Spring, a Time to Grow
Spring is a time for change and growth. Plants burst from the earth. Animals reappear after their winter hibernation. Birds warble their best spring songs. Baby animals are welcomed by the strong rays of the sun. Winter is over. The Ohio Early Childhood Standards for Science focus on changes in the environment over time, changes in the weather, the relationship between adult animals and their young, and common needs of living things. Preschool boys and girls enjoy the world around them, especially during this season of new life. So find a spot in the sun, gather your children around you, and share some books about spring.
| ||Every Season |
|by Shelley Rotner and Anne Love Woodhull (Roaring Brook Press, 2007, ISBN 1596431369)|
This is a book for all seasons which begins and ends with spring:
“I love spring when grass grows green. Speckled eggs fill woven nests. Showers soak. Seeds sprout. Flowers bloom.”
After spring comes summer, and the author loves summer, too. Then there is autumn and winter. Each of the seasons is depicted with lyrical text and colorful photographs that feature signs of the seasons and children enjoying the special days. This book encourages discussion about the changes that occur throughout the year and the memories that are attached to each one.
| ||Growing Vegetable Soup|
|by Lois Ehlert (Voyager Books, 1990, ISBN 0152325808)|
“Dad says we are going to grow vegetable soup.” And in order to eat the soup, the children have to learn about the process of growing the vegetables. From gathering the tools, tending the soil, planting the seeds and sprouts, and watering and tilling the rows of new growth, the children learn about the hard work necessary to bring food to the table. Of course, the soup is the best they have ever tasted! Illustrated in an eye-catching graphic style, this book is an exciting introduction to growing a garden.
| ||Watch Them Grow|
|by Linda Martin (DK Preschool, 1994, ISBN 1564584585)|
The wonders of spring include new signs of life everywhere. This book gives children a look at baby animals that are born to their mothers, baby animals that hatch from eggs, and plants that grow from seeds. The book is filled with information about each animal and plant and lots of photographs that depict various stages of the growth process. Boys and girls will enjoy this nonfiction text and look back at it again and again.
The preschool classroom offers many opportunities to discuss the changes that come with a new season: changes in weather and temperature, changes in how we dress, changes in the types of foods we eat, and changes in plants and animals. Try the following activities with your boys and girls:
- Cut a 2-liter bottle about 6 inches from the bottom to create a garden container. Cover the rim of the container with a brightly colored tape to make sure there are no sharp edges. Fill the container with soil, and stick in some seeds. Make sure to water the seeds and place the container in the sun. Watch the plants grow, taking digital pictures as the seedlings get taller. Use the photos as a sequencing activity, asking the boys and girls to arrange them in order.
- Spring weather often means rain showers and, sometimes, a rainbow. Children are fascinated by the colors in the sky and want to know how they got there. As a follow-up to a discussion on rainbows, have the boys and girls weave their own rainbow. Take a plastic laundry basket with rows of square cutouts in the sides. Fill the basket with lengths of crepe paper in rainbow colors. Teach the children to weave the crepe paper in and out of the basket sides to form a rainbow of their own.
Books selected and reviewed by Carol Price
. Carol Price has been a preschool teacher and director, a kindergarten and first grade teacher, an elementary principal, and a K-12 English language arts coordinator. Recently retired after working thirty years for Worthington Schools in Worthington, Ohio, she now spends her time as an educational consultant, workshop presenter, and adjunct professor at a local college. More importantly, she finally has hours and hours available to read newly released children's books and to curl up with a few of her old favorites, too.