Activities & Lessons
To some, spring represents new beginnings. Spring is an excellent time to teach kids about animals, plants, and gardening. Read these spring activities for elementary students for ideas to incorporate into your classroom and celebrate the season!
Spring Classroom Activities
1. Observe and Record Signs of Spring
Longer days, more chirping birds, and green leaves are all typical signs of spring’s arrival. Let your students put their observational skills to work by recording signs of spring over one week. Then, have them report their observations to the class.
What You Need
- Role-playing props such as microphones (optional)
- Crayons or markers
What to Do
1. Discuss with children how the world changes when spring arrives. Make a list of the following areas that reflect these changes: Weather, Animals, Landscapes, Sports.
2. Have children brainstorm the signs of spring in these categories. Prepare examples that match the experiences of you and your students, or use the following examples as prompts:
- Weather: warm breezes; longer days; more sunlight; rain instead of snow
- Animals: birds and butterflies travel north; earthworms come out of the ground; frogs sing; horses, dogs, and cats shed their winter coats
- Landscape: flowers bloom; trees and plants bud; seeds sprout; grass turns green; lakes and ponds melt
- Sports: children can play games outside like soccer, kickball, Frisbee, baseball, and ride their bikes
3. Divide the class into groups based on these categories. Tell children to look for signs of spring and note them with drawings and words over the course of a week. At the end of the week, group members will compare notes and then report to the class on signs of spring in their categories.
4. Have each group choose a format and share observations among members so that everyone can participate. They can:
- Role-play a TV report (using a “news desk” with desks or tables).
- Role-play a radio or podcast report (using a microphone prop).
- Create a news report (with pictures and headlines) for classroom display.
2. Create a Plant Flip Book
Certain activities allow students to observe plants as they grow over time (see our “Egg Carton” science activity). However, this activity provides a faster way for students to witness a plant growing by having them watch a time-lapse video. Afterward, they’ll create a plant flip book! Download now.
3. Pair Animal Babies with Their Parents
Many animal babies are born in spring. With less harsh weather, longer days, and rising temperatures, spring provides peak conditions for birthing. Have your students create a card game matching adult and baby animals to celebrate spring!
What You Need
- Large cards cut to about 4” by 6” (at least 200)
What to Do
- Point out to children that spring is often a time when animal babies are born. Brainstorm with children a list of special names for animal babies. Write the list publically so all students can see it, including the name for the adult animal and the baby. For example: sheep/lamb, horse/foal, frog/tadpole, pig/piglet, hen/chick.
- Divide the class into pairs or small groups. Distribute 20 cards to each pair or group.
- Have each group choose 10 matching adult and baby animal names from the list.
- Have children draw a picture of each adult animal—pig, horse, sheep, etc.—on a card, writing the animal’s name under the picture.
- Then have children draw a picture of each baby animal and its name on the remaining 10 cards. Children should leave the other side of the cards blank or draw an identical design on them.
- When children are finished, they may play a Spring Animal Match Game. Have children mix up the cards, then lay all 20 cards facedown. Children take turns trying to find a match between an adult animal and its baby. If children make a match, they keep the cards and take another turn. The winner is the player with the most pairs.
- To vary the level of difficulty, children may create fewer or more card pairs.
4. Brainstorm a Spring Celebration
Many cultures worldwide ring in spring with celebrations and festivities. In Teotihuacán, Mexico, visitors dress in white and gather at the Teotihuacán Pyramid to celebrate the spring equinox. In India, people celebrate Holi, a festival full of color that lasts a full day and night. Holi is also celebrated all over the world, even in Australia, where spring starts at a different time of year. The origin of Las Fallas, which is celebrated every March in Valencia, Spain, is unknown; some people believe it might’ve originated from the ancient tradition of setting fires to celebrate changes of the seasons. And in Japan, cherry blossom (or sakura) festivals and gatherings start in March; other places have cherry blossom festivals, such as Washington, D.C.
In this activity, have your students brainstorm ways their class or school can celebrate spring’s arrival. First, you can share photos of different spring celebrations with them. Ask them, “What do you see happening in these photos?” to help them with brainstorming. Then, have them think about what they believe would make for a great way to celebrate the season, write or draw their ideas in a journal, and share.
5. Act Out Springtime Activities
Once spring rolls around, people may change the type of activities they do. They may plant flowers and food or take extended strolls outdoors. In this springtime charades activity, children will discuss how activities change with the seasons and act out springtime activities while playing charades.
What You Need
- Chart paper
What to Do
- With your class, discuss how activities change with the seasons. Then have the children brainstorm a list of activities that they might do in the springtime. Write responses on the chart paper for the class to see. Examples might include planting a garden, sightseeing, playing outdoor sports, birdwatching, fishing, and kite-flying.
- Divide the class into small groups. Then introduce the game of charades. Explain that each team will role-play one or more springtime activities without speaking. The other children will try to guess the activity. Children can either choose a spring activity from the list or think of one on their own.
- To fulfill dramatic potential, allow teams to perform their complete role-playing before taking guesses from the rest of the class. Monitor the game, and if need be, offer hints to the other students.
- You can also make accommodations to the game to allow students with motor disabilities to join in on the fun.
6. Color a Spring Scene
This activity combines art and math by having your students draw pictures on the downloadable “Spring Scene” below, based on your verbal directions. By drawing the correct number of objects where indicated, they will show an understanding of numbers. Afterward, they will add to their scene and create addition sentences on the “Number Sentences” worksheet below.
What You Need
- Spring Scene
- Number Sentences
What to Do
1. Pass out the “Spring Scene.” Have the children talk about what they see: a tree, grass, a pond, a hill, and the sky. Tell them they are going to draw what you ask where you ask on the picture.
2. Give the directions. Check children’s drawings after each task.
- Draw 1 sun in the sky.
- Draw 4 yellow ducks in the pond.
- Draw 2 black ants on the hill.
- Draw 6 red apples in the tree.
- Draw 3 white clouds in the sky.
- Draw 5 purple flowers in the grass.
3. Distribute the “Number Sentences” page. Tell children to look at the tree. Ask children how many apples they drew. Put a 6 in the first box in the first number sentence. Now tell children to draw two yellow apples in the tree. To create a number sentence, they write a 2 in the box after the “+” sign. Have children count all the apples to find out how many in all. They then write an 8 after the equal sign. Put the number sentence on the board and go through the parts again. (Say: “We started with 6 apples. You drew 2 more. That’s 8 apples in all.”)
4. Continue building number sentences in the same way for the other objects (except the sun).
- You may wish to have two children work together with blank spring scenes, taking turns in giving directions for what to draw and where to draw it, and creating number sentences.
7. Search for Plant-Related Words
Download these word search puzzles that feature words related to plants and gardening. Start them off with the shorter puzzle and move to the more challenging word search after they’ve completed the first. Afterward, have them discuss what the words have in common and other words similar to the ones they found. You could also have them define each word and create dictionaries (complete with illustrations) as an extra credit assignment. Answer keys included.
8. Read Spring-Themed Literature
Have your students read books or poems related to spring (or you can read them aloud)! Ask your students to write the words and phrases that jump out to them (they can use one of our graphic organizers while reading). Ask them: how are these words and phrases related to spring?
- Robins!: How They Grow Up by Eileen Christelow
- Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
- Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
- “Cherry blossoms” by Toi Derricotte
- “Dear March—Come in—(1320)” by Emily Dickinson
- “I Have This Way of Being” by Jamaal May
- “Spring Storm” by William Carlos Williams
- “Spring is like a perhaps hand” by E. E. Cummings
Share Your Spring School Activities
What are some of your favorite spring school activities for in-person or remote learning? Do you like to build bird feeders or make flower prints? Please share your spring classroom activities with us on Twitter (@HMHCo) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy spring!
Find more lesson plans and classroom resources on Shaped.
This blog, originally published in 2021, has been updated for 2022.