What comes to mind when you think of a glorious spring day? Do you think of clear blue skies, warm sunshine, and gentle breezes? How does the arrival of spring make you feel? What colors do you see? What sounds do you hear? What fragrances do you savor? Here are some sensory activities to evoke nostalgic memories of a balmy spring day. You can adapt them to the needs of your group – or add your own to the mix. Happy Spring!
- Read William Wordsworth’s poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” which describes his encounter with a field of daffodils “fluttering and dancing in the breeze.” Display a bouquet of fresh daffodils.
- Display a collection of wind chimes – bamboo, metal, stained glass, and wood. Listen to some of the soothing melodies created by the chimes. Name a favorite place to hang a chime, e.g., indoors in front of a window, from a beam on the front porch, or from the branch of a tree in a garden.
- Ponder the meaning of the weather proverb “In like a lion, out like a lamb.”
- Invite a bird lover to talk about the return of migratory songbirds in the spring, such as orioles, thrushes, and warblers. Ask: How do you attract and feed birds in your backyard?
- Listen to Antonio Vivaldi’s “Spring” concerto from The Four Seasons as you read a poem about spring. Talk about the signs of spring in the music.
- Reminisce about flying a colorful kite on a breezy spring day. Make a homemade paper kite. Describe the sensation of walking in the warm sun and feeling the tug of the kite upon the string. (Or, catch a cool breeze with a spring windsock.)
- Show pictures of Monarch butterflies and ask participants to plan a flower garden that attracts butterflies. Hang a butterfly mobile for the group to enjoy.
- Reminisce about a 1940s spring washday. Pass around old wooden clothespins and a rope clothesline and talk about line-dried clothes. Ask: Can you still see the sheets flopping in the wind? Did you enjoy the clean cotton smell?
- Show pictures of the classic convertibles of the 1950s, e.g., Oldsmobile 88, Chevrolet Bel Air, Ford Thunderbird, Pontiac Bonneville. Ask participants to describe the appeal of the convertible on a balmy spring day (wind in your hair, sun on your face).
- Display some dandelions, some with the yellow flower and others that have gone to seed. Ask: Did you ever blow fluffy dandelion seeds in the air and make a wish? Chat about folk use of the dandelion for medical and nutrition benefits.
- Display a collection of spring nature photography, e.g., pictures of a gentle breeze blowing springtime tulips or passing through willow trees into fields and meadows of wildflowers. Look at spring flowers through a magnifying glass and describe the tiny flower parts.
- Hang some old lace curtains and ask participants to describe the experience of opening the windows in your house on the first warm day of spring. Ask: Did you enjoy the fresh air, laden with the scent of spring? What are some of your favorite spring aromas?
- Display pictures of hot-air balloons as you listen to the 1960s song “Up, Up and Away,” recorded by musical group The Fifth Dimension. Ask if anyone has ever taken a hot-air balloon ride or a glider ride.
- Reminisce about bubble-blowing sets from the 1940s and 1950s – bubble pipe, soap dish, and a cake of soap. Have some fun blowing bubbles.
- Ask baseball fans: What makes opening day so special? How do you feel as you see our country’s flag fluttering in the breeze? Pass around mini-flags and sing the national anthem.”
FINISH THE LINE QUIZ
Ask your group to finish the following expressions:
- Don’t mix business with…pleasure (advice)
- Please don’t squeeze…the Charmin (advertising slogan)
- All I want for Christmas is…my two front teeth (Christmas lyrics)
- Above and beyond the…call of duty (expression)
- It’s nothing to write…home about (expression)
- As American as apple…pie (expression about food)
- The Bells of St….Mary’s (movie title)
- Les Brown and His…Band of Renown (music group)
- Busy as…a bee; beaver (simile)
- “Happy Days Are…Here Again” (song title or lyric)
“SPRING BREEZES” written by Sue Hansen. © 2008 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
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