Are you thinking happy thoughts of kites, flowers, bunnies, clouds, April showers and mud puddles and looking for some fun spring activities for kindergarten and first grade students to get them engaged and excited about the skills you’re teaching? 😀 Well, if that isn’t exactly what’s on your mind but you are looking for some fun spring activities for your kindergarten and first grade students, then scroll on down. I’ve dug through my classroom photos and activities to share some of mine with you.
Spring Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade
Spring Language Arts Activities
- Thematic Word Wall – For every theme we did in my classroom, I always made a thematic Word Wall for the pocketchart. I printed the words on cardstock twice, but the first time leaving a space for a picture to go along with the word. When I introduced the new theme, we’d go over the words as I put them into the pocketchart. The students could also use this as a station activity by matching the words that were just text to the words with the pictures. Great for both vocabulary and visual discrimination. They also used these words in their writing. By having them in the pocketchart they could remove them and take them to the table for copying if needed.
This is so funny to look at now! 🙂 Obviously, it was before my perfectionism kicked in (nothing is the same size) and it was definitely before my obsession with clipart.
- Read Aloud Books –
Splat the Cat: Oopsie, Daisy! – J. E. Bright
The Tiny Seed – Eric Carle
If You Plant a Seed – Kadir Nelson
Jack and the Beanstalk
The Great Big Enormous Turnip
From Seed to Plant – Gail Gibbons
Wake Up, It’s Spring – Lisa Campbell Ernst
Little Quack – Laura Thompson (cutest duck book ever!)
Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
A Bear and Mole Story – Will Hillenbrand
The Berenstain Bears We Like Kites – Jan & Stan Berenstain
Curious George Flies a Kite – H.A. and Margaret Rey
Spring is Here – Will Hillenbrand
Like a Windy Day – Frank Asch
I Am Spring – Rebecca and James McDonald
When Spring Comes – Kevin Henkes
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt – Kate Messner
Growing Vegetable Soup – Lois Ehlert
Planting a Rainbow – Lois Ehlert
Tops and Bottoms – Janet Stevens
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
- All Things Green – All Things Green is probably one of the first emergent readers that I ever created. I did update it to include different sight words. It’s not about spring per se, but spring is a perfect time to focus on the color green.
- Peter and the Garden – an emergent reader inspired by Peter Rabbit’s trip into Mr. McGregor’s garden except this reader focuses on sequencing the days of the week. So it’s perfect for working on calendar skills or capitalization of the days of the week. Comprehension pages give opportunities to practice knowledge of days of the week and capitalization. If you use this in conjunction with the Peter Rabbit book, make sure to end with some toast and blackberry jam! 😉
- Spring Letters and Sounds Alphabet Bingo – use some mini Spring erasers or candy to play this Spring Letters and Sounds Alphabet Bingo and the kids will have so much fun playing they won’t even mind they’re learning their letters and sounds!
- Spring Sight Words Bingo – practice the 25 most frequently used sight words and 100 most frequently used sight words with these bingo games. Because the games coordinate, you can easily differentiate with students who need it.
- Spring Writing Activities – I have a whole line of writing activities and I think the Spring Writing Activities set is my favorite set out of all of them. They just came together so easily and seem to fit together so cohesively. 20 spring writing prompt activities where students draw first, then color, and last write. Not your usual draw and write because my students often had trouble drawing what they wanted. So these writing activities give them a drawing boost to get them started. Instant win. I wrote a post about the whole writing process that I used that you can read HERE. And I included writing activities for things you might be covering in your classroom like bees, pollination, plant cycle, and holidays. So if you want to grab these for your class, click below!
Spring Math Activities
- Symmetry butterflies – if you’re working on symmetry, this activity is a favorite with the kids and the butterflies turn out so cool. Bonus is it’s easy to do! The most difficult part is finding a place for all the butterflies to dry. You’ll need a large size butterfly pattern that is symmetrical. You can download the free pattern that I created below. Have students cut it out, write their name on back, and fold exactly in half. Help them to add two or three colors of paint to only one side in drops, stripes, or swirls. It really doesn’t take much paint. Too much will make a mess and squish out the sides. Once they’ve added paint to the one side, have them fold the other side over and press down. This will make the design. Slowly pull the top half up and lay flat to dry. Once dry they can see the symmetry in the two sides. Butterflies can hang in a window to display, from the ceiling using fishing line, or glue them to a light blue or black piece of construction paper. Black will make bright colors pop!
- Spring Numbers 0 – 20 Bingo – another fun Spring Bingo game. Students practice number recognition of numbers 0 – 20.
- Spring Glyphs – Glyphs are a fun way to teach data management: representing, gathering, and analyzing data. This spring glyph pack has 6 glyphs that help students to begin to understand data management with the help of tally marks. If you want to read how I used them with my class, click HERE.
Spring Environment Activities
Science and Social Studies or Environment weren’t areas that I taught, but one of the areas that my students were weakest in was vocabulary. And using themes to teach was an excellent catalyst to increase their skills like vocabulary. They loved doing activities like planting plants and most of them had never had that opportunity before.
- Sprouting Seeds – Have each student place a wet paper towel and a dried bean into a Ziploc bag. Tape to the inside of a window at student level. Make a similar bag but tape it inside a dark closet or cabinet. Have the students make predictions about what will happen. They could keep a journal where they write their predictions and observations.
The students will be able to observe the bean sprouting and losing its seed coat. Have the students compare/contrast the beans in the window with the bean in the darkness. They’ll be surprised to see that the bean doesn’t actually have to have light to sprout! Give them the opportunity to closely inspect their bean sprout, but be forewarned, opening the bag is smelly!
Have the students plant their beans and place them back in the sunshine for observation.
- Horrible Hair! – Have students draw a face using colored Sharpies on a white styrofoam cup. Have them plant ryegrass in the cup and watch the “hair” grow! The students will enjoy giving this guy a haircut and watching it grow back!
- Planting Plants – I purchased plants and pots for each student, drip trays, a small pair of gloves, soil, a small watering can, and a trowel for this project. Before we began, and while we planted, we discussed the sequencing and vocabulary: flower pot, watering can, soil, gloves, trowel, plants, roots, stem, leaves, flower, water, sunlight. Each student got to take a turn wearing the gloves and using the trowel while planting their very own plant. We also discussed what it would take to keep them alive.
*If you want to see the root system of the plants, plant them in clear pots or plastic cups.
Afterward, we put all the plants in the window and they took turns watering them. After a while, I bagged up each plant in a brown lunch bag and sent them home.
- Labeling a Plant – use the Ellison machine to cut out circles to create a flower on a sheet of 9×14″ piece of construction paper. I just used a paper cutter to freehand the rest of the pieces. The soil is probably about a 2 inch strip. The roots are made from yarn. I cut all the pieces for each project and put them in a Ziploc bag for each student. Clip the bag and larger pieces to the construction paper and place in a Center/Station.
This is what the plants looked like after the kids had been watering them for a while and they were ready to be bagged up to go home.
Spring Craft Activities
- Coffee Filter Butterflies: This is such an old project, but I don’t think I could do a Spring Unit without including it. And the kids love doing it. Plus it’s relatively simple and there are lots of ways to do it. I always had my students decorate their coffee filters with washable markers. It’s better if you give 3 color coordinated colors for best results. I would pick the spring colors and then let them pick 3 colors. After they decorate their coffee filter, we put them on paper bags or some other kind of absorbent paper and spray them with a water bottle. They love to watch the colors bleed together. After the coffee filter is lightly saturated, we move them to a countertop to dry. It doesn’t take long. Once dry, just pinch them together in the middle and twist together with a color-coordinated or black pipecleaner to form the body and antennae. Bend the two ends to form the antennae. I have even twisted each end around a pencil if they’re really long. *You can use 2 coffee filters, too. Pinch them and stack them side by side together.
You can glue them to a magnet or clothespin if you want to send them home. I still have the one my daughter made in kindergarten on my filing cabinet. She’s 38! 😀
- Construction paper kite – I’m not sure how I came up with this idea, but I liked how it turned out. It looked pretty, it was a good craft, but I couldn’t really justify doing it. Soooo, I added a writing component to it so I could continue doing it. So we made the kite then wrote a story about flying a kite. We also read kite books. You can choose one of the read-aloud kite books from the list at the top of the page.
The kites were made by cutting construction paper into 9×9 inch squares. Use one color for the base (what you’ll glue to) and then cut 4 other colors into triangles by cutting corner to corner with a paper cutter. Have students choose the colors they want to use and glue them onto the base. This is actually a good visual discrimination activity because some students have difficulty getting their triangles turned the way needed to fit onto the kite. Once they’re dry, staple crepe paper tails onto the back.
FREE KITE TEMPLATE AND STORY PROMPT (COMING SOON!!!)
Spring is not my favorite season, but it is definitely my second favorite. It conjures up happy memories and happy thoughts. My sister was 12 years older than me and one of my favorite childhood memories is when she took me out with her young family to fly kites. We went to an open field where the long grass, up to our knees, was whipping in the wind. She had a young daughter and we spent the afternoon running all over that field with our kites. Such awe and joy to see and feel those kites in the air!
My sister was a painter and she believed in making memories. I have many paintings that she did. She died in 2019 after her second battle with cancer. I didn’t think about it until it was too late, that I should have gotten her to paint that scene of us in that field. It would have been one of my most prized possessions. I don’t have a painting of it, but I have that precious memory.
I hope you too take the time to make some springtime memories with your family, friends, and students.
If you have a favorite spring activity or memory, share it in the comments below. I’d love to read it.
Even more Spring Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade
There are even more spring activities and ideas at the links below.
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