons

Spring Reflections

Spring has started early here this year. At the end of February, I could deeply feel within me the awakening of nature on our little island. The sudden perfume of flowers all around, the bees and wasps buzzing abundantly and the butterflies flitting about.

And our home is also taking up the spring experience within it – although slower! Our nature table is not yet Spring, because we are observing Lent and so it will burst full of life, vibrancy and flowers in April with Eater Sunday.

Yet our Spring books have come and are gracing our home. They are geared mainly for the 4-7 year old bracket, however, my older children still enjoy listening to them. Each book is read daily for a week before it is replaced by another. Every week we also hold crafts, reflecting what was read in the book as much as possible.

This enables the younger child to make sense of the changing seasons, the passage of time and the beauty of Earth through books, nature tables and activities. It also keeps the older child aware of this and helps them slow down a fraction, in a world that is always hurried.

Here is our list of books for Spring:

Good bye Winter, Hello Spring by Kenard Pak: It is a very simple story about a boy saying hi to all that represents winter in nature and them saying hi again and what is happening and ending with the arrival of spring. A very simple and easy way to explain children about the seasons.

Spring by Gerda Muller: This board book, like the rest of the set has only pictures depicting Spring. This is a lovely book where you can re invent the story in any way you like and in any language you prefer.

Spring Story by Jill Barklem: This is also one book of a series. The Spring story falls perfectly well as it is about one of the mice boys having his birthday and how they surprised him with a picnic. Since B’s birthday is in March, I like keeping this book for his birthday week.

The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle: Probably no need to introduce this book, but it is a great one to add for spring as it goes through the stages from caterpillar to butterfly. Last year we were fortunate enough to grow some caterpillars at home and seen them transform. It was a lovely experience for my children seeing them becoming butterflies.

The very busy spider by Eric Carle: I like to use this book in spring, because every one in nature is busy building nests, foraging for food etc and so it feels this book, giving us the story of spider building a web brings forth the busyness found around.

Up in the garden and down in the dirt by Kate Messner: This is an amazing book! Love the pictures, love the way it is written. It starts with a child ready to start planting their garden and her nanna explaining what is happening beneath the soil and on top going through the cycle of all seasons from spring to winter.

New Beginnings: celebrating the Spring Equinox by Wendy Pfeffer: Now this is a new book for us. I am really happy we bought it. It starts about how spring starts and how Spring Equinox is a day of equal day/night and goes through the ages of how this festival has been celebrated by different people. There is a lot of teaching in it about tolerance, difference and sameness.

Nature’s tiny miracle Bee by Britta Teckentrup: A ‘mistake’ book! I got it because I liked the outside picture but when I opened it and read it, the story is amazing. It shows children the cycle of life how a bee pollinates the flowers and how everything lives because of her. The story is lovely written in rhyme and the pictures are amazing.

What are you doing to welcome Spring? How do you bring it to your children?

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