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Welcoming Spring: 5 simple ways we embrace the new season and adapt our family rhythm

blonde four year old boy in a field of dandelion clocks
Sian Thomas

The first signs of Spring always fill me with a pure sense of joy and delight. The cherry blossoms in the local city park; the longer hours of daylight and signs of new life everywhere. Welcoming Spring and the promise of the memories to come is one of my favourite things to do each year. It’s been particularly joyous this year after yet another long drawn out winter filled with the misery of lockdowns and Covid. This year we’ve already seen bees in our humble rooftop garden and delighted in witnessing a swan family down by the river. Even in a busy capital city, nature still finds its way.

As a family, we do not follow a specific parenting approach or education philosophy, but I do particularly love the Waldorf way of honouring each season and making space for what is abundant during certain periods of the year. Following the natural rhythms of the year is a key part of how we organise ourselves.

 

Welcoming Spring

For us, welcoming spring means adapting our daily and weekly rhythms to accommodate the warmer weather. We stay outdoors for longer periods in the morning. Both art and sensory play activities have also naturally gravitated outdoors.

It also means preparing for the warmer months ahead by cleaning the house and organising our possessions.

So here are 5 things we do each year as a way of welcoming Spring.

 

Daily Rhythm Adjustments

I regularly talk about the importance of a daily rhythm. When you’re at home on a daily basis with young children, it can be really easy to feel out of control. One day might feel chaotic and exhausting; another day might feel slow and boring. A gentle daily rhythm can really help overcome those typical parenting stressors and make the days feel more enjoyable.

But, a daily rhythm shouldn’t be set in stone. Welcoming Spring also means making adjustments to our daily rhythm. For us this means:

  • An extra hour outside each morning
  • Picnic lunches in the garden
  • Time in the garden playing independently after school
  • Art and sensory play activities outside
  • A later bedtime

welcoming spring: 4 year old blonde boy and 6 year old brunette girl crouch down to watch the chickens peck at their feed

Wardrobe Swap

As soon as the weather gets warmer (and stays that way) we organise and store all of our winter clothing. Firstly this helps to declutter the wardrobes and main entrance hallways and secondly it helps the children to continue dressing independently without getting confused about what to wear. If you’ve ever had your child come out of their room in thick jeans and a wooly jumper during the summer then you’ll know that young children don’t really understand the nuances of what to wear and when like us adults do.

Here’s how to do our wardrobe swaps:

  • Place all clothing that is too small in a box labelled ‘donations’. These are then dropped in donation bins within a week so that they don’t get forgotten about. Otherwise there’s just more clutter to deal with!
  • Store all clothing that will still fit (or should still fit) in clearly marked boxes ready for next year

Tip: make sure your child can easily access their belongings so that they can get changed independently. I talk about this more in the Playful Days at Home Starter Kit. 

 

Play Space Declutter

For me, there’s something about seasonal changes that evokes the desire to refresh and declutter – especially when it comes to welcoming spring. And whilst we are good at keeping toy purchases to a minimum, there are of course times when toys are outgrown.

I do an audit of toys, educational resources, books and art & craft resources every season to ensure that we are keeping free of clutter:

Here’s how we sort through the play space

  • I do a different focus each day (toys, educational resources, books and art & craft resources) to minimise overwhelm
  • Anything broken is recycled or thrown away
  • Anything outgrown is donated to charity
  • Remaining items are organised by category.

In Play Space 101, decluttering and organising toys is an important part of designing a purposeful play space that will help promote independent play. You can read more about it here. 

Books

A lovely way to welcome Spring and help little children understand the changes of the season is to rotate the books that are on display in the play space. Some of our favourites include:

  • The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
  • Singing in the Rain by Tim Hopgood
  • Tree by Britta Teckentrup
  • Spring by Gerda Muller

Bookish play inevitably happens after reading these titles and it’s such a lovely way for the children to gain understanding from what we have read.

welcoming spring with a planting a rainbow themed sensory tray

 

Gardening

Even though we live in the city, gardening is a big focus for us as part of welcoming spring. The children learn so much from planting seeds and watching them grow each day. Having these hands-on learning experiences are far better than learning from a worksheet.

If you live in a city like I do but don’t have a roof terrace like we do (something i’m eternally grateful for), check out Kids Gardening.org for some ideas.

 

Related Articles You Might Enjoy

Spring Bucket List

5 Essentials for Building a Daily Rhythm

20 Mud Kitchen Resources

5 Reasons why your child needs plenty of outdoor play

Why ‘Be Careful’ Doesn’t work + 15 phrases to try instead 

 

You can also visit my Pinterest and Instagram pages for daily play inspiration.

 

Download the Spring Bucket List + Spring Scavenger Hunt Printables for FREE

You can access a printable version of this spring bucket list here along with a Spring themed Scavenger hunt here. Save it to your phone or share it with your friends 🙂

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