Looking for some fun spring activities to do with the little ones in your care? Here are our top 10 spring and Easter inspired activities to get your children outside, exploring, making and appreciating nature this spring.
Our favourite spring inspired activities
Spring is a great time to learn and explore with your little ones. New life is everywhere. Buds are appearing on plants and trees. Baby birds are hatching. Seeds are ready for planting and new shoots are sprouting. All the wonder of nature is at play. Which is great if you’re a parent or a nanny, because a) it means you should be able to get outside more, if the weather is nice. And b) nature is great at providing plenty of fun, educational and sensory play opportunities for little ones.
Whether you’re a parent or a child carer, check out a few of our favourite ways to embrace the wonder of spring below.
1. Broccoli blossom trees
I love the spring blossoms on the trees and this is a really satisfying and simple way to create your own with your little ones. All you need is some paint, paper and broccoli cut into florets.
First let your children paint stems, tree trunks and branches. Then dip the broccoli florets in the paint and add beautiful blossoms in whatever colours you fancy. Trees are particularly good, but you can also experiment with making flowers and spring meadows.
2. Flower anatomy lessons
Daffodils are everywhere right now. If your little ones are old enough, they can be a great cheap and easy tool for learning about pollination, plant biology and more.
Pick up a bunch at the supermarket, lay them out on a sheet of card and let the children explore the anatomy of the flowers. Help them to cut the flower in half to find and name all its parts. Use this sheet to guide them.
3. Nature printing and painting
This is such an easy win when you’re looking for ideas to occupy your children in a creative way.
Simply gather some natural samples from your family walk or a potter round the garden. Leaves, sticks, stones, grass and pinecones can all be fun to use. Then let your little ones loose with some paint and paper. They can paint what they’ve found, or use them as brushes. Or cover them in colour and use them to print patterns and shapes onto the paper. You could even stick a few bits on to create a beautiful spring collage.
4. Sensory play: treasures in ice
Ice is a wonderful sensory play item. Children love to discover treasure and freezing items is like a natural treasure hunt or archaeological dig! Freezing nature in water is an easy and fun way for them to explore some natural spring treasures.
All you have to do is place some small flowers, grass, leaves, herbs etc into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. Then let the children melt them in a bowl or on a tray with some warm water, releasing the treasures one by one.
5. Plant your own veg garden
This is the ideal time to get planting and growing your own fruit or veg is a wonderful way to teach children. They can learn about where their food comes from, ecosystems, weather and more.
You don’t need much space, a flower pot or two will do. You can even take seeds from your own fruit and veg to grow. Simply extract a few seeds from a tomato or pepper, for instance. Allow them to dry on some kitchen towel and then plant them in small yoghurt pots or empty egg boxes.
Make sure they get plenty of sun and regular watering and they should sprout in a couple of weeks. You may need to replant them into bigger pots indoors depending on how big your first pot was. Then, when the weather gets warmer around May, you can plant them into a larger, outdoor pot – and hey presto! With regular watering you should get tomatoes and peppers in summer.
6. Make clay spring seed bombs
These are an amazing and eco-friendly activity to make with your children, or the children in your care. You’ll need some natural clay, some soil or compost, and of course, some wildflower seeds.
Roll out the clay, add a thin layer of soil and then sprinkle the seeds on top. Roll the clay into balls and allow them to dry. Then take them on your next nature walk and leave them outside to disintegrate and grow. If you’re lucky, there will be a wildflower patch you can return to, to the delight of your little gardeners.
7. Stone bug painting
What child doesn’t like to collect *stones? Don’t ask me why, but it seems to be an almost universal obsession of small people to come home with a pocket full of pebbles from outdoor activities.
Why not put them to good use and make them into some fun art that you can share with others? All you need to do is paint them as different kinds of bugs. Then use them for imaginative play, to talk about the creatures you’ve created or to leave on walks for others to find. If you’re feeling particularly educational, you could even paint them with different numbers of spots and use them as counting tools.
8. Make your own bunny masks
As Easter is just round the corner I thought I’d include a bunny activity, as who can resist a bunny mask? All you need is a white paper plate, a stick or lolly stick, some *scissors, glue, sellotape and pink, white and black paper.
- Fold the plate in half or quarters and cut out the middle. Unfold.
- On the back place your stick at the bottom edge with a couple of centimetres on the plate and the long length hanging down below. (This is the bit for holding the mask so you need a good length of stick, sticking out below the plate to hold.) Sellotape the stick in place with a few bits of tape.
- Next, cut out some bunny ear shapes from the white paper and some pink middles of the ears in a smaller version of the same shape.
- Stick the pink middles onto the middle of the white paper ears.
- Stick the ears to the top of the back of the plate, so that the pink bits are facing downwards (facing out when you pick it up). Make sure you stick just the bottoms of the ears and leave the lovely big bunny ears sticking out the top of the mask.
- Finally, turn the plate over so you’re looking at the front and cut out some black whiskers.
Stick these to the front on either side.
Ta-da! Easter bunnies all round. If that wasn’t easy to follow, you can Google ‘bunny paper plate mask’ and there are loads of different versions to try.
9. Easter chick hand prints
Another Easter craft activity! This one is easy for very little hands to make. All you need is some paper, some yellow paint, some orange paper or paint, two googly eyes or a black marker.
Now, there are many different ways to make these, so have a look on Pinterest if you want to make more extravagant chicks. I found this simple idea here if you need more instructions.
But in a nutshell; use your little ones hands to make a hand print in yellow paint. Then add googly eyes (or draw these in black pen) and either paint an orange beak and legs, or cut them out of orange paper and stick them on.
They make lovely Easter decorations or cards to send to family and friends.
10. Easter egg nest cookies
Easter has to be my favourite holiday. I’ll give you one guess why? Yes, you guessed it, the chocolate. ALL the chocolate. I love chocolate eggs and will happily eat them all on their own till the cows come home, but if your littlies like *cooking, this is a fun and easy recipe to follow.
All you need is those party favourites, the chocolate crispy or cornflake cakes. You know the ones? Made with chocolate, butter, golden syrup and either cornflakes or rice crispies. Here’s a good recipe to follow if you need one. Then either pop a few mini eggs on top, or create a little nest shape while the mixture is still soft by pressing the back of a teaspoon into the top of each one. Then pop a few eggs into the nest. With any luck there will be plenty left over for you to
‘tidy up’ with your cup of tea when the children are napping…
Need more ideas for spring activities?
Hopefully we’ve given you a few fun and educational spring activities to explore nature with your children. But if you need more ideas there are plenty out there, from the culinary to the creative. Take a look on Pinterest if you need additional inspiration.
*As with all children’s activities involving glue and small parts, keep a close eye on young children in your care to make sure that no small parts end up in mouths. And, of course, always help with cooking and cutting.