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Using the resources from the Plant and Bug Hunting Kit, (D60034), here are a few ideas for Reception and KS1 to help search for signs of spring.

 

Go out for a nature walk

Heading outdoors is a great way for children to embrace nature and develop their observation skills. Ask children to use their senses and make a note of what’s in their environment, Look, hear and smell are great senses to focus on and can form the basis of your lesson.

 

1. What do you see?

Trees budding and flowering

Discuss the life cycle of a tree through the seasons, as well as giving an understanding of creatures who make a tree their home i.e. birds building nests.

 

Spring flowers blooming in gardens and fields (crocuses, tulips, daffodils, snowdrops and buttercups)

Discuss with the children why this happens in spring. Plants need water, light, warmth and soil/ compost to grow. The showery weather gives them the water they need and the longer days mean they have more daylight and warmth from the sun, which raises air and soil temperature. In addition, last year’s fallen leaves have decomposed into the soil, adding much-needed nutrients. Leaves help plants to make the most of the extra sunlight, using photosynthesis to get the nutrients they need from carbon dioxide and water. Blossom helps early flowering trees, especially fruit trees, to pollinate by providing an early source of food for insects like bees. Look at parts of the flower using a magnifier (465194). Compare different flowers and ask your pupils to create posters showing what plants grow in the spring.

 

The sun rising early and setting later every day

Create a chart to monitor the times each day and record the differences daily. Perhaps record daily temperatures to show the rise in temperature throughout spring.

 

Butterflies flying from flower to flower

Use a magnifier or peephole viewer to check out the butterflies. What beautiful colours they have!

What you’ll need: Using Pupils Dry Erase Measures boards (800316)

 

Frogs and tadpoles

Frogs are a real sign of spring, and searching for tadpoles is a great activity for children to do. Remind children that frogs are sensitive to being touched by people and they are to be looked at only. Explain the life cycle of a frog.

What you’ll need: Bug Hunting Kit (D60034)

 

2. What do you hear?

Take note of busy bees collecting nectar, birds singing and calling to each other, midges and flies buzzing around, lambs bleating in the fields.

 

3. What do you smell?

Encourage children to smell the fresh damp scent of rain, freshly cut grass and the soft, sweet scent of flowers and blossoms.

 

Pond dipping

Fill a container about 1/3 to 1/2 way full of pond water. Carefully, but quickly, scoop the net out of the pond and place it in the container filled with pond water. Gently turn the net inside out into the into the container and let children observe and make notes of any mini beasts they come across during the activity.

Don’t forget to return pond mini beasts back into the pond - they won’t live for very long if they are in the container for a lengthy period. Why not try using an underwater viewer so you can look for mini beasts while they’re still in the pond?

What you’ll need:

 

Weather station

Spring is the perfect time of year to set up a mini weather station at school because we still have some wintery weather alongside hours of sunshine.

Record down the weekly weather timetable, including the level of rainfall, hours of sunshine, wind and even the temperature on each day. This way, children can practice using units and measurements. Children can also use the weather station to make their own assumptions about the day, for example, seeing a day with heavy rainfall and expecting playtime to be indoors.

What you’ll need:

 

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