The warmth of spring and the extra hour of daylight are a welcome change after a long, cold winter. Spring is the best time of year to take homeschool lessons outdoors for some hands-on learning and a good dose of vitamin D.
Worm watch experiment
See how light controls a worm's behavior.
- Paper towels
- Hole puncher
- Index cards
- Punch a hole in the center of an index card.
- Center and tape the index card over a flashlight to create a spotlight.
- Give your child a damp paper towel.
- Place a worm on the damp paper towel and dim lights.
- Observe the worm for 30 seconds, then shine the spotlight on the anterior (head side) and see how it reacts to light.
- Watch the worm for 30 seconds more with the light turned off.
- Next, shine the light on the posterior (back side).
- Graph the results of the worm's reaction of each side, with light on and light off.
Spring feeding experiment
- Cut vegetables and fruits into quarters.
- Select different locations around your home or neighborhood park and place pieces of each food at each location.
- Document food with a photo.
- At the same time each day for 2 weeks, observe and photograph the food to see what animals and insects have eaten or are feeding on the food.
- Which foods do the wildlife prefer? Record and chart information, and photograph the location every day to illustrate observable decomposition and feeding habits.
Plant and sprout different types of seeds, such as bean sprouts or mustard seeds. Observe and record the growth process daily, with photos and a journal. What do the seeds need to grow (sun, water, nutrient-rich soil) and why?
Spring scavenger hunt
Print out this spring scavenger hunt list, then visit a nature trail or national park to check off each item.
- Find animal tracks
- Look for dandelions in bloom
- Locate and identify a tree in bloom
- Listen for singing birds and try to identify
- Find ants on parade
- Watch for bees buzzing
- Observe robins or their blue eggs in a nest, but do not touch or disturb them
- A woodpecker knocking
- A flower in bloom
- A mushroom
- Sap oozing from a tree
- Three different types of bird and identify them
- A turtle
- Something rough or something smooth
- Something newly green
- State flower
What are some of your favorite outdoor spring activities?
More on spring education
Break through spring doldrums: Hands-on learning
Spring into science
Spring break fun: Take classes with kids