It’s all about making an educational connection: locating fun activities, interesting to your children — subjects to discuss and learn about. I find it harder to get the educational juices flowing when it’s cold outside. Is this true for you? Take heart — spring is in the air!
March 20th is the first day of spring this year. Hopefully, for you, things are beginning to thaw and warm. Even if not, it’s time to get everyone outdoors. Go for walks in the woods and explore far and often as spring moves in. Discuss and observe the subtle changes that nature is bringing in. There are hidden educational gems everywhere. You could have a “signs of spring scavenger hunt.” The trees are beginning to bud. You’ll likely locate a few bulbs and seedlings breaking the ground even if there is still snow around. You’ll see baby birds and animals, and of course, there will be bugs and insects to observe and discuss. Ask your children to observe the weather. What is the air temperature? Is it windy? Cloudy? If you have a thermometer, it may be a good time to practice reading it and discussing Fahrenheit and Celsius.
Don’t forget to bring an observation notebook to record what you see. Add to the learning by bringing a camera along or ask your children to draw or sketch their favorite finds. You can look up and identify those at home later. If you have a portable magnifying glass or microscope, bring it along for close-up appreciation. Ask your children to record the date to create a chronological journal over time. Take a picnic along and make a day of it. Lie down in a grassy area and look up and try to find shapes in the clouds. Play catch or kickball. Children of all ages enjoy bubbles! Make some fun memories.
Even if you and your family are still too cold and frozen, there are plenty of themed activities to do indoors. March is Youth Art Month. Allow your children to explore the many facets of arts and crafts: painting, drawing, cartooning, cutting, pasting, book illustration, sewing, basket weaving. While they explore visual arts they are learning creativity, risk-taking, learning to express themselves, observation, project planning. It’s also Music in School month so be creative! Make your instruments and have a parade! March is National Noodle Month so don’t forget to include your favorite macaroni noodle crafts!
Speaking of noodles, it’s also National Nutrition Month. It will be totally fun to learn about healthy eating while creating and exploring healthful recipes. Ironically, March is also National Frozen Food Month. It seems like the perfect time to help your children compare the health benefits between fresh and frozen foods. Also, the science behind freezing may be an interesting exploration. This is a great time to discuss personal care: bathing, hand washing, dental health, etc.
It’s American Red Cross Month. They have a long and rich history well worth studying. Discuss and learn about safety. Teach your children how to dial 911 on your cell phone. Teens can also enroll in a Red Cross babysitting course to prepare for babysitting jobs. They can also learn CPR and practice community service.
Both boys and girls can benefit from learning about Women’s History Month. It’s the perfect opportunity to teach your child about iconic female figures that helped shaped the country. Head out to a history museum to take in a multi-sensory experience!
There are so many themes to draw from, it will be impossible to take advantage of all of them in March. Locate a good children’s educational theme calendar and pick your own favorite March themes to incorporate.
Have fun and make memories.