Learning About the Seasons
Helping children learn about the world around them and the environment helps provide a good basis for early childhood education. One of the ways in which you can do this is to help them learn about the changing seasons. Here are some practical ideas to make learning about the seasons fun for your child.
The advent of spring, summer, autumn and winter each brings with it its own unique natural characteristics and the ideal opportunity for helping children learn. Young children are usually keen to learn and improve their understanding of the world around them and the chance to gain new knowledge can be incorporated into a variety of activities.
Exploring the OutdoorsOne of the best ways of helping children get an idea of the changing seasons is to get outdoors and explore. In spring, you could go out learning for the first signs of spring, such as the appearance of snowdrops and primroses, and later look for baby lambs in the fields and other spring flowers. You’ll start to see buds appearing on trees, followed by catkins and blossom and all these changes are of interest to children.
In the summer months, there’s more growth to experience and enjoy being outside on warm, sunny days. In the autumn there’s the excitement of crunching through autumn leaves or finding the first conkers as they fall from horse chestnut trees. In the winter months, children will enjoy getting to experience snow and building snowmen. Each of the seasons is different, but being outside and finding out what makes it unique is a great way of helping children learn about the seasons.
Create a Seasonal ScrapbookTo help reinforce the learning experience, you could create a seasonal scrapbook or journal with your children. For example, you could photograph the different seasons or activities your child did, like walking in autumn leaves or building a snowman, and stick photos into the scrapbook. Depending on their age, they may like to add simple drawings or words to record their activities or what they liked best about that season.
The scrapbook could be updated in every season for one year, or carried over into other years, and would act as a good reminder of the seasonal changes.
Read Books About the SeasonsTo enhance your child’s learning experience even more, you could choose books and stories that relate to the different seasons. There are lots of fictional tales set in a certain season, or you could incorporate learning from non-fiction books. For example, you could explore the issue of migration with your child and look at the different types of birds that fly to the other side of the world during the migration season.
Drawing pictures of the birds and learning their names is all part of the educational experience and helps children remember what they’ve learnt. Don’t forget that the weather and climate are also strongly linked to the season, so games, books and activities relating to the weather can also help children learn about the ways in which the weather is linked to the time of year.