Spring officially began earlier this week on March 20th. Flowers are starting to pop through the soil and the weather is warming up. After a long, cold, gray winter, we’re finally coming out on the other side. So, let’s lace up our walking shoes and take a walk in the park with our favorite people!
Spring has sprung
Spring in Maryland is marked by unexpected weather each day. Sometimes, it is just downright bonkers! Just take last weekend as an example. All week, the weather for Saturday called for rain and thunderstorms. Saturday came and turned out to be beautiful, sunny and warm. Sunday was slated to be bright and clear, but ended up being cold, gray and windy. I spend an absurd amount of time trying to figure out what to wear! Sweater? No sweater? Scarf?? What if I’m cold in the morning and then I get hot as I walk around?? Madness.
I have always loved how Maryland allows us to truly experience ALL the seasons. I generally start to rue that sentiment when we get to the “sweltering sauna of misery” part of the summer, but right now, it’s just great! Yay, Spring in Maryland! Crazy weather aside, spring is, however, a perfect time to take a walk in the park. This week, regardless of where you are, let’s consider ways we can enjoy time outside while the weather is nice. You might want to start with some of these resources if you are here in Maryland. We aren’t the biggest state, but there is plenty to see and explore all around us.
Take a walk
My son has always been a “gatherer”. Meaning, he sees a beautiful rock or a fabulous leaf and it comes home with us. We have seashells, leaves, sticks, pine cones and rocks galore. Now that he has gotten older, he is 7 as of last weekend, he has graduated to a more advanced taste. We recently started going to a crystal and new age store and now he is into buying rocks instead of finding them. The fun part is then following up with books from the library about the meaning of crystals and field guides. We learn about the properties of the rocks and crystals as well as the supposed healing powers, etc. Also, they’re just really pretty.
I still love taking a nice walk in the park and bringing along a bucket or a bag and collecting things along the way. So maybe I am a gatherer, too. I am looking forward to doing that this weekend with both my son and my youngest. We are going to start with a stroll around the neighborhood and then make our way further over to the state park nearby. My plan is to use this Spring Scavenger Hunt Guide on our walks. I am going to take the basics provided and have them both complete one of their own. We’ll also take some pictures of the items that we find.
Some items might be harder to find depending on what part of the season and where you go out exploring. Do your best! I am going to glue the scavenger hunt sheet into a notebook. I’ll use another blank page to record other things we encounter that aren’t listed on the sheet. Maybe talk about what you think you might see before you head out on your walk. Then, you’ll have a plan and some groundwork already laid out for your walk in the park!
Spring is a word
Spring has a multitude of meanings and grammatical uses. Sometimes, I like to look a word up just to see what the dictionary defines it as. (Cough cough, English major nerd, I know.) In any event, I was actually a little surprised by how extensive of a definition, or definitions plural I should say, of spring I found. Spring can be used as a verb or a noun. One definition that struck me is the language used for describing Spring as a noun and the season. Merriam Webster Dictionary says Spring is, “a time or season of growth or development”.
I really love this definition because it could be viewed both literally and figuratively. Spring is often a time for cleaning, freshening up our spaces and getting ready for the summer months. So, for some, it might also be a time of personal growth. Within the definition, this could be taken to explain the growth and development of plant life or that of yourself and your passions! I might be overthinking it, but it seemed like a nice sentiment. Roll with it.
Taking our love of Spring and all things new, Macklyn created some wonderful Spring activities for your students and kids to work on this blooming new season. Back to the dictionary and the many definitions of Spring, the following word activities offer a chance to explore language associated with Spring and enrich logic and ELA content.
All the Feels for Spring
Today my nose itches and my eyes are pretty dry. My office mate’s got a recurring dry cough and back to wearing a mask “just in case”. As wonderful as Spring is, so many of us are deeply affected by it in a physical sense. The pollen… all that blooming and growing just wreaks havoc on our bodies. Definitely not my favorite thing. So be careful on your walk in the park, the woods and on the trails! Make sure to take your allergy medicine and bring your nose spray and tissues. Maybe some sanitizer to clean off your hands after touching your nature treasures!
Our last activity is one of my favorite for nature walks. Engage all your senses! Bring this sheet along to explore your 5 Senses in Spring along your walk. This can support your other activities like the scavenger hunt and treasure collection. If you see, feel, or otherwise sense something along your walk, use this sheet to write about it. Just like with the hunt, take pictures of what you find. Another activity for later could be to print out your photos and make a field guide of the natural treasures you collect!
Whatever you choose to do, do it with joy and do it together. Hopefully the weather where you are allows you to get out and about outside this weekend. Drop us a comment and let us know what you are hoping to collect and share anything special you encounter that was unusual or really special! We’d love to hear from you.
Courtney is an MTT tutor, academic coach, and blog contributor for MTTES. If you check out our FB and Instagram pages, you might see her giving a storytime with her son Jack through the company’s Facebook Live service. Courtney’s love of the English language, learning, and creative writing inspired her to contribute relevant content to teachers, tutors, parents, and homeschoolers seeking support across an array of trending topics. She and her teacher husband have two small children and reside in Baltimore, MD with their dog Lottie May.