Hidden Signs of Spring
Using the outdoors is a wonderful way to change things up when the weather cooperates. Spring is the perfect time to take sessions and lessons outside to work with individuals and small groups. Look around your school at the environment to see where you could spend some time. Playgrounds, picnic tables, walking paths, and anything else outdoors can be flexible if you are flexible.
Make a version of I Spy that kids can tackle out and about. Look for photos of items which may also be found in the area around your school. Glue these photos onto index cards, laminate them, and then put them onto a portable ring that can be carried outside. Examples of photos may include: birdhouse, robin, nest, sun, clouds, bee, hive, playground, and bench. Focus on things that would be easily found and some which will be more of a challenge. Chat about the photo on each card. What is there and where may it be found around school? When finished, go on an I Spy walk searching for the actual item. Have fun skipping, hopping, or practicing other motor skills while working on this. Students working on articulation may use the word in a sentence when it is found and describe where it is to someone who is unsure.
Using your senses is a lot of fun in the spring. Older children will be able to make comparisons from winter to spring once they head out for a sensory walk. Once outside, stop and take in your surroundings. What can be seen around you? Does it feel different standing here now than it did in January? What do you hear in the background? Are you noticing any smells? Is there something you would like to be tasting while on our walk that reminds you of spring? When finished, head to a shaded area or inside to make a journal of observations. This could be taken home to practice words and encourage motor skill practice when outside of school. Younger children could adjust this to a color hunt. Look for spring things that are red, blue, green, and more while walking around. Kids can take a journal outside with them to sketch what they see for each color and be able to talk about it later.
Reach out to families. See if they have photos of special springtime events, places, or faces to share. This is a great way to embrace differences in families and to share unique backgrounds.
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