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SPRING COMES CALLING

The wait is over. Springtime is officially here – at least on the calendar. It’s time for sun-kissed days, gentle breezes, birds and blossoms – and an occasional shower of rain.  The arrival of spring is a welcome relief after the cold and snowy winter. Celebrate the season of new beginnings with your group with a few activities that will put an extra spring in their step. Take a look at the suggestions below. Happy Spring!

  • SPRING FLOWERS: Display nature photos of the vibrant colors of springtime. Ask: Do you enjoy springtime? What do you like about the season? What activities take place in the spring? What comes to mind when you think of a splendid spring day? Describe the beauty of the season in a few words.
  • SENSING SPRING: Encourage participants to comment on the following quote by Henry Van Dyke: “The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.” Ask your group to name things that you can touch, taste, see, smell, and hear, signaling spring is really here. (Examples: feel-raindrops/taste-Easter candy/see-green buds/smell-spring flowers/hear-crack of baseball bats)
  • MUSIC: Ask participants how the arrival of springtime makes them feel after a long winter. What songs might they hum, sing, or whistle? Sing a few favorites, like “You Are My Sunshine,” “Blue Skies,” “Easter Parade,” “Here Comes Peter Cottontail,” “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and “When You Wore a Tulip.”
  • POETRY: Read Robert Browning’s short poem which begins “The year’s at the spring” and ends with “God’s in His heaven – All’s right with the world!” Ask the group to add some more lines. What else happens in the spring to make it so “All’s right with the world”?
  • APRIL FOOLS: Celebrate April Fools’ Day. Tell a funny story about a “fool’s errand” or wild-goose chase. Ask participants if they are more likely to be the prankster or the prank victim on that day. Talk about the old proverb “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Ask your group how often they have been fooled on April 1.
  • SPRING LOVE: Listen to Pat Boone’s rendition of “April Love.” Ask participants if the following saying is true: “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Talk about first crushes, high school sweethearts, love at first sight, and courtship. Ask if anyone had a spring wedding and why they chose that season to marry.
  • EASTER FASHION: Watch the 1948 musical Easter Parade, starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. Learn about the history of Easter bonnets. Make a spring bonnet and have a style show.
  • CHILDHOOD MEMORIES: Read e.e. cummings’ playful poem “in Just-” which describes springtime as ‘mud-luscious’ and ‘puddle-wonderful.’ Ask your group to tell why children love spring. Share memories of springtime as a kid.
  • BIRDS: Celebrate the spring birding season. Learn about the National Audubon Society, named in honor of John James Audubon whose birthday is on April 26, 1785. Look at Audubon’s famous illustrations of the birds of North America. Ask the group what kinds of birds they remember seeing in the spring. Work a bird jigsaw puzzle. Make a bird’s nest from natural materials.
  • FLOWERS: Invite Garden Club members to show the group how to arrange a bouquet of vibrant spring flowers. Have a flower scent guessing game. Play flower word games. Reminisce about planting a spring flower garden. Sing a few flowers songs such as “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” “Daisy,” or “Yellow Rose of Texas.”
  • ANIMALS: Show photos of baby farm animals, and ask the group to share memories of caring for newborn animals in the spring. Challenge the group to give the baby name of the following animals: sheep/lamb, pig/piglet, chicken/chick, cow/calf, duck/duckling, rabbit/bunny, goat/kid, dog/pup, cat/kitten, horse/foal, colt, or filly (add more animals to the list as they come to mind). Invite staff or family members to bring in some baby animals (kittens or puppies) to show your group.
  • SPRING SIGHTS: Talk about the reawakening of Mother Nature in the springtime. Ask your group to give an action word that fits the following spring sights: bird eggs/ hatch, spring peepers/ croak, sap/rises, flowers/bloom, birds/chirp, dew drops/form, bees/buzz, seeds/sprout, butterflies/flutter, raindrops/fall, ducklings/waddle, grass/grows,  rainbows/appear, bunnies/hop, sun rays/beam. (Note: Other answers are possible.)
  • SWEETS: Sample some Easter basket treats: chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, marshmallow peeps, Cadbury eggs, or the traditional hot cross buns. Hold a jelly bean counting contest. Talk about family Easter traditions.
  • BASEBALL: Share some fun facts about Opening Day. Ask: Have you ever attended an opening day game? What makes opening day so special? Wear baseball caps. Take a baseball trivia quiz. Listen to a recording of Abbott and Costello’s famous “Who’s on First” routine.  Sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Serve hot soft pretzels and mustard.
  • EARTH DAY: Celebrate Earth Day on April 22. Ask group members to talk about their favorite spot on earth and why they like it so much. Sing “I Love the Mountains” and write new verses about other places and things that participants love about the earth. Example: I love the sunset, I love Los Angeles/ I love the Grand Canyon, I love looking at the stars/ I love the oceanside when the tide is coming in. Boom-dee-ah-da…”

SPRING TRIVIA QUIZ

  1. When is the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere? Usually March 20
  2. According to the saying, what do April showers bring? May flowers
  3. When is Tax Filing Day in the United States? April 15
  4. Which bright yellow spring flower turns to a ball of fluffy white seeds? Dandelion
  5. Who wrote the popular song “Easter Parade”? Irving Berlin
  6. What kind of children’s race is held at the White House the Monday after Easter? White House Easter Egg Roll
  7. Finish the song title: “When the Red, Red Robin….Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along”
  8. Which Jewish holiday marks the exodus of the Hebrews from captivity in Egypt? Passover
  9. Name the colors of the rainbow. ROYGBIV – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet
  10. In which year was Earth Day first observed in America – 1965, 1970, 1975? 1970

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

“From the end spring new beginnings.” ~ Pliny the Elder

“Spring Comes Calling” written by Sue Hansen. Copyright 2014 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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