As we make the change from winter to spring, the environment around us starts to change as well. Spend some time outside each day and see if you can identify these changes. If you would like and are able, prepare a notebook, some writing utensils, binoculars, or a magnifying glass.
Go into your backyard, take a walk around the neighborhood, or make observations from a window. The best way to do this is by using your senses because we use them to perceive the world around us. As you observe, think about the following things:
- What, or how, do you feel in this space?
- Look up, down, and around you. What do you see?
- Listen to sounds from the sky and the ground. What do you hear?
- What do you smell? Does the outside smell the same as inside your home?
Write down or draw your observations. What do you think will change as time passes? When you go back outside tomorrow, will everything be the same? Ask these same questions daily, and add new ones. Check your predictions from the day before and see how close you were to predicting change.
Further Your Learning
If your child hears birds, ask how many types they hear, if they all sound the same, or if they can identify any of them. Pick a specific spot outside, like a patch of grass or a bush, and observe how it changes daily.
- Is the grass getting greener?
- Do you see any animal tracks or scat?
- Are there bugs you haven’t seen?
- Is that pile of snow the same size?
Review the observations before and after each session outside. Ask for predictions (“What do you think we’ll find today?”). Ask for a hypothesis (“Why do you think this was different today?”). Write or draw your observations. If you have access to a camera, take pictures daily so you can look back and compare how things change from day to day. Have your children teach you about their observations!