Fun activities to incorporate Easter & spring into your learning setting
This entry was posted on February 17, 2016.
Yes, it is nearly Easter! In addition to chocolate eggs, Easter incorporates many symbols of spring such as baby animals and flowers to represent the cycle of rebirth.
Spring and Easter can incorporate so many wonderful learning opportunities and there are many Easter and spring craft ideas out there! In this article we have decided to look at how you can incorporate the key symbols of Easter and Spring into your every day learning. This is a wonderful opportunity to engage independent learning and child led activities.
All of the activities can be easily differentiated for EYFS, KS1 or KS2, as well as ensuring the prime areas are covered. Some even produce a wonderful take home gift!
Children will develop their personal, social and emotional skills, increase their confidence and expand their cognitive capacity. They will develop fine motor skills, learn about colours, maths, literacy, science and gain more understanding of the world whilst thinking they are covering Easter!
Fingerprint Chicks for Numeracy
Fingerprint painting is a great way of creative counting! Using yellow paint, ask the children to imprint a number of fingerprints on the paper.
An easy way to differentiate this is to use an orange marker or paper collage cut-outs for the eyes, feet and beaks. Don't forget to wait for the paint to dry before you draw beaks, feet and eyes! You can also tell children you need a certain number of chicks, ask them for one more or ask them to count how many they have hatched!
Using wiggly eyes gives a lovely 3D effect. This is a great activity to do on pastel coloured card, it can be turned into a take home Easter card! You can include the painted chicks in your discussions about the season and the cycles in nature.
Mark Making & Repeated Patterns on an Easter Egg
Create a 2D Easter egg painting with colourful repeating patterns! Creating patterns develops the fine motor skills to facilitate pre-writing and is a great mark making exercise. Draw an outline of an egg on a large piece of A3 paper and get the children to decorate it using repeating patterns. For KS1 and KS2 this could be an independent activity, but guidance would be required for EYFS learners.
There are a number of ways to create the patterns. You could use Easter sponge shapes, which are a great way of incorporating the Easter theme. You can use a selection of ready mix paints in pallets to dip your sponges in and print a series of patterns within the large egg.
You could also ask children to pinch pom poms with clothing pegs, dip them in different coloured paints and make repeated patterns on paper. These activities will aid a child's development in the seven areas of learning, with a large scope for differentiation.
Some children may push or squeeze sponges too hard and lose definition in the final print. If a child struggles to produce defined shapes, a great alternative is to use Easter stencils. In this case, any shape of sponge or paint brush can be used to apply paint to the stencils - children could always use markers instead of paints.
Easter falls around the spring season, the time of year when flowers come into bloom. Tissue circles encourage young children to create flowers independently through simple layering, twisting and gluing. You can use green pipecleaners or paper art straws for the stem. The flowers can be incorporated into discussions about seasons. Using the different colours of tissue paper is another way to investigate patterns.
They could even include a picture of themselves or their family photo in the centre, using the tissue flower circles as a frame around the photo highlighting that it is a special family time!
Plastic Egg & Marbling Ink Exploration
Use plastic marbling eggs to incorporate elements of science! The children will progress with their ability to explore physical processes and make observations. Children will have fun creating their own patterned eggs exploring colour mixing and patterns. Any discussion on this activity can help children to naturally extend their vocabulary with new words, i.e. ripples, wavy.
BCreative provide all kinds of marbling inks: fluorescent, metallic and normal colour ranges. The process involves dropping ink onto the surface of water and using a small stick to lightly draw patterns in the liquid mix. Gently dip and roll the plastic egg on the liquid surface and the ink should adhere to the egg surface. Are the eggs taking too long to dry? Extend the experience by adding a hair dryer in the final stages to speed up the drying process of the eggs. Children will get to observe the additional processes of temperature (hot and cold) and texture (dry and wet). Ensure that all children wear protective clothing as the this product is oil based.
Maths & Literacy with Polystyrene Eggs
Use different sized polystyrene egg shapes, to play a ‘sorting by size’ game with Easter baskets. Ask children to pick the eggs and sort them into groups of small, medium and large. This is a great opportunity for counting and introducing natural discussions on weight (heavier or lighter), quantities (bigger or smaller) and sizes (more or less).
Why not incorporate maths and literacy? Colour code and number your eggs and encourage children to match the numbered egg with the numbered basket/container. You could always use them in counting games and order the numbered eggs into an egg box. To incorporate literacy simply add letters of the alphabet instead of numbers.
You could also use the eggs for an Easter egg hunt, once decorated by the children. Children could be set the task of finding specific coloured, numbered or lettered eggs. Ready mix paint or collage materials are best for egg decoration. For after school clubs it might be practical to use felt tip pens to decorate the polystyrene eggs.
Polystyrene Egg Chicks
The polystyrene egg shapes also make great collage Easter chick figures. You can talk about the hatching of chicks, life cycles and seasonal changes. Use the polystyrene egg to show the process of an egg developing into a chick. You could nestle the class chicks in raffia/straw nests in a classroom display area. The smooth polystyrene egg surface is great for collage or ready mix painting and free expression. Children could use pva glue to stick yellow feathers, wiggly eyes and orange card (for the beaks and feet) onto their egg shapes. Create little characters and build on a child's understanding of the world around them! These can be included in the Easter sensory tray mentioned below.
Matching Bunny Tails
Develop children's visual recognition using matching games. Matching pom-pom bunny tails to the right bunny can be a great independent maths activity. Use white bunny cut-outs with a colour word written on each one. The children learn to read the written version of the colour, in addition to matching and sticking the right coloured pom pom.
You could also do a simpler version using coloured bunny cut outs. Children can match through colour visual recognition. If you laminate the bunnies you can use this as a regular class exercise. You can use Velcro or white /blue tack, otherwise use pva glue for take home gifts.
Download a free copy of the BCreative Bunny Tail Matching Game templates to save time!
Easter Sensory Investigation Tray
A tray filled with colourful objects and textures is a great sensory activity for Easter time. It promotes the use of all the senses and can be incorporated into the wider discussion about Easter/ spring time.
Children can investigate and explore materials, shapes, sizes, textures and colours. This will help emotional development and build a positive sensory association to the theme and the overall memory of learning.
Here are some fun things you can include: different sized polystyrene and plastic eggs, Easter spangles, yellow coloured pom-poms and feathers, mixed coloured raffia, mixed coloured feathers, yellow craft fluff or cotton wool and other related topic objects (i.e. small bunnies and chick toys). Children can use items from the sensory trays to tell their own stories.
Story of Easter with Jesus
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