The birds are singing, the bunnies are hopping, the flowers are blooming-spring is bursting out all over! It’s time to awaken our senses and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of a new season. Ask your participants: What are your favorite signs of spring? What do you like most about the season? What springtime activities did you enjoy as a child? Did you ever catch “spring fever”? What special traditions did you enjoy with your family during the season? Encourage group members to complete this sentence: Each spring . . . .
You’ll want to plan some activities for the season of growth and renewal. Here are some suggestions to savor the delightful sights, sounds, and smells of springtime.
- Invite a master gardener to talk about window box gardening. Fill a small window box with seeds of fragrant flowers.
- Serve a special spring dessert (rhubarb pie, coconut cake, strawberry shortcake) on pretty dessert plates.
- Ask participants to complete this line of verse by Alfred, Lord Tennyson: “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to . . . ” (thoughts of love). Encourage participants to share courtship stories. Ask: Did you have a high school sweetheart? How did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates?
- Invite an artist to demonstrate Impressionist painting techniques. Look at an art print of Claude Monet’s “Fields in Spring.” Ask participants to describe the images that come to mind as they view the colorful print.
- Hold a spring fashion show featuring vintage hats. Pass around old hat boxes.
- Reminisce about the ritual of spring cleaning. Ask: Why is spring a good time to rid your house of dirt and clutter? Share some of Granny’s tips and tricks for cleaning, e.g., white vinegar in bowl to rid room of odors.
- Watch the 1949 musical comedy Take Me Out to the Ball Game with Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, and Gene Kelly. Share memories of attending major or minor league baseball games with parents or grandparents.
- Celebrate National Arbor Day, the last Friday in April, by singing some songs with “tree” in the title, e.g., “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” or Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree.” Ask participants to name their favorite kind of tree.
- Display pussy willow tree branches, forsythia, or red buds in a large vase of water.
- Invite a member of a local bird club, e.g., Audubon Society, to talk about how birds learn songs. Study the habits of the mockingbird, one of the first birds to sing of the arrival of spring.
- Pass around photographs of spring wildflowers. Reminisce about picking wildflowers, like purple and white violets, in the meadows or woods. Enjoy the scent of a sweet violet candle.
- Talk about seasonal colors. Assemble a color palette for spring.
- Share stories of an annual family tradition of tapping trees for maple syrup. Sample Vermont maple syrup products on pancakes, waffles, or biscuits.
- Hold a jellybean counting contest. How did the popular candy become associated with Easter? Ask if anyone remembers buying the “penny candy” during the Depression.
- Show pictures of spring tree buds and blossoms. Ask your group to identify the kind of tree, e.g., apple, pear, cherry, and dogwood.
- Share recollections of spring farm chores, such as feeding newborn calves, baby pigs, and lambs, or of planting corn, oat, or barley crops.
- Bring in some fragrant spring flowers to smell – hyacinth, daffodils, lilies of the valley. Caution: some people are allergic to pollen. Easter lilies, in particular, can create a major allergic reaction in some people.
SPRING WORDS QUIZ
- When baseball teams travel to warm places to get the players in shape for the upcoming season. Spring training
- Mama gave you a dose of this foul-tasting cure-all in the spring. Spring tonic
- Something we “catch” when warmer weather hits. Spring fever
- If you’re not young, you’re “no . . .”? Spring chicken
- The process of thoroughly cleaning your house at the end of winter. Spring cleaning
- We hear this kind of tree frog in the spring. Spring peeper
- College students welcome this one-week reprieve from classes. Spring break
- Many people enjoy these in salads. Spring onions
- March 21 is the official date for this event. Spring equinox, or start of spring season
- Many people prefer this type of bottled drinking water. Spring water
THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” ~ Mother Teresa
“SPRING WELCOMING” written by Sue Hansen. © 2007 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
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