Spring offers so many natural wonders and opportunities for spring-related play and learning to make seasonal observances with children. During this difficult time it is even more important to connect with nature in any small way we can, to slow down and appreciate the changes happening around us – the bees, butterflies and birds, the trees blossoming and the flowers growing.
Teia Education & Play has put together a special Spring Collection of toys and learning materials that offer fun ways to bring all the joys of Spring in your play or home-school curriculum for children of all ages. I have picked out a few of my favourites.
Grapat’s Aguamarina Spring kit is a gorgeous Waldorf-inspired, open-ended play set featuring the fresh, uplifting colours of Spring. Children love to sort, stack and nest the nins®, mates, rings and coins, and this set would also fit beautifully with a Spring or Easter display or a nature table.
The new colours and ever-popular nins make it a lovely addition to the other Grapat open-ended play sets. Being entirely hand-crafted and hand-painted with natural materials, I love how sets like this bring children closer to nature as they play too!
Educo’s Sunflower Growth Puzzle is a large wooden layered puzzle detailing the growth and life cycle of a sunflower, from seedling to shoot, bud and finally a blooming flower.
This imaginative 4-layered puzzle is a really visual and effective way to learn about plant life cycles. There is plenty to challenge children and the clever design makes completing this puzzle very satisfying! 9 different growth puzzles are available.
The SINA Spielzeug Flower Balancing Game is suitable from birth so offers a lovely way to introduce seasonal concepts like flowers growing from the very start! The set contains 6 high-quality handmade wooden hemispheres that split into halves, 6 felt flower cut-outs made from sheep’s wool in the colours of the rainbow, 6 natural wooden blocks in different heights and 1 basket.
There is an impressive amount of play and learning value – the flower balancing game develops fine motor skills, dexterity, hand-eye coordination and aesthetic design. The flowers can also be used as spinning tops and all the components make lovely additions to loose parts play. Children also love to practice putting everything away in the pretty basket!
Grapat’s Mandala Purple Eggs are a wonderfully inspiring set for Spring play. From making beautiful Easter displays and transient art, the delicate, natural shades of purple make them so pleasing to arrange in graduating colours or circles. They are also brilliant for counting and sorting, making an easter egg hunt or role play – cooking them in your play kitchen and collecting them on your imaginary farm.
Educo’s Life Cycles game involves completing ten different sets of life cycles, including human beings, a dog, a wasp, a butterfly, a frog, a bird, a flower, a carrot, an apple and of rice by placing cards in chronological order. A lovely visual and active way to learn about nature, this game also encourages sequencing skills, cognition of context and the ability to associate and combine.
The game is great for more independent play and learning as it offers self-checking through a sequenced image on the back of the cards and packs away in a lovely wooden storage box.
In Toys for Life’s Build a Flower game, children layer colourful wooden shapes on the wooden peg board to create beautiful flowers. Whether following pattern cards or their imagination, the results are so satisfying and children are captivated as they work on their spatial orientation, sequencing and fine motor skills as well as learning the shapes and colours they combine in their flowers. The perfect activity for Spring!
The Grapat Rhythm of Life existential calendar beautifully depicts the passing of days in a way even young children can understand. Different coloured balls represent different seasons and special events so children can simply count the beads until their next birthday or Christmas.
The kit consists of 365 balls in 12 different month colours, 10 balls in various other colours to depict special dates, 1 cotton cord, 4 season ribbons of different colours and – my favourite thing – 13 bowls to organize the balls.
This is a beautiful item that creates a lovely ritual for your family as you thread each bead. It is an especially welcome and useful concept in this time when so many of our routines and markers such as school, work, visitors and trips anywhere are on hold and is a lovely reminder to greet each new day as joyfully as children do!
Wishing you lots of fun exploring and learning about all the beauty and wonder of Spring with your children. We would love to see your Spring activities!
Sarah Varley is a freelance writer and mother of 2 from England. Sarah embraced the Montessori method for her children’s early education and is a huge fan of open-ended play with beautiful toys that last for generations. As a former Librarian, there will always be a special place in her heart for books, sorting and organising! Find out more at Letterpress Content.