Spring Hands-on Activities for Preschool Children

As an early childhood teacher, one of the greatest joys is seeing the excitement and wonder in children’s eyes as they explore and discover the world around them. One way to foster this sense of curiosity and engagement is by incorporating hands-on activities that reflect the changing seasons and special occasions.

In our classroom, the arrival of spring is always met with heightened anticipation as children eagerly await the new materials and activities that will be added to our shelves. The transformation of our environment to reflect the beauty and energy of the season is a key element in creating a rich and engaging learning experience for our students.

I have gathered a collection of spring-themed hands-on activities that are perfect for preschool students. These activities not only align with Montessori principles of hands-on learning and exploration, but also encourage children to connect with nature and the world around them in a meaningful way.

One activity that is always a hit with our students is a spring sensory bin filled with fresh flowers, grass, and other natural materials. Children love using their senses to explore the different textures, scents, and colors found within the bin. This activity not only engages their senses but also encourages them to use their hands to manipulate and explore the materials in a hands-on way.

Another favorite spring activity is a flower arranging station. Children are given a variety of fresh flowers, vases, and tools to create their own beautiful arrangements. This activity not only allows children to use their fine motor skills and creativity but also teaches them about the importance of caring for and appreciating the beauty of nature.

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In addition to these hands-on activities, I also like to incorporate themed tray activities that focus on different aspects of spring, such as gardening, animals, and weather. These activities are designed to engage children in a variety of skills, including sorting, matching, and fine motor development.

Incorporating nature-inspired hands-on activities into the classroom during the spring season not only enhances children’s learning experiences but also fosters a deep connection with the natural world. By providing children with the opportunity to explore and engage with the beauty of spring, we are helping them to develop a sense of wonder and appreciation for the world around them. And as Montessori educators, that is truly our ultimate goal – to inspire a lifelong love of learning and exploration in each and every child.

Spring vocabulary cards for the memory or match-up games, storytelling startups, and building sentences.

Spring is a season of new beginnings, growth, and beauty. It is a time when the world around us comes alive with color and life. As educators, it is important to incorporate the themes of spring into our teaching materials to engage children and enhance their learning experiences.

One way to do this is by using spring vocabulary cards in memory or match-up games. These games not only help children expand their vocabulary and improve their memory skills, but they also allow them to make connections between words and images related to the season. By using colorful and engaging images of flowers, butterflies, rain showers, and more, children can have fun while learning about different aspects of spring.

Storytelling is another important skill that can be developed through spring-themed activities. By using spring vocabulary cards as story starters, children can create their own imaginative tales that incorporate the sights, sounds, and experiences of the season. This encourages creativity, language development, and critical thinking skills in a fun and engaging way.

Building sentences using spring vocabulary cards is also a valuable activity for young learners. By matching words together to create meaningful sentences, children can practice grammar, sentence structure, and language comprehension. This activity can be tailored to different skill levels, making it a versatile and effective tool for language development.

Using spring vocabulary cards in memory games, storytelling activities, and sentence building exercises is a fantastic way to incorporate the themes of the season into the classroom in a fun and educational way. By engaging children in hands-on and interactive activities that relate to the world around them, educators can help foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the beauty and wonder of spring. So gather your spring vocabulary cards and get ready to inspire young minds with the magic of the season!

Classifying cards with birds, bees, and butterflies.

Classifying cards with birds, bees, and butterflies is a fantastic educational activity that can help children learn about different types of animals, their characteristics, and their habitats. This hands-on activity not only enhances children’s cognitive skills such as sorting and categorizing, but also fosters their curiosity and appreciation for the natural world.

Birds, bees, and butterflies are all important pollinators and play crucial roles in our ecosystem. By introducing children to these creatures through classifying cards, we can help them develop a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of nature and the importance of biodiversity.

To set up this activity, you can our cards with images of various birds, bees, and butterflies. Each card features a different species. Children can then sort the cards into groups based on the type of animal – birds, bees, and butterflies.

As children sort the cards, they can discuss the unique features of each animal, such as the shape of their wings, the colors of their feathers or wings, and their preferred habitats. This not only helps children learn about different types of animals, but also encourages them to observe and appreciate the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

In addition to classification, this activity can also be used for language development by having children identify and pronounce the names of different species. You can also incorporate math skills by counting the number of cards in each group or by comparing the sizes of different animals.

Classifying cards with birds, bees, and butterflies is a versatile and engaging activity that can be adapted to various learning objectives. By exploring these fascinating creatures through hands-on classification, children can deepen their understanding of the natural world and develop valuable cognitive and observational skills. So gather your cards and let the learning and discovery begin!

I spy with my little eye game

In this spring edition of “I spy with my little eye,” children can explore the wonders of the season through a set of colorful and vibrant images featuring various spring items.

To play the game, simply lay out the spring-themed mats in front of the children or take a walk outdoors to spot the items in real life. The designated “spy” can choose an item from the card or the environment and provide a clue to the other players by saying, “I spy with my little eye something that is [color, size, shape, initial sound etc.].”

The other players then take turns guessing the item based on the clue given, using their keen observation skills and vocabulary to identify the object. As they search and discover the spring items, children can also engage in conversations about the season, the changes in nature, and the significance of different elements in the environment.

“I spy with my little eye” spring game not only encourages children to sharpen their observation skills and expand their vocabulary, but it also provides a delightful way to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the spring season.

Size grading activity. Draw corresponding numbers on the back for the child’s self-check.

To set up this activity, you can create a set of ladybug cards in varying sizes, ranging from small to large.

During the activity, children can explore the ladybug cards and manipulate them to arrange the ladybugs in order from smallest to largest or largest to smallest. This helps children practice size discrimination and sequencing skills as they visually compare the sizes of the ladybugs and arrange them accordingly.

As children sort and grade the ladybug cards by size, they can engage in conversations about the differences in size, using comparative language such as “smaller than,” “larger than,” or “the biggest.” This not only reinforces size concepts but also promotes language development and communication skills.

Additionally, the size grading activity with ladybug cards can be extended to include math concepts such as measurement and comparison. Children can measure and compare the sizes of the ladybug cards using non-standard units like counting blocks or paperclips, or standard units like rulers or measuring tapes.

Russian matryoashka lacing/sewing cards

Creating Russian matryoshka lacing/sewing cards is a fantastic way to introduce children to this iconic Russian symbol while also helping them develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination through a fun and creative activity.

Print the card on cardstock paper to ensure durability. You can also laminate the card for added strength and reusability. Using a hole puncher, create evenly spaced holes along the outline of the matryoshka doll, keeping them at a size suitable for threading yarn or lacing cords.

Next, gather colorful yarn or lacing cords in various shades to provide children with a range of options for threading. You can also add beads or buttons to the activity to make it more engaging and decorative.

During the activity, children can practice their fine motor skills by threading the yarn or cords through the holes in the matryoshka doll outline, following the lines and patterns of the design. This process helps improve hand-eye coordination, concentration, and dexterity.

As children lace or sew the cards, encourage them to be creative with their patterns and colors, exploring different ways to embellish their matryoshka dolls. This hands-on activity not only enhances fine motor skills but also promotes creativity and artistic expression.

Number puzzles from 1 – 5, 1-10, dot counting 1-10, 10-1, 11-20

Number strip puzzles are a fantastic hands-on learning activity that can help children practice number recognition, sequencing, and counting skills in a fun and interactive way.

Each card can be cut into individual strips with one number on each piece. Children can then mix up the pieces and challenge themselves to put them back in the correct numerical order, practicing number sequencing and counting skills.

Russian matryoshka matching cards. Invite your student to create some of their own.

Gardening themed  fine motor activity on number recognition with pegs

Sorting activity with animals and plants

A sorting activity with animals and plants cards is a wonderful way to engage children in hands-on learning while teaching them about the natural world and the characteristics of different living organisms. By participating in this activity, children can develop their cognitive skills, critical thinking abilities, and knowledge of the diversity of flora and fauna.

Once you have your cards ready, you can introduce the sorting activity to the children. Encourage them to categorize the cards into two groups: animals and plants. Children can use their observational skills to identify common features and attributes that distinguish animals from plants, such as movement, feeding habits, and physical characteristics. This activity also provides an opportunity to discuss the different roles animals and plants play in the ecosystem.

Nature adventure hunt, and nature walk checklist.

Embarking on a nature adventure hunt and nature walk checklist is a fantastic way to encourage children to explore the outdoors, engage with the natural world, and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings. This activity not only promotes physical activity and sensory exploration but also fosters curiosity, creativity, and a deeper connection to nature.

As children explore their surroundings, they can check off items on their nature walk checklist, take notes, make sketches, or collect samples of the natural treasures they find. This hands-on approach not only enhances their observational skills but also allows them to interact with and learn about the environment in a meaningful way.

Encourage children to use their senses of sight, sound, touch, and smell to search for and identify these items.

During the nature walk, you can engage children in discussions about the plant and animal species they encounter, the different habitats they observe, and the seasonal changes they notice. This provides an opportunity for children to ask questions, make observations, and develop a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of living organisms in nature.

After the nature adventure hunt, you can gather together to debrief and share the exciting discoveries made during the walk. Encourage children to reflect on their experiences, share their favorite findings, and discuss any new insights or connections they have made about the natural world.

Pre-writing exercise

Rainbow matching shapes and colors

Garden themed silhouette matching cards – memory game. This game is great for children under three.

Garden themed silhouette matching cards memory game is a wonderful and engaging activity that can help children under three develop their memory, visual discrimination, and cognitive skills while exploring the wonders of a garden setting. By incorporating familiar garden-themed silhouettes into a memory game, children can practice matching, concentration, and problem-solving in a fun and interactive way.

Print and cut out two sets of matching cards, making sure to laminate them for durability. Place the cards face down in a grid pattern on a flat surface, such as a table or play area, to create the memory game layout. Encourage children to take turns flipping over two cards at a time in search of matching pairs.

As children flip over the cards, they can practice visual memory and observation skills to remember the positions of different images on the cards and make connections between matching pairs. Each successful match reinforces memory retention and boosts confidence as children progress through the game.

To enhance the learning experience, you can also incorporate descriptive language and discussions about the garden-themed silhouettes with the children. Encourage them to identify the objects, name the colors, and mimic the sounds or motions associated with each garden element to further engage their senses and imagination.

Coloring puzzles

Word puzzles for spelling out three-letter  phonetic words

Engaging children in word puzzles that involve spelling out three-letter phonetic words is a fantastic way to reinforce phonics skills, enhance spelling abilities, and promote vocabulary development. By providing children with interactive and hands-on activities, they can practice decoding and blending sounds, improve their phonemic awareness, and build confidence in their literacy skills.

Another engaging word puzzle activity is to provide children with word puzzles or worksheets that feature scrambled letters of three-letter phonetic words. Children can unscramble the letters to correctly spell out the words and reinforce their understanding of letter-sound relationships. This activity challenges children to use their phonics knowledge and problem-solving skills to decode and assemble the words.

By incorporating word puzzles for spelling out three-letter phonetic words into your literacy activities, you can create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that motivates children to explore and master foundational reading and writing skills. These activities not only enhance language development but also promote critical thinking, concentration, and perseverance as children work to solve the puzzles.

Language puzzles for reinforcing alphabet sequencing skills

Cutting activity with color and black and white images for coloring

Handwriting practice with baby animal names *(cursive option is included as well)

I hope my hands-on activities shared with you in the post will light a spark in your students’ eyes! You can find them all in one pack here: Spring Preschool Activities.

Spring Preschool Pack

$8.00

Enhance your little learners’ spring experience with this comprehensive printable pack! Perfect for children aged 3-5, this engaging set of activities covers a wide range of skills including reading, sight…

I also invite you to check out my Montessori Spring Pack for children aged 3-6.

You might also enjoy our other spring learning resources

About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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