On this page you will find Spring activities for preschoolers addressing a range of developmental and educational outcomes. All of these activities, crafts, games, songs and finger plays have been tried and tested in class over many years and are guaranteed to be loved by your preschool children.

Each activity is accompanied with an explanation of the learning outcomes, as well as a few extra tips from me thrown in along the way.

I hope you, and especially your children, love these Spring activities.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― 
Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

Spring is the time of the year that teachers are most eager to welcome. Spring is the beginning of many things, but in the early childhood education world it means we can spend more time outdoors! *Huge sigh of relief* I love to be able to offer the majority of our learning experiences in the warmth of the sun.

With the first rays of spring sunshine, there arrives such an array of experiences we can provide! But where to start?! As with everything, the starting point is that it needs to be relevant to your children. Have they noticed the flowers blooming in their garden? Did their family enjoy a picnic outside? Or has the snow melted? Can they run on the grass with no shoes?

Skills

These activities develop and refine the following skills:

  • Confidence for self expression through music and movement.
  • Numeracy – counting, number recognition, number patterns and measurements.
  • Literacy – playing with rhymes, re-enacting and retelling a story, listening to and reading of books.
  • Language -reciting finger plays, describing experiences, asking and answering questions, communicating with friends and educators.
  • Creativity – experiment with drawings, colors, textures and patterns and use resources creatively.
  • Cutting skills – manipulate scissors to cut along straight and curved lines.
  • Research – to use pictures and texts in books and technology to seek information.

Spring Themes

  • Weather
  • Seasons – Spring
  • Creatures in the garden
  • Plant Life
  • Colors
  • Life cycle of a butterfly
  • Babies that hatch from an egg
  • Days of the week

10 Songs and Finger plays for every Spring Occasion:

Songs and finger plays are among the most effective tools for getting preschoolers involved in creative activities that hold their attention and get them up and moving. Children delight in rhyme and can have fun experimenting with different voice pitches and tones. Children gain confidence dramatizing simple finger plays and songs. It is an ideal way of introducing new concepts like spring.

  1. Here is the Beehive

Here is the Beehive

But where are the bees?

Hiding away where nobody can see.

Here they come creeping

Out of their hive,

One, two, three, four, five.

  1. What do you suppose?

A bee sat on my nose.

Then what do you think?

He gave me a wink

And said, ‘I beg your pardon,

I thought you were my garden.’

  1. Here we go round the mulberry bush

Here we go round the mulberry bush

the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush,

Here we go round the mulberry bush,

On a warm, spring day.

You can substitute ‘mulberry bush’ for ‘rose bush’ – or any other suggestions the children have! Start with skipping around in a circle and then asking the children to create more actions.

  1. Little Arabella Miller

Little Arabella Miller
Had a fuzzy caterpillar (Tickle palm with two fingers)
First it crawled up on her mother (Walk fingers up left arm)
Then upon her baby brother (Walk fingers up right arm)
They said, “Arabella Miller! (Walk fingers up over head)
Put away your caterpillar!” (hide hands behind back)

  1. Funny Little Shadow

This is an echo song, where the teacher says the first line and the children repeat. As they become more familiar, the children can take on the teacher’s role too.

Funny little shadow

Funny little shadow

Always *stretches* when I stretch

Always *stretches* when I stretch

Funny little shadow

Funny little shadow

Stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch

Stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch

This song can be a lead-in to a science experiment when you are out in the sun. Use it to experiment with the way our body moves and the way our shadow looks.

If you do this exercise on concrete or asphalt, you can also use chalk to trace around the shadow.

  1. Cuckoo, Cuckoo

Cuckoo, Cuckoo,

Calls from the woods.

Let us be singing,

Dancing and swinging.

Springtime, Springtime soon will be here.

  1. 5 tall flowers in the florist shop

5 tall flowers in the florist shop

Some were blue and some were white

Along came “child’s name” with some money one day.

Bought a ‘blue ‘flower and took it away.

You can substitute blue and white for the colors the children are wearing.

This is a great song to use for dramatic role play: 5 children, who are wearing the chosen colours, stand in a row. A sixth child plays the role of the shopkeeper. Select another child to buy the particular colored flower. This child hands the money to the shopkeeper and then the customer, hand in hand with the flower, sit down.

  1. Go Round

“Child’s name” go round the Sun

“ Child’s name”, go round the garden

“ Child’s name”, go round the butterflies

On this spring morning.

To dramatize this song I like the children to design picture cards depicting spring – the sun, garden and butterflies. These words can be substituted – ask your children for suggestions.  Children form a large circle. Three children, holding one picture card each, stand in the centre of the circle. A fourth chid skips around the corresponding child holding the card relevant to that part of the verse.

  1. Way up high in the apple tree

Way up high in the apple tree

2 red apples smiled at me.

I shook that tree as hard as I could.

Down came the apples

mmm were they good.

  1. Ants Go Marching

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two,
The little one stops to tie his shoe
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three,
The little one stops to climb a tree
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching four by four, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching four by four, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching four by four,
The little one stops to shut the door
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching five by five, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching five by five, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching five by five,
The little one stops to take a dive
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching six by six, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching six by six, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching six by six,
The little one stops to pick up sticks
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching seven by seven, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching seven by seven, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching seven by seven,
The little one stops to pray to heaven
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching eight by eight, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching eight by eight, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching eight by eight,
The little one stops to shut the gate
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching nine by nine, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching nine by nine, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching nine by nine,
The little one stops to check the time
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching ten by ten, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten,
The little one stops to say “THE END”
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

A Splash of Spring Fever Activities:

Adding spring color to the indoor learning environment can be as simple as creating bursts of colours.

  • Line a table with a sheet of plastic. Pour spoonfuls of different colored paints onto separate sections of the plastic. Add little scatters if you wish. Tape a top layer of plastic onto the bottom sheet, covering the paint. It may require tape to be applied twice so the paint won’t seep out. Children can then experiment making new colors by moving the paint around under the plastic, using their hands.

 

  • Provide vases of fresh flowers so children can use their senses to explore. Offer magnifying glasses for examining up close.
  • Be creative and make your own flowers. Some ideas for creating flowers include:
    • Paint the child’s hand, palm and each finger a different color. The child presses their hand onto the window to make a print. By making one print for each child you will create an instant garden display. When the handprints have dried, the children can paint the stems and leaves. Beautiful!
  • Cut out a flower shape from a paper plate, approximately 7.5 inches in diameter. At each petal, cut an approximately ½ inch slit. At the centre of the plate cut a 2 inch circle. The children can tape a piece of colored cellophane at the back of the circle. With yard lengths of wool the child can weave the wool around, in and out of slits. This can be done using two or three different colored lengths of wool. Attach a Popsicle stick or twig for a stem.
  • Children use an eye dropper to apply different colored water onto paper towelling. When dried, hold the centre of the paper and gather up the rest into a funnel shape. Twist a pipe cleaner around the centre, allowing the rest of the pipe cleaner to be the stem. Flowers can be arranged in a vase. Alternatively, stand the flowers up by piercing holes into the lid of a closed egg cartoon.
  • Balloon Prints can be cut into flowers. Tip: Before blowing up the balloon pour in a little water. This will prevent the balloon from rolling. Spread paint onto a sponge; the sponge can be resting on an individual ice cream lid. Provide colors that the children suggest. You can match the color of the balloon with the paint so children can easily identify which sponge the balloon needs to be returned to; for example, a red balloon returned to the red paint sponge etc.
  • Provide an assortment of artificial and fresh individual petals. On an approximately 1 foot square of clear book cover film, the children can arrange the individual petals to create flowers. Paint the stem and leaves. Apply the same size cellophane (can be the child’s choice of colour) on top.
  • Cutting activity – give children different shaped flowers of varying difficulty to cut out. Use different mediums so that children can design patterns on their pot.
  • Set up an easel or table with paint and brushes in the garden so children can be creative.
  • Invite families to bring in photos of children’s gardens from home.
  • Research different artists’ styles of paintings; for example, Claude Monet’s paintings of waterlilies or Vincent Van Gogh’s love of yellow. What can children find in the garden that is yellow?

Exploration: Life in the Garden

Explore nature by taking a walk through the preschool or local gardens. Encourage the children to use all their senses; for example, smell the roses, thorns are sharp to touch, taste edible flowers, listen to the sound of the bees, etc.

Spring Book Experiences

Nature table:

Use books and tablets to research facts about bees, ants, beetles, the life cycle of the butterfly.

After lots of investigation, set up a nature table reflecting what Spring means to your children and families.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

My favorite book to read during Spring is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. It is a popular choice with every group of children.

This is a classic, well-loved book with colorful and bright pictures. It’s a simple, interactive and accessible book. There are few words and it features clear illustrations which are very appropriate representations of the words. The book explores many engaging concepts, which makes it book enticing to revisit and re-read for days. The key concept explored in the book is the life cycle of the butterfly.

A range of other important concepts addressed include:

  • Number concepts and counting
  • Sequencing: eg. What the caterpillar eats first, second and third, etc.
  • Days of the week
  • Healthy foods

I recommend you explore a variety of styles for this book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, through:

  • a full color edition
  • a black and white copy
  • the CD version
  • Each child making their own individual book

Leveraging these experiences is ideal to develop a unit of work involving numeracy, literacy, language, health and nutrition, science or the creative arts.

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” mural activity

This activity allows for experimentation with different textures and art materials to create our very own ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’.

MATERIALS:

Leaf:

  • Template of a leaf
  • A3 Art paper with outline of leaf
  • Tissues
  • Green paint with some glue mixed in
  • Paint Brush

Caterpillar:

  • Markers
  • Pompom balls
  • 5 inch precut coloured circles (or trace around a quarter)
  • Glue

Butterfly:

  • A3 art paper – folded in half for crease line
  • Variety of bright colored paint
  • Plastic spoons
  • Egg cartoon- 1 row of 6 egg sections
  • 1 pipe cleaner (cut in half)
  • Markers

STEPS:

Leaf:

  1. At a table or easel, the child crunches up a tissue and presses it onto the paper.
  2. Using the green glue, dab over the tissue until it is covered and secure.
  3. Taking a second tissue, the child crunches it up and then continues to repeat until the leaf has a textured effect and is painted green all over.
  4. Allow to dry.
  5. Cut out leaf.

Caterpillar: I like each child to decide how they would like to make their caterpillar. Possibilities include:

  1. Draw a caterpillar using markers
  2. Child decides how many sections for their caterpillar. For example, 10. The child counts 10 circles or 10 pompoms and glues them side by side to form a caterpillar. A marker is then used to draw legs, feelers and face.

Butterfly:

  1. Child spoons a small amount of different colored paint onto paper. Tip: Leave approximately a 4 inch margin all around sides free from paint, to avoid paint squeezing out.
  2. Fold paper in half using the pre folded crease.
  3. Child uses fingers to spread the paint around. Encourage the child to continue this until the paint has been spread. Stop before the paint squeezes out from the sides of paper.
  4. Open the page up and surprise! Ask the children what they see in their painting. Often it looks like a butterfly. Be mindful that it may look like something completely different to the child.
  5. For the children whose painting resembles a butterfly, they can paint their length of the egg cartoon, using one or several colors.
  6. Allow the egg cartoon and butterfly print to dry.
  7. Cut out a butterfly by following the shape of the dried paint. By doing this each one will be a different shaped butterfly.
  8. Children draw a face at one end of their painted carton.
  9. Pierce 2 holes so pipe cleaner can be threaded in and out for the feelers.
  10. Staple the painted egg carton along the crease of the butterfly.
  11. A spring mural can be created using the leaves as part of a tree, the butterflies, flowers and other insects that can be found in the garden, all created by the children.

Bees:

I recommend reading the story “Willbee the Bumblebee” by Craig Smith and Maureen Thomson.

Provide paper, crayons, yellow and black paint, yellow cellophane and a bee body.

Children then have a choice to free draw their own bee or use a template to assist them. Discuss the stripe pattern of a bee.

Children cut around the bee.

Tip: As some children may need help to cut around the feelers, have a few available that already have the feelers cut out.

Children twist the cellophane and tape onto body for the wings.

Ants:

Children love to follow the trail of ants back to their nest. Discuss predicting the weather by watching the activity in an ant’s nest.

Use an ink pad for children to take finger prints. A thumb print can be turned into an ant.  Use markers to add the legs. Fingerprints can be transformed into birds, butterflies, caterpillars and much more.

Lady Bugs:

To discover that a tiny lady bug has landed on you is a delight for all, particularly preschool children!

By using a template of a simple bug’s body on black card, the children can practice their scissor skills to cut along a curved line.

This can be a counting and number activity.

  1. Use red dot stickers to represent a certain number on one half of the lady bug. The child then sticks the corresponding number of dots on the other half.
  2. Have a different number written on each half; for example 2 and 3. The child then sticks the corresponding number of dots on each half.
  3. Use the template of 2 bugs. Write a number on each bug. The child sticks on the corresponding dots. If the child is ready for simple addition it can be written as “2 and 3 make 5” underneath.

New Life

Spring is the time for babies to be born. This is a perfect time to explore farm life or identify animals that lay eggs. Invite a family with a new baby to the preschool.

  • Use paper bags, feathers and recycled materials to create a bird.
  • Build a nest by collecting sticks and twigs for gluing together. You can also weave feathers into it. I like to make eggs from dried dough balls. Children usually make stories up about what animal is going to hatch out of their egg. Beware of the dinosaurs!!

Time for those Green Thumbs

Spring is the best time for gardening. For ideas about growing vegetables with our children see my ‘Green Thumb Tomato Planter Box’. It can be adapted for most vegetables.

Dramatic Play Areas

  1. The Florist Shop: Set up using artificial, plastic and fresh flowers, potted plants, baskets, wrapping paper, water sprayers, cash registers, money and price lists. As an extension you can later add dress-ups. The children always have so many pretend parties and weddings to attend with their floral arrangements!
  2. Role play The Enormous Carrot by “Vladimir Vagin”: Children can take on individual roles with one child acting as the narrator. The best part is always when the carrot is eventually pulled up and we all get to fall down!