Science Activity

Be a Scientist—Observe Spring Changes!

In school, the Growing and Changing theme focuses on ways of keeping healthy and on how your child is growing. It also covers the changes in nature that spring brings. At home, if you keep track of your child's height, it would be interesting to see how your child has grown now that the end of the school year is near. It would also be fun for your child to see and to try on some clothes or shoes that he or she wore at the beginning of the school year—or this time last year if that's a more obvious difference!

Outside, take a nature walk to see what is happening as spring arrives. Bring a notebook or a clipboard and paper, pencils, crayons, and a magnifying glass if you have one. You can walk around your neighborhood or visit a park for your nature walk. Before you begin, talk with your child about how the trees, grass, and bushes looked during the winter months. Tell him or her that you are going to look for ways that these things—and more—are changing. Ask your child what he or she expects to see. You can write down predictions in the notebook or on paper, or your child can draw some pictures. It will be fun to see how many of these predictions are accurate.

On your walk, look for buds and/or flowers on different types of trees or bushes. Help your child write down what he or she observes as you go. Drawing pictures may be even better! Maybe you'll see sprouting tulips, daffodils, or other flowers. There may be some birds with nests or some baby animals running around. Someone may be doing some planting in the neighborhood or at the park. Stop to observe the planting, encouraging your child (with your help) to ask questions about the process and about what is being planted, and to see the seeds or roots. If you come across rocks that you can lift, turn them over to see if there are bugs underneath. You may see larvae, the bug's young, or other insects under the rocks. Just be sure to gently replace the rocks when you leave. You may also see caterpillar chrysalis on bushes. If you see a pond, polliwogs may be visible.

When you get home, talk about all the things you and your child observed. Look through your notes and illustrations to review your observations. Check your child's predictions to see what matched and what was a surprise. You can assemble the pages together as a book, using another sheet of paper as a cover. Your child can decorate the cover and, with your help, add a title. Now he or she has an informational book to read again and share with others. If your child is interested, you can repeat this nature walk with the other seasons.