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The Last Weeks of Winter

Ideas of what to do with Kids to enjoy the Last Days of Winter

A Light exists in Spring

Not present on the Year

At any other period —

When March is scarcely here

Excerpt from A Light Exists in Spring by Emily Dickinson (Public Domain)

At Eeny Meeny we can’t believe that spring is almost upon us. Are you seeing the subtle signs of this wonderfully transitory season? Perhaps you have spotted a few new nesting birds, an early lamb, or snowdrops along the grass where you live. Spring is coming, and as we say hello to this familiar season, we say goodbye to the cosy moments of Winter we have got used to. It’s very easy to constantly look forwards, focusing on the seasons to come, but today we’ll be looking at ways to enjoy this final Winter week.

In this post, we’ll be sharing some simple suggestions to enjoy winter as it remains, observing nature, enjoying crafts, and learning a little about the transitional period between seasons. Enjoy!

Read up on seasonal change

The final moments of one season are a wonderful time to learn with your little ones about how nature changes as each season comes and goes. Why not read up on the magic of winter, then compare this to what is to come in spring? We love the author and artist Gerda Muller for her beautifully illustrated seasonal books. Her ‘Seasons’ board book set explores what each season has to give through beautiful imagery, and books like this would be a lovely way to compare the differences in seasons for younger readers. For slightly older children her two books A Year Around the Great Oak and A Year In Our New Garden closely observe a forest and city garden landscape from the perspective of inquisitive children learning about nature. Both also feature a lovely selection of non-fiction informative pages summarising all the elements of nature that the story referenced. Real keepsake books!

Nature journaling

If you haven’t tried nature journaling before, the transition from winter to spring is the most profound time to do it with your little ones. This is a practice you’ll find being used by those who enjoy the Charlotte Mason approach to family life and education, which encourages families to get outside for as much of the day as possible. There are plenty of simple ways to do this - but a good start is with good-quality art materials and a hardback notebook for each little one. Encourage your child to get out and draw what interests them, and do this regularly as winter changes to spring. Particularly lovely things to focus on are the magic of trees going from bare to brimming, and flowers gradually poking out from the cold earth. Lovely stuff!

Crafting

Crafting is always top of the agenda at Eeny Meeny HQ, but we do love the idea of marking this changing period with some winter-themed crafts. Here’s a simple idea: make a winter tree, and adapt it as the year goes on! Cut out a large piece of cardboard or paper in a winter shape and decorate it with brown tissue paper, felt tips and more. As children spot spring appears, they could add leaves, little birds and mini beasts to the tree, just like the oak tree seen in Muller’s book.

Finally, keep cosy

Finally, enjoy this final chilly week with lots of cosy time indoors! We love to praise the magic of outdoor play, but there is something to be said about the hibernation aspect of winter that is very fun indeed to join in. Embrace these last chill days with blanket forts, cosy film nights, board games and pyjamas. Time ticks on, so embrace the wintery quiet for a little while longer.

Enjoy!

While many of us look forward to the brighter days and longer evenings of spring, there is value still in enjoying the colder season while it lingers. It certainly helps with the practice of mindfulness and living in the moment! We hope you enjoy these simple ideas for observing winter for what it was, and spring for what it will be, with your little ones. Enjoy!

Emily Hanson

Freelance Writer, Education and Play Specialist

Emily Hanson is a freelance writer with specialisms in education and play. Emily holds a PGCE and M.Ed from the University of Cambridge - although her proudest achievements are her two beautiful daughters.

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