I am so excited to introduce Simple Kids readers to our Guest Poster today: Eileen Straiton of Little Acorn Learning. Thank you Eileen, for sharing some ideas for simple Spring celebrations for Earth Day, Easter, and more!
Spring is a time of preparation, rebirth, new life and change; a wonderful time to recreate yourself. Nature is constantly sending us signs and symbols of which path to take. It is a time for us to listen and take notice of the world around us. As caregivers and parents, it is a wonderful time to mediate on the gifts we have to offer in this life. What are our unique talents and deepest desires? How can we use them to best serve humanity and those around us?
Celebrating Spring’s Colors
Spring is a time of color. Beautiful colors that we see reflected in new flowers, vegetable gardens and trees. Colors reflected by the increased light and warmth during this season. What colors are you using in your home and classroom? This is a good time to wash windows and hang prisms, sun-catchers and crystals to capture the light of spring and reflect it into our homes.
Photo by Salt Spring Community
Earth Day: Gardens and Natural Play Areas
Spring is a wonderful time to plan our gardens. We can begin clearing the area where we hope to plant new seeds or seedlings. We can clean up our outdoor space and work to preserve and encourage natural growth on our land for our children and other living creatures to enjoy.
Ensuring that children have wild and natural areas to play in is so very important and inspires a true love of the earth and its beauty. April 22nd is Earth Day and this is a wonderful time to explore the natural world, to learn about your local environment and to make changes to help preserve it.
Of course, the very best way to celebrate spring is to take your children outdoors and experience it first hand in nature! We can work to move daily activities outdoors more often during this time… enjoying picnic meals, sitting in nature while knitting, reading or storytelling with the children.
The Full Pink Moon
April’s full moon was named ‘The Full Pink Moon’ because of the flowers that began to show themselves during this time. This year the Full Pink Moon will show itself on April 28th. Plan a listening walk with your family or cook outside that evening. Have a full moon party!
Many people celebrate Easter this time of year (April 4th in 2010). It is a time of rejoicing and celebrating the miracle of life and our connection to the spiritual world. Below are some traditional activities for Easter with a natural twist. Even if your family does not celebrate the holiday, growing wheatgrass and dyeing eggs can be a fun way to celebrate the season!
Photo by Little Acorn Learning
Homegrown Easter Basket
The instructions and photos that go along with this beautiful alternative to plastic Easter basket filling were included in the free Spring Sample Week on the Little Acorn Learning website – submitted by Marianne Frost. Marianne is a seasoned Waldorf kindergarten teacher, mother and grandmother extraordinaire and avid knitter.You can visit Marianne’s blog here.
Be sure to work on these soon so they will be ready for Easter Sunday.
Wheatberries can be purchased in bulk at your natural food market. They are the same that are used to grow the grass to make your wheatgrass drinks at juice bars. Soak the berries in water for 24 hours prior to the planting day. Shorter than that they aren’t soft enough, and longer than that, they sour.
Have each child bring in their Easter Basket, which we helped to line with plastic (just the bottom and barely up the sides so it can serve its purpose as a barrier, yet cannot be seen.) Then have the children add potting soil. The soil fills the basket approximately 1/3 of the way, you don’t want to make the basket too heavy, but want it so the sun can get to the seeds.
Then each child can scoop a measuring cup of wheatberry seeds and create a layer of seeds on top of the soil. (You may want to go through after the children are gone and make sure each basket has an even layer). Water each basket thoroughly with a gentle spray so as not to disturb the seeds.
The baskets are covered with a tight piece of saran wrap for the first 24 hours to create a “greenhouse”. Be sure that the inside is moist. If it seems dry during that time, take the plastic warp off, spritz the seeds well, and reapply the wrap. The roots will be settling in first, and then you will begin to see tiny, yellow/green sprouts growing. Always leave your baskets in a very sunny place (indoors or outdoors is fine), and watch closely so that they do not become dry.
Spritz them with a spray bottle thoroughly a few times per day. If you have them outdoors be sure to bring them in in the evening to protect them from cold and animals. Since we had a specific deadline because the children went home Friday, we created greenhouse tents on some of the slower growing baskets to warm them up and help them along. Notice the moisture inside the plastic wrap tents.
Suddenly, between day 9 and 12, they will burst into thick, green lush blades of grass!
Natural Easter Egg Coloring
- Gently place eggs on the bottom of your pan – do not stack eggs on top of each other (you may have to do a few pots).
- Cover eggs with water so they are fully covered with an additional ½” on top. Add 3 tablespoons of white vinegar to pot. Add 1 tablespoon of alum to pot.
- Add natural dye material to your pot. Experiment with different amounts to see the colors you can create. Bring pot to a boil and let simmer 25-30 minutes. With tongs or large scooper, bring eggs out of pot gently and transfer onto paper toweling or newspaper lined bowl. Let cool.
Cherries - Turmeric - Spinach
Photo by Little Acorn Learning
Thank you for sharing your ideas and crafts, Eileen. What about you, readers? How will you be celebrating Spring with your kids?