Monday, April 24, 2023
Hello Everyone! Welcome Back to Our Grand Lives!
Has spring sprung in your neck of the woods yet?
We are tired of winter here in Minnesota,
so we’ve come up with some fresh, fun and simple ideas
to lighten the gray skies and stop the rain and snow!!
Laurie can never think of spring without reciting this little poem!
Her mom would always say it when she’d look outside at the weather in the spring!
What spring traditions will your Littles remember someday?
Spring is such a welcome change after our endless winters!
We look forward to the warmer weather, of course,
and the longer days filled with sunshine!
Birds and animals emerge with many babies being born
and the insects seem to come out of nowhere!
We take time to do some spring cleaning and organizing
and delicious seasonal produce becomes more available!
Our world becomes lush with green grass, leaves on trees and blooming flowers!
AAHH! We love you, spring!
And we’re excited to share it with our grandkids,
affectionately referred to here as our Littles!
This was Laura’s Little L last spring! She was 4 1/2 months old
and she loved being outside in the sunshine!
At 4-6 months, babies are experiencing so many milestones…
Their vision is rapidly developing,
allowing them to track objects at greater distances!
Their necks are strong enough now to hold their heads steady
and many Littles are able to sit upright with support,
following moving things with their eyes from side to side.
They enjoy looking at more colors, shapes and patterns!
Socially, our littlest Littles are interacting more, too! SUCH FUN!
They love making eye contact, swinging at dangling objects
and reaching for objects with one hand!
Their spontaneous smiles light up our worlds!
SPRINGTIME is the perfect time to begin exploring your outside world
with these sweet babies!
We've got some very simple activities you’ll be able to enjoy together!
Each is actually a reminder for us all
to take advantage of moments filled with sunshine and warmth
and then experience them with our tiny Littles!
Springtime with Our Littlest Littles!
🌷 Go for a Walk Outside!
Let’s start with the most basic but also a highly engaging activity for our grandkids who are babies! Going for a stroller ride can be a wonderful sensory activity for your Littles as you point out springtime sounds and sights in the world!
🌷 Take Tummy Time and Toys Outside!
Spread a blanket on the grass and bring a few of your Little's toys outside! Remember… babies love looking at their own reflections, so if you have a mirror toy, bring that outside, too, so your Little can see himself/herself in a new setting! Take in the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine together!
🌷 Smell the Flowers!
Last spring when I’d visit Little L and her family, one of our favorite things to do was to head outside and walk through the backyard. I’d carry her around and we’d stop to touch and smell the flowers, look at the insects and touch the vegetables growing in her mama’s garden!. Remember, a simple stroll around the yard can provide many sensory experiences for your Little as you explore the outdoors together! You can bring them outside to your front or backyard and look at the flowers, bugs, tree bark clouds, rocks, and so much more
As your Little gets a bit older and begins to crawl and then walk,
the world opens up even more!
Of course, the activities described above,
would be equally fun to do with toddlers
but would obviously take on new dimensions as well!
Below we’re sharing more fun and easy ways to celebrate this season
with these special grandkids!
Springtime with Our Toddler Littles!
🌷 Colander Bouquet Building!
On a recent visit, Laura pulled out the trusty colander, and added silk flowers to the mix! I had a few bunches in storage that I cut into individual stems (or you can pick some up at a thrift store, garage sale or the dollar store!) Little L (who is 16 months old now) had fun pulling them out of the colander and then putting them back in... it was tricky, but such good fine motor practice! Next time I visit, I’m going to bring a plastic container filled with dirt, so she can plant them as another sensory activity!
PLEASE NOTE: Afterwards, we had to do some explaining to Little L when she wanted to pull the leaves off her mama’s house plants, too! OOPS!!!
Laurie also has been busy having Spring Fun
with Little D who is now 21 months old!
Get ready for her fun ideas!
🌷 Make a Spring Picture Book!
This idea was mentioned last week, as part of our Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day post. We love using personal photos to encourage language development in Littles, and a springtime book is a simple way to do this right now. Take pictures around your neighborhood of things that represent spring - tulips growing, birds, worms or bunnies (or “hoppers” as Little D calls them!) trees blooming, maybe your Little wearing shorts or a sun hat! Print (I just used plain paper) and staple them into a book. I guarantee you it will be a favorite over the next several weeks!
🌷 Create Fork Tulips… A Fun Craft for Littles!
Little D does not have much patience for “sit still” crafts these days! At 21 months, she is in that “constantly on the move” toddler stage.. However she was intrigued by this project (What? Don’t I eat with my fork? she’d ask) and she gave it a try!
Provide some paint in springtime colors on a paper plate, dip the tongs of a plastic fork in it and press on a paper. Instant tulips to brighten your home!!. You could also use ink pads instead of paint.
🌷 Spring Flowers Matching Game!
Little D is working on her colors so I made two simple flowers, using 5 different colors of paper and popsicle sticks. (I didn’t want to overwhelm her.) She loved to play with them and put them in and out of the flower pot (or a plastic container would work well too).
Once Little D had had sufficient time to freely explore with the paper flowers, I taught her a matching game! I would line up 1 of each color, hand her one from the second set and ask her to match the color. It was even more fun when I put the first set around the room and she had to search for the matching color.
Now that’s an activity any active toddler will enjoy! Win! Win!
Springtime means more time outdoors enjoying the sunny weather and warm days!
It also might mean more time spent trying to keep
our preschool and older Littles busy with engaging but easy activities!
Thankfully, there are plenty of spring activities to choose from!
Here’s a few ideas from Laurie!
🌷 Butterfly Craft & Large Motor Fun!
Last week in Sunday School I wanted to make a spring celebration craft with my 4 year olds to represent Easter, spring and new life! I read a book about butterflies and we compared how Jesus coming from the tomb was like butterflies emerging from their cocoon. I had made a simple outline of a butterfly that they decorated and cut them out. (We did talk about symmetry on a butterfly’s wings. Some got it, some did not). We glued a popsicle stick body on, which was perfect for holding and making the wings flap. My class started flying their butterflies around the room, “searching for food”. I quickly grabbed some masking tape, placed pieces all around the room at different levels and soon had an excited group flying, jumping as high as they could, crawling on the floor as they flew from “flower” to “flower”. Success all around!
If planning ahead, here are some thoughts to consider:
You could use cut out flowers or pictures of flowers to tape around your house.
If you have flowers blooming in your backyard, the butterflies could fly around your yard!
You could take artificial flowers and “plant” them around your yard or indoor space to find.
A Grand Tip…
Play and learning is found when you follow your Littles imagination1
I’m glad I followed my class’ lead!
It led to lots of excited “Look, I can reach it” and
“Oops, missed that one. Better fly back!”
Toddler Tip! With your help, babies and toddlers will love flying butterflies around too!
🌷 Springtime Spring Craft!
What can be more exciting in spring than making springs? Nothing works more on those fine motor skills than careful cutting on lines. Find some fun springy colors of paper and a pair of scissors. Cut out circles - try all different sizes!! For younger Littles, draw a spiral on the circle. Older Littles (second grade and older) can probably cut free-style. The narrower the spiral, the harder it is to cut, but the longer the spring will be. Littles find it fascinating to watch the spring unwind as they cut.
A Grand Tip…
Encourage Littles to keep their scissors hand in one place,
and turn the circle with the other.
Have fun decorating your home for SPRING!
Toddler Tip! Don’t leave your littlest Littles out! Babies will love tracking and batting at the springs and toddlers will love playing with premade springs, too!
As retired Kindergarten teachers, you know by now that we are always looking
for more fun to share with our Littles…
now and in the future!
Here’s the SPRINGTIME ideas we’re sharing today!
Feel free to tap on each link provided to learn more!
from Pocket of Preschool
We love a good sensory bottle and so do our littlest Littles! Here are some spring themed ones for you to create!
from Happy Toddler Playtime
How fun does this look… and how easy, too! It’s a mess free activity that toddlers and even preschoolers will enjoy! If its drizzling outside, take a quick walk through the rain and then follow-up with this painting activity!
from Creative Little Explorers
Do you have any plastic Easter eggs still lying around? If so, use them to create this fun activity to be used when your Littles need to get the wiggles out!
from The Mommyhood
If you are looking for a craft project to do with your Littles, one of these ideas may fit the bill and inspire you!
And here’s what we have for the older Littles in our lives!
Spring Crafts for Preschoolers
from How Wee Learn
Egg Carton Flowers, Raindrop Suncatchers and Paper Plate Birds are just three of the spring crafts shared!
12 Spring Activities for Preschool Kids
from Cynical Parent
This site has everything! These 12 activities are designed to combine fun and learning and most require little to no planning with minimal supplies! In fact, many of the supplies are found in your own pantry or outdoors in nature!
from Fun Learning for Kids
These spring science and STEAM activities are designed for preschool and elementary aged Littles! Check out the list of spring science and STEAM activities compiled here!
The Ultimate Spring Bucket List for Families (100 Ideas) from Rediscovered Family
Need some Spring activities for older kids (age 6 and above)? This site has compiled the ultimate spring bucket list with the best indoor and outdoor activities, free printables, art projects and more! Many of the activities can be adapted for older or younger Littles, alike!
We hope this post has got you springing into action
and ready to celebrate this special season with your Littles!
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We’ll be back on Thursday with a fun tradition from our own childhoods…
A Tisket, A Tasket, Fun & Easy May Baskets!
Ready for you just in time to celebrate this day
with your favorite people!
Wishing you all a GRAND week ahead! See you Thursday!
We are happy to join these link up parties and blogs:
Sundays on Silverado/Random-osity/ A Pinch of Joy/ Grammy's Grid
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia/ The Happy Now Blog Link-Up@JENerally Informed
Making a Home/Homemaking Link-Up@Linda's Lunacy/Your Moment Blog Hop
Thursday's Favorite Things/ Create with Joy/ Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop
Spread the Kindness Link Up/ Home Matters
Happiness is Homemade/ Love Your Creativity
Senior Salon Pit Stop/ Monday Morning Blog Hop