Jean Piaget, who was the father of the study of cognition in children said
“Each time one prematurely teaches a child something he or she could have discovered for himself, that child is kept forever from inventing it and consequently from understanding it completely.” – Jean Piaget 1970.
I try to live by this as a parent — instead of showing my son something I try to prompt him until he discovers it himself. This is soooo hard to do sometimes! Spring is a good reminder of discovery. Daily, there are new happenings right in the backyard, a new bud, a new shoot, a change in the trees, new bugs to see and birds to hear.
Lately one of the best ways I’ve found to prompt discovery in nature with J (who is 3.5 years old) is reading a book about something and then searching for it outside. He is so excited when he is the one to discover something. This year I’m going with a bird and nest theme.
Five Ways to Discover Spring with your Kids
1. Read Books
2. Take a Discovery Nature Walk(s):
The trees are still fairly bare here and there are lots of visible nests. After reading the books, take a nature walk and count all the nests, birds, bugs, flowers and signs of spring you see. Find a free printable at the end of this post for your own nature walk!
3. Make Birdfeeders:
I love this list of 10 birdfeeders Kids Love to Make from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails and I love this idea for a nesting material birdfeeder using leftover paper grass from the Easter basket from Year Round Giving.
4. Start Birdwatching:
After breakfast, we take out the binoculars as do some birdwatching on the days we are home in the morning. We we bring our bird books outside and watch for the birds to come to our feeder! Here is a great resource for identifying backyard birds: National Wildlife Federation Backyard Birds Checklist.
5. Do Crafts:
For rainy Spring days, bring the fun indoors. We have a simple nature journal that I use to help J remember his discoveries. I either print out a picture of what we have seen and he colors on that page or I download and print a free coloring page, like this one from Kidzone. And this nest craft from Arts and Crafts for Tots is the cutest one I’ve seen!
That is our plan, what are you looking forward to discover this Spring?
Click on this link to download the Springtime Nature Discovery Walk printable!