“… when the world is puddle-wonderful”

E.E. Cummings referred to springtime as “when the world is puddle-wonderful.” What a marvelous expression! May is a lovely time of year for enjoying the outdoors with your children.

For example, why not create a scavenger hunt? Ensuring each group has at least one adult supervising, hand out lists with pictures of crocuses, daffodils, and violets along with other native flowers. You could also list ladybugs, butterflies, and ants. You might even list small frogs or toads if you’re near water. A scavenger hunt would be the perfect activity for your outdoor classroom or a nearby park.

While hiking with your children, engage them in discussions about this particular season. Are they wearing different clothes from the winter? Why? How have the trees changed? Does the air feel different?

Karen Miller, author of our favorite The Outside Play and Learning Book, suggests the following:

“Find a tree in the springtime that is just showing its first tiny leaves, just out of the bud. Pick a few of these leaves and encase them in clear contact paper to preserve them. Visit the same tree once a week for three or four weeks in a row, and each time pick some leaves and encase them in clear contact paper. The children will notice how each week the leaves get a little bigger.