After the cold and sometimes dismal winter months, spring and signs of spring are popping up. As we move into the season of growth, renewal, Easter, egg hunts, and more time outdoors, kids start to ask lots of questions. While they can learn a lot from the questions they ask, sometimes they can learn even more when we take the initiative to ask them a question or two and listen to how they answer.
So let’s get into this spring question and answer spirit, whether it’s in the classroom, at the park, at home, or on a field trip. Below you’ll find a question list for caregivers to ask kids, followed by a list of questions that kids like to ask about this season (and the answer to each). Because spring is the season to spend more time outdoors, we’ll also go over some ideas for spending time outside and how to get outdoors more. You can use their natural desire to ask questions to spark a life-long love for the outdoors. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s educational, and it helps us become closer than ever to the kiddos in our lives.
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20 Questions to Ask Kids About Spring
Let’s start off with twenty simple spring questions for kids. As you start seeing daffodils and buds on trees, ask a question or two of your kids to encourage them to be thinking critically about the season, how things are changing around them, and what it means. It’s okay if they don’t know the answer to each question. The idea is just to help them think about spring beyond the Easter bunny, their Easter basket, and egg hunts. (Although all that is fun, too!) Use these questions as a starting point for a family discussion, as writing prompts, or just for fun:
- What do you like most about spring?
- Can you see signs that spring has arrived?
- What types of flowers and plants do you see in the spring?
- Are there fun outdoor activities that you like to do in the spring?
- What are some animals that you might see more of during the spring season?
- What foods are in season during the spring?
- How is the weather different in the spring compared to winter?
- What holidays or special events happen during the spring?
- What colors make you think of spring?
- What can you do to help take care of the environment during the spring season?
- What sounds make you think of spring?
- What are some clothes or accessories that you like to wear during spring?
- How can you decorate your home or classroom for spring?
- Which animals that you see in the spring would you like to learn more about?
- How does spring change what people and animals do?
- What are some ways that spring is different from other seasons?
- What can you do to enjoy the outdoors more during the spring season?
- What changes happen to trees during spring?
- Can you think of any fun science experiments you can do to learn more about the changes that happen during the spring season?
- What are some ways that you can show kindness and gratitude during spring?
Help your kids answer these questions and who knows – you might learn something new, too! Now that we’ve covered asking them questions, let’s talk about some of the most common questions kids tend to ask about spring, and how to answer them.
8 Questions Kids Ask About Spring (and How to Answer Them)
Spring is a magical time of the year, and children often have many questions about this season. As the temperature starts to warm up, the trees start to bloom, and animals come out of hibernation, kids are naturally curious about what’s happening around them. Whether they ask questions in the classroom, at home, or in the home classroom (shout out to my fellow homeschool families!) it’s a fun and free way to take the opportunity to enter into a conversation and teach some science. I’ve also linked to some free or low-cost additional learning resources for those particularly inquisitive kiddos with lots of questions.
Here are some common spring questions that kids tend to ask and an answer that will satisfy their curiosity…for the moment, anyway!
Guess what? It’s NOT because the Earth is closer to the sun! The main reason why spring is warmer than winter is because of the Earth’s tilt. During winter, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, which means that the sun’s rays hit the Earth at a lower angle. This results in less direct sunlight and less heat, causing colder temperatures. As the Earth orbits the sun, the Northern Hemisphere begins to tilt towards the sun in spring, which means that the sun’s rays hit the Earth more directly, providing more heat and warmth.
Learn more facts about the Earth’s tilt and how it impacts our season for free here on the Nasa science Space Place website.
Answer: Flowers bloom in the spring because of the longer days and increased sunlight. In the winter, days are shorter and there’s less sunlight, which means that plants receive less energy to grow. As the days grow longer and the sun gets stronger in the spring, plants have more energy to grow, leading to the blooming of flowers. While different flowers bloom at different times of the year, and some plants will produce blooms for much longer than others, they all need the same basic elements to burst into beauty: sunlight, water, and nutrients.
Enjoy the magic of flower blooming in this National Geographic time-lapse video.
While you may hear birds chirping any time of year, birds really kick it up a notch in the spring time. They start singing in the spring as a way to attract mates and defend their territories. As we enjoy more hours of sunlight and the weather heats up, male birds begin to establish and defend their territories. Singing is a way for male birds to communicate with other birds in their territory and to attract a mate.
Interested in learning how to identify birds by their song? The National Audubon Society has free resources devoted to helping you listen and learn!
Answer: Some animals migrate in the spring to follow their food source or to find a better place to live. As the weather gets warmer in the spring, some animals start to move to new areas where there is more food available. For example, birds may migrate from one area to another to find better nesting sites or to feed on insects and other food sources that are only available in certain areas. Watch the skies and see if you can see Canadian geese migrating in your area.
This well-loved book that includes information on hibernation and migration can help your little ones understand these concepts better and get their questions answered. Find Animals in winter on Amazon.
Easter is celebrated in the spring because it is a Christian holiday that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The date of Easter is determined by the lunar calendar and falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, which marks the beginning of spring. When it comes to the Easter bunny, Easter basket traditions, egg decorating, candy, and the symbolism of the egg, well, those are questions for another blog post.
Oh, okay. If you want to learn more about the origin of these Easter traditions, you can watch this video. Disclaimer: if you are serious about preserving the mystique of the Easter bunny, this may not be the video for you. It does not say the Easter bunny isn’t real, but it could cause kids to ask a question or two that takes you down that road!
Ideas for Spring Activities to Do Together
Spring is the time of year to really get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature with your kids. When they ask questions, go outside and look for the answers! You might even be able to enjoy some beautiful days before the bugs move in. (Here in Georgia the bugs are already out in force – ugh!) With warmer weather, longer days, and an abundance of new growth, there are many fun and educational activities and games you can do together outside.
Here are some ideas for activities to do with kids in the springtime and some resources for making them easier or more enriching.
Spring is the perfect time to plant a garden with your kids. You can start with simple plants like herbs or flowers, or try your hand at growing vegetables. Kids will love watching their plants grow and then harvesting the literal fruits of their labor. Even if it’s a few herbs or a cucumber plant in a container on the patio, growing things is a great way to teach kids about nature, and it’s also a fun way to spend the day outdoors together.
If you don’t have an outdoor space to grow, the answer is to bring the magic of growing indoors. I have six Aerogardens and we grow lettuce, herbs, and flowers all year long in these hydroponic gardens. They are easy to plant, easy to care for, and most importantly easy to clean. You can start small with the Aerogarden Sprout. But for the greatest bang for your buck, I recommend the Bounty Basic. Kids watch their plants grow and flourish, and when it’s time, this is a project they can eat – unless it’s flowers, of course!
Take a walk in the park or in the woods to observe the new growth and changes that happen during the spring. You can talk to your kids about the different types of plants and animals you see, and discuss how they change during the different seasons. You can also encourage your kids to collect leaves or other natural materials to create a collage or record them in a nature journal. (Funschooling has an awesome one to use all year long.) Be on the lookout for animals. You might see a bunny, a frog, a chipmunk, and other cute critters!
On walks and hikes we use the PictureThis app to identify plants we don’t know and learn about them. It’s not free (it was $19.99 per year the last time we renewed) but it’s been so much fun to use that I don’t mind paying for it. It’s been a great help in our homeschooling journey. It gives detailed info on plant toxicity as well, which makes it a valuable tool for learning which plants are safe and which are not. You can identify a plant, then make a game of it: can you properly identify that plant the next time you’re out?
Spring is a great time to take a day trip to visit a farm and see baby animals. Many farms have lambs, chicks, bunny rabbits, and other baby animals that your kids can see up close. You can also pick strawberries or other fruits that are in season, collect an egg or two, or take a tour of the farm to learn about how the crops are grown and harvested. We recently got to hold some 10-day old baby chicks and they are so sweet…until they poop on you!
Look up farms near you on the Local Harvest website. They’ll also tell you where to find farmer’s markets and other local food system resources. From preschool and kindergarten on up to older grades, kids of all ages love farms and farm animals!
Making bird feeders is a fun project to do outdoors. You can use pinecones, toilet paper rolls, or other materials to create simple bird feeders. Then hang them outside and watch the birds come to eat. This is a great way to teach kids about different types of birds and their eating habits. Be careful though. Once the birds know you’ve got a buffet they will let you know when the feeder’s empty in a noisy way!
Get started by finding the right bird feeder among this list of 25 different DIY bird feeders. From plastic bottles to bagels to yogurt containers, there’s a project for any age range.
Spring is the right time to introduce your kids to kite flying. The weather is usually breezy and perfect for kite-flying. You can build your own kite or buy one at a store. You can find kites in an incredible array of shapes, sizes, and themes these days. Find your favorite, then head to an open field or beach and fly your kites together. Watch out for those power lines, and brush up on your kite safety here.
Create a miniature garden with your kids by making a fairy garden. You can use a container or a small area in your backyard to create a magical garden with tiny plants and decorations. Kids can use their imagination to create a world of fairies and other mythical creatures. Nature is filled with items that can be used to give your fairy garden (or gnome home) a realistic and woodsy vibe, like stones, twigs, and pine cones. Find some ideas to get you started here.
Create a scavenger hunt with your kids by making a list of items for them to find in nature. You can include things like flowers, leaves, and different types of animals. You can also make it more challenging by including specific colors or patterns. Try your hand at creating one of your own based on things common to where you live, or print one out that you find online. This site has some free printable options as well as ideas for spring themed games.
Enjoy the spring weather by going on a bike ride with your kids. You can explore your neighborhood or a nearby park and enjoy the fresh air and exercise. You can also teach your kids about bike safety and make sure they wear helmets and other protective gear. No bike? No worries. Break out the scooters, roller skates, skateboards, or anything else with wheels! Have you heard of drift scooters? My son got one for Christmas and he loves it! This is the one we have.
Pokémon Go is a popular mobile game that combines the virtual world with the real world. The game uses augmented reality technology to allow players to catch Pokémon in real-life locations. Players walk around the real world with their mobile devices to find and catch Pokémon, collect items, and battle other players. Pokémon Go encourages players to go outside and explore their local area, making it a fun and engaging way to be active outdoors. The game has become a cultural phenomenon, with millions of players around the world. On rainy days, keep those Pokémon fans busy with a Pokémon coloring book!
A super simple way to start spending time outdoors is to grab a book and go read outside. Whether it’s on the deck, on a blanket on the grass, or under a tree, it’s true that reading suddenly becomes more interesting simply because of the location. Fill a wicker basket with books and a game or two and head to the park for story time. If your kids love STEM (or you want them to) consider adding some robot stories for kids to get them thinking while they’re playing.
Finding Ways to Get Outdoors: 10 Ideas
There are often many outdoor activities to do in your local area, even if you live in a city. Check out local parks, nature trails, and other outdoor spaces that are close to your home. Sign up for email lists for city and county organizations that promote events. You can also research and keep an ear out for advertising for local events and festivals that take place outdoors. Young children learn about their world chiefly by exploring it, so make it a point to get to know your own backyard and have fun doing it.
Kids have a way of making things fun all on their own, but sometimes they need a little help from adults. Getting outside with your kids becomes more fun by finding things they enjoy, such as playing sports, yard games like cornhole, going on a treasure hunt, or having a picnic. You can also turn it into a family event by inviting other families to join you and have a game day. If you are a homeschooling family, consider moving your classroom outside. Learn how to spell the months of the year, including the tough to spell months, with February coloring sheets and the rest of the months using printable, easy-to-transport pages. Being outside always makes it more fun and even like a game.
Use technology to find outdoor activities that are happening in your local area. There are many websites and apps that can help you find outdoor events, parks, and other outdoor program options. You can also join online groups or forums to connect with other families who enjoy spending time outdoors. Google and Facebook are great at this! (While you’re at it, join the Belle Green FaceBook group!)
Kids are more likely to be excited about things they’ve given input on, so be sure to involve your kids in planning outdoor adventures. Ask them questions about what they would like to do, what games they like, and where they would like to go. This can help them feel more invested in the experience and encourage them to be more active. You’ll be surprised how creative they can be when it comes to the great outdoors.
Now that you’ve got some ideas brewing, I’d like to quickly go over something you might have heard about: the 1,000 hours outside movement!
1,000 Hours Outside and How You Can Participate
The 1,000 Hours Outside movement is a grassroots initiative that aims to encourage children and families to spend more time outdoors. The idea behind the movement is simple: to encourage kids to spend 1,000 hours outside each year, which works out to be about 2.5 hours per day. The movement was started by Ginny Yurich, a mother of five from Michigan, who was concerned about the amount of time that kids were spending indoors and in front of screens.
The 1,000 Hours Outside movement has gained momentum over the past few years, with families and schools across the country getting involved. The movement is not only about getting kids outside, but also about creating a mindset shift around the importance of nature and outdoor play.
On the 1000 Hours Outside website, you’ll find trackers and other resources to use if you want to join in on the fun. Here are some of the most important elements families are implementing when they reach for the goal of being outdoors 1,000 hours per year.
From Spring Question and Answer Time to Loving the Outdoors
I hope this article has helped you in your quest to not just answer the question of the day from your 4-year-old (along with the 250 other questions they had) but to give you some ideas on how you can turn those springtime questions into a love for the outdoors and nature. Engaging with your kids, listening to them, and spending time together outdoors go a long way in creating a growing up story they’ll remember fondly for the rest of their lives. Encourage their questions, don’t stop until you have an answer, and use that opportunity to go outside and soak up the fresh air!