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Spring is one of the most wonderful times of the year for a teacher to bring nature into the classroom. Everything is blooming, and the world outside is a plethora of metamorphosis in all kingdoms. Not only does this allow children to explore plant life, but also the insect and animal world. Here are some more ideas:

1. Gardens are a great addition to any classroom or home environment.

2. Flowers are a nice touch to grow for Mother’s day Celebrations.

3. Vegetable gardens add an opportunity to explore color, size and shape as well incorporate math, science and weather in an outdoor classroom.

4. Baby chicks and bunnies are also good early childhood themes.

5. All the insects that may be crawling in your garden are fabulous teaching tools highlighting, of course, the favorites: The ladybug, the caterpillar and the butterfly. You can even add a spider or a stinkbug in there for excitement.

6. There are marvelous books to support your literacy centers, too.

7. Sand and water tables are a great way to get kids outside and exploring a multitude of tactile sensations.

There are tons of ideas to serve as creative templates for exploring, enough to carry you well into the summer months. Enjoy and happy "Sensational Spring" learning.

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Comment by Martianne Stanger on April 11, 2012 at 9:06pm

I cannot find the links right now, but I have seen two cool things I would have done when I was still a classroom teacher - growing plants in baggies on the window and growing them in clear shoe organizer hanging things.  What fun these would be in a classroom.

Comment by Julie Bush on April 11, 2012 at 7:24am

We use our water tables and sand tables to 'fish" or "dig" for the concepts we are working on in class. My students love it. We put plastic dimes/or pennies in and they have to find one and pick it up to the best of their abilities. Then if they eat they can hand the dime to us for a cookie. They loved when we studied banana and a bunch of bananas were floating in the water table for them to play with.

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