3 Ways to Welcome Spring in Your Classroom

February 11th, 2020 | Posted by bbarr in Education Services

After the short days of winter, spring is a welcome change. The trees come back to life, the snow starts melting, and the birds begin to sing again. In about a month, spring will be in full swing. Your students might benefit from a fresh perspective in your classroom, too. Here are some fun ways to get your classroom spring-ready.

Spring-themed Door Décor

Locations are powerful. A child’s environment makes a big difference in feeling safe, welcomed, and able to concentrate. Your door is the first thing your students see. As silly as it may seem, a friendly-looking door can help children transition from their hectic lives into a space full of opportunities and growth.

Here are some fun spring-centric ideas and themes for your door.

  • When you learn, we grow
  • Hopping into spring (ideal for PTs)
  • Come see what’s hatching
  • Swing into spring (great for OTs)
  • Toad-ally ready for spring
  • We’re blooming into great communicators (perfect for SLPs)

Zone Regulation Display

Kids often struggle to verbalize their moods and feelings. An easy-to-see display in your classroom can help them talk about their inner thoughts.

Create a spring-themed wall display for “zones of regulation.” The materials are pretty simple: put up a blue, green, yellow, and red poster for each “zone” that represents levels of stress and arousal. Kids can describe what zone they’re in:

  • Blue Zone means Running Slow: sad, sick, tired, bored, or grumpy
  • Green Zone means Good to Go: happy, calm, focused, and ready to learn
  • Yellow Zone means Caution: frustrated, worried, wiggly, unfocused, loss of control
  • Red Zone means Stop: mad, angry, aggressive, yelling, out of control

Use words on the chart to depict each zone’s emotions. Children can point to these zones to be more self-aware and put a name to their feelings. You can help them master their feelings by teaching calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and different methods for different zones.

How to tie the theme of spring in? Easy! Print out pictures of a representative animal for each zone:

  • Blue snake to represent sluggish behavior
  • Green bird to represent focused control, perhaps a parakeet
  • Yellow bees to represent excitability
  • Red rooster to represent out of control anger

Gardening Activities for Your Field

One of the best parts about spring is new life. With gardening, you’re literally watching things grow and change. Depending on your field, gardening can also be a great way to help students develop. Here are some ideas, depending on your specialty:

  • Occupational Therapists: Scatter baskets around the room full of gardening tools and gardening gloves. If you can find kid-sized versions, that’s even better. The important thing is to have them practice different movements with the objects: putting the gloves on their hands, grasping the tool, and moving it appropriately.
  • Speech Language Pathologists: Create an articulation garden. Print out different words on cards. Using a green bottle drying rack, you can place the cards in the “grass” that kids can pull out and practice those speech sounds. Fun for kids and easy for you!
  • Physical Therapists: Bring in some big plush ears of corn or carrots. Use these soft toys to start a “planting” game: kids develop their motor skills by moving the toy veggies around. If your students are more developed, you can bring in real seeds to actually plant in soil.

Getting through the end of winter can be tough. But spring is just around the corner! What fun spring activities do you have planned?

By Aubrey Schieuer

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