One thing I enjoyed was very simple seasonal tables, which, for us, is a small space on the counter that might have a felted creature, maybe a stone or candle, and maybe flowers when I’m really together.
When I was teaching at Lilac, one of the many benefits was I would learn songs and poems for my class that I could then take home. I think singing with your kids is one of the greatest things to do. I didn’t really know I could sing until I started teaching at Lilac 🙂
I also used to reach back into my long-ago childhood for songs, including clapping games.
Here’s one of my favorite spring poems that I used for many years at the spring equinox festival:
Come lovely May, with blossoms and boughs of tender green
And lead me o’er the meadows,
Where cowslips first were seen.
For now I long to welcome the radiant flowers of spring
And through the wild woods wander
And hear the sweet birds sing
It’s from a great collection, whose name escapes me at the moment! I think I loaned it to teacher Rae. I highly recommend it for poems and verses for seasons, numbers and all kinds of things.
Ha! Ha! So funny that you bring this up….after I dropped my kids off at Lilac yesterday and went off to do errands it was so windy and I found myself singing a song by myself in my car that I used to sing with the kids often on those windy days in the spring and fall. Maybe you know it…it goes like this:
Mr Wind is a mischief!
Mr Wind is an elf!
He blows my hat, he blows my coat
Til I’m beside myself!
OooooOOooo! (Howling windy sound)
Mr Wind is a mischief!
Mr Wind is a pest!
He blows my papers everywhere
He never lets me rest!
Oooo ( howly windy sound again)
Mr Wind is a mischief!
Mr Wind is a gnome!
I know he only wants to play
But I wish he’d go home!
Ooooo (howly windy sound as before)
It’s got a great little peppy tune and if you add hand movements to it -kids love it. I’d be happy to sing the tune for you if you ask…just let me know 🙂
Audrey H. (If you see me driving around alone with my lips moving…I’m probably singing some children’s song!)
In the spring we visit daffodil trail in Powder Mill park. Its fun to watch the snow melt over time and the creek flood and most of all the sweet daffodils that are very abundant! We also watch for our first snow drop and are mindful of the progression of flowers that come after. We also make many visits to see the lilacs at highland park come alive. we love the big tree in the middle of the lilacs and start visiting it. And finally we try to watch the folks plant the pansy bed at Highland Park. I am always reminded that spring is a process, an unfolding and once it springs, it truly alive again!
We make syrup, and before we tap I tell the “mud muffins” story. They rush out to help the mud muffin fairies stir all the puddles, which makes the water tickle the toes of the maple trees, which makes the sap rise, which tickles the toes of the chickadees, which makes them laugh and change their song 🙂
They take this task quite seriously, and thankfully, the chickadees get the hint and oblige us.
We do this little verse around seed starting, and it’s easy to think of lots of movements for it-
A little seed, for me to sow
A little earth, to help it grow
A little hole, a little pat
A little wish, and that is that
A little sun, a little shower
A little while, and then a flower!
I love all of these ideas. And would love a sing-along/sing-n-share on the playground.
We have a nature table by our front door — for us it’s composed of a collection of seasonal crafts we make and treasures the children find on our walks (bird feathers, rocks, seeds, leaves, branches, etc.). I also put seasonal/holiday books on the table.
One of our favorite books to welcome spring is How Robin Saved Spring by Debbie Oulette. For each season, we do a nature scavenger hunt that I pull together where we look for signs of the season. We like to watch for birds returning from their spring migration — we keep track of them on a chart. This year, we are going to hang pictures of the birds we see as they return on a branch on our seasonal table. We also cut forsythia branches on the first warm(ish) day of March and bring them inside to force them to bloom (they are so close to blooming today!). They sit on our nature table too.
We also do lots of seasonal cooking/baking. We make soft pretzels at this time of year, Easter bread and pizza chiena as Easter gets closer. We add the spring poems and songs from Festivals, Family, and Food to our morning time together and tell the myth of Persephone. We really like the song Spring is Coming that is in that book.
We also tell the story of Demeter and Persephone and then on the first day of Spring when the kids get up in the morning they find that Persephone visited and left some gifts on their placemats at the diningroom table. Usually seeds and pots, trowels, garden gloves. One year she left a catnip planter for the cat 🙂
The book Circle Round by Anne Hill has a nice version of Persephone and Demeter and there is a CD with a song that I like to sing:
Maiden of the Springtime
Now’s the day
You know the way
To climb back toward the sunshine!
Waiting all the Winter
Cloaks the Earth
All in green
Her daughter’s come to greet her!
This winter we made hand rolled candles and burned the last one out yesterday. We also talk about what we want to bring into our lives in the coming season, and what we can let go of.
Every year after the Spring festival, the songs we sing find their way into my head for weeks and I’m singing and humming them constantly, as are the kids. It feels like a sacred chant that works like magic to bring Spring to us. We also tap our trees and it’s so wonderful to hear the birds and walk through crunchy snow while collecting sap. We get excited walking around our property to see the first green coming up from the spring flowers. Late winter we start putting plenty of seed out for our bird friends to invite them to stay. I usually have my winter feltings and nature décor out and then we put them away and start filling the house with Spring themed decorations while I clean.
Baby chicks have been a big part of our spring for the past many years and that has always been so wonderful. My kids are older now, but when they were toddlers or more, watching seedlings inside was very exciting and telling tales of fairies, drawing pictures and making spring crafts. This has been how we have welcomed and celebrated Spring over the years 🙂