I’m a big fan of flowers and all things spring so the topic of Spring is a favourite Aistear topic of mine to cover with the children.
Our roleplay is always a flower shop or a garden centre. I have a good selection of fresh flowers for them to roleplay with. These are usually a mixture of reduced flowers I pick up in Tesco etc., cut flowers from my garden and flower donations from parents. We also have potted plants in the roleplay and it is the children’s job to ensure we keep all flowers alive! They also have a selection of seeds and gardening equipment – trowels etc. – to play with.
As well as fresh flowers, the children help to stock the roleplay with tissue flowers which we learn how to make during the first week of the topic. I usually have an art station set up so the children can make flowers to add to the roleplay throughout the topic; this invariably means there are a lot of flowers to bring home to mammies!
As always, I link in as many literacy and numeracy opportunities as possible. The flower shop has lots of literacy opportunities from writing orders, writing the cards to go with the flowers, creating and reading flower labels and signs for the shop and designing flower arrangments. As with all my topics, a selection of spring/flower themed picture books are always to hand too! As with any shop, opportunities to explore the concept of money come naturally! The children have opportunities to play with numbers through pricing flowers and plants, adding the cost of items being purchased and dealing with money in the till. We also have lots of opportunities for rising maths language, in particular, comparative language such as bigger, smaller, heavy, light etc.
To help them get into the spirit of roleplay in the flower shop, we have aprons, wellies and role badges. Local flower shops are usually very kind and will donate gift cards, flower labels, plastic cellophane wrapping and other small bits to help make our flower shop look & feel somewhat like the real thing!
Spring & Life Cycles – Frogs & Butterflies
Spring is also a great time to do life cycles with infants, the most popular of which being the life cycle of a frog and a butterfly!
A water station with a pond for the children to explore the life cycle of a frog makes for a great Aistear station during the topic of Spring. You can purchase the life cycle of a frog from Amazon and simply cut some lily pad shapes from green foam. Easy peasy! We are super lucky to have a real pond in our school garden and it gets filled with frog spawn every spring so we can watch the process in real life. The children love to do daily checks on the progress and watch the tadpoles grow! Nothing beats the real thing, but we do enjoy recreating it in our tuff tray too!
Outside our classroom, we love to display all the learning we do around the life cycle of a frog and love our educational display which we make so the other children can enjoy the life cycle of the frog as much as we do!
‘Watch’em Grow, Then Let’em Go! from Insect Lore is a superb resource for demonstrating the life cycle of a butterfly right in front of your eyes. The pack arrives with the net and your voucher for your caterpillars. When your caterpillars arrive, you simply attach them to the roof of your ‘garden’ once they form their cocoon and watch them hatch. Once they have hatched you can set them free! The ideas and learning you can derive from this activity are endless!
A spring tuff tray isn’t exactly clean, but the kids have loads of fun digging in the soil. I fill a tuff tray with soil and gardening tools. We explore planting seeds and bulbs and use this as the starting point for exploring how flowers grow. It’s great fun to add some minibeast toys in here too! The children love burying and digging up the worms and spiders!
If you are looking for some art linked with the theme of spring, there are some posts which you might be interested in! Just click the link below the pictures!