Learn, Create and Explore—7 Easy Springtime Activities

Guest Blog by Lindsay | Blogger from My Creative Days

Hello, Lakeshore readers! It’s Lindsay from mycreativedays.com. I’m here to share seven spring activities I use to get my kids learning, creating and exploring. Try these activities outside to soak up the spring sun, or save them for indoor play on a rainy day.

Activity 1: Make and share mini treat baskets.

My kids love making these baskets and sharing them with friends, family and neighbors. Lakeshore’s All-In-One Craft Tub, Collage Pots, Collage Flowers and Brush-On Washable Painters are perfect for this activity. Since the Collage Pots are not too big or too small, they’re easy to decorate, and they hold just the right amount of goodies.

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The kids painted the pots with Brush-On Washable Painters. These painters were a huge hit with the kids. They loved how the paint came right out of the brushes, and I loved how we weren’t wasting paint since the kids could squeeze it out as needed. (My kids usually pour way too much paint when preparing for a project, and most of it gets wasted.)

Then the kids added Collage Flowers, Wooden Collage Letters and other embellishments from the All-In-One Craft Tub. We glued chenille stems to the inside of each pot to make handles.

These baskets are going to make our friends and neighbors very happy this spring! We plan to hang them on doorknobs and put them on teachers’ desks.

Activity 2: Craft a carrot garland.

My kids swell with pride when they see their handiwork displayed in the house. When I told the kids I needed a spring garland to hang on the wall above our entry table, my daughter thought a carrot garland would be perfect because we already have a bunny “wreath” hanging on the wall.

To make the garland, I folded a piece of orange construction paper into eight rectangles.

Then my daughter drew a carrot on one of the rectangles.

She then refolded the paper so she could cut out a bunch of carrots at once. Next, we punched a hole in the top of each and made carrot tops using green chenille stems from the All-In-One Craft Tub.

Finally, we strung up the carrots to make the perfect garland to complete our spring entry table!

Activity 3: Use STEAM skills to design floating boats.

This Design & Play STEAM Boats Kit is perfect for hosting an all-day playdate, which we did at my house. The kids colored and designed for hours.

The Design & Play STEAM Boats Kit comes with everything kids need to put a boat together. Some of the kids looked at the pictures on the box to get ideas, while others decided to wing it.

After the boats are completed, kids can take them to a sink or tub to see if they float. But since we have a creek at the end of our street, we were able to turn the activity into an outing. I packed a snack while the kids designed and decorated. When they were done, we grabbed our picnic blankets and went down to the creek. I set up the blankets and the snacks while the kids tried to float their boats. They had a blast watching their boats sail down the creek. They also got to see fish and frogs, skip rocks and climb around until they were tired. Talk about the perfect day!

Any activity that lasts more than a few minutes is a favorite in my book! I’m dreaming about using the Design & Play STEAM Boats Kit at our next birthday party. We could all design our own boats and eat cupcakes as we watch them float.

Activity 4: Explore textures on paper eggs.

Exploring and playing with textures is fun at any age! We cut out big eggs using construction paper from the All-In-One Craft Tub. Then we created cool designs on each egg using washable paint and sponges in different shapes and textures from the Big Barrel of Art Sponges.

My daughter loved testing out the different sponges. She manipulated them to produce cool effects. I think she ended up decorating at least six eggs. They make our refrigerator bright and happy for spring!

Activity 5: Plant seeds and watch them grow.

Planting is one of our favorite things to do in spring and summer. Not only is it fun, but it also teaches kids patience as they learn that seeds need time and care to grow. Planting is a full-circle activity that truly produces something in the end—in the ground and in kids’ minds.

Ever since we added an outdoor kitchen to our backyard, our daughter has been all about dirt. When she saw Lakeshore’s Watch & Record Plant Lab, she was excited to plant some seeds. The Watch & Record Plant Lab is amazing, because it shows kids how the growing process works as it happens. It includes heavy-duty bags that don’t rip as kids handle them. This is a major plus when kids are working with dirt!

Activity 6: Create chicks in nests.

A list of seven spring activities would not be complete without a chick craft! This craft can be customized to any learning level. If you have young children, help them out by preparing all the pieces. If you have older children, they can work independently.

The All-In-One Craft Tub had everything we needed for this craft. We used construction paper, feathers, glue, markers and wiggly eyes. We cut out circles to make the chicks. Then we cut out orange triangles for the beaks. We glued colorful feathers on each chick and added wiggly eyes. The older kids added “twigs” to the nest with the brown marker.

Simple crafts like these are easy to pull together to keep kids busy while you do other things. I always have ideas and materials stashed away so I can grab them in a pinch.

Activity 7: Color a rainbow!

The All-In-One Craft Tub has a lot of pieces that are perfect for crafting and learning. When I was thinking about a spring activity that would incorporate learning, I thought a rainbow would do the trick. For this activity, we cut a cloud from white paper and glued cotton balls all over it. Then we counted and sorted craft sticks to make the rainbow.

I wrote numbers on the bottom of each wooden stick, and the kids counted and glued foam squares from the All-In-One Craft Tub on the rays. This got them categorizing colors and counting.

The rainbow is so pretty and colorful! Keep this craft in mind when you want kids to create and learn during the same activity.

I hope these activities help you integrate lots of creative fun into your spring!

If you liked this post, come over to My Creative Days and say hello! I am always creating something, and I would love to have you visit my project today.

Creative Days Blogg

Product Spotlight: Design & Play STEAM Kits

by Kirk Iwasaki | Lakeshore Senior Product Designer

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. It’s where STEM concepts, like critical thinking and engineering, meet the creativity of art. Our Design & Play STEAM Kits help kids integrate artistic flair and STEM knowledge to create vehicles with the perfect balance of good looks and functionality.

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How do kids use the Design & Play STEAM Kits?

Kids use the kits to design and create real-working cars, boats and planes.

They grab their own arts and crafts materials to decorate and add custom details to the precut pieces. Once they’ve built their vehicles, they can add finishing touches.

Next, they test their creations. They might discover that improperly aligned wheels make a car wobble or that acrylic gemstones make a plane too heavy to soar. Kids fine-tune and test their vehicles until they discover an ideal combination of engineering and design.

What will children learn?

Since these kits are open-ended, they cover a variety of concepts. For example, children could learn about:

  • Problem solving—as they troubleshoot through the design process to build their vehicles
  • Cause and effect—as they test and adjust their vehicles
  • Natural forces, such as gravity, motion and buoyancy—as they create flying planes, racing cars and floating boats
  • Communication—as they design with partners

Kids will also learn how to use creativity and perseverance (a key 21st-century skill) to create something unique. That’s what kids love most—creating a one-of-a-kind vehicle that looks and works just the way they like!