Teaching Kids About Environmental Science: Lessons of Spring
written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 2/28/2010
With Spring comes the potential for many different projects and activities to teach children the wonders of environmental science. This article will share things you can do with your children to have them learning in amazement.
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Spring is full of wonder as the world around us renews itself. It makes it a wonderful time to learn environmental science and makes for some fun times, too. Here are some activities you can do with your children to help them learn about Spring.
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Find Your Green Thumb
Spring is the best time to plant many flowers. Regardless of the age group of children you're teaching or working with, you'll be able to find a planting activity that will work well. The younger children will be happy planting a flower in a cup, and the older children may be interested in planting an entire flower bed. Grab some soil, some gloves, a few seeds or bulbs, and have a blast. If choosing the cup method, let the kids decorate the cup before planting. If pots are the better idea for your group, grab some paints and let creativity reign free.
While planting the flowers, discuss the importance of sunlight, fresh air, and water to the plant. The older children may enjoy a lesson in photosynthesis and the parts of a flower, because biology is important and closely related to Environmental Science.
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Search for the Gold at the End of the Rainbow
Go on a hunt for rainbows if the weather allows. If not, you can always use the prism trick to create the rainbow and share with kids where the rainbow comes from. Introduce them to Roy G. Biv to help them learn the order of the colors. To finish out the lesson, have children make their own rainbows and flowers with paper, or make a cake with blue icing and let the kids create their own rainbow out of M & M candies.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons License
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Learn about the Weather
Spring is the time for many changes in weather in many parts of the country. There are several different weather related experiments you can do right from your back yard.
Make a Thunderstorm
Make some ice cubes with blue colored water. Fill a plastic container 2/3 of the way up with lukewarm water and let it sit for a minute. Put three drops of red food coloring in the warm water at one end and place the ice cube in the other. The warm water (red) will rise while the cold (blue) water sinks, and this provides a visual representation of what happens to the air as a thunderstorm happens.