Signs of spring for kids
After the winter months, it looks as if nature comes back to life or begins to wake up again. We start to see more animals and insects, and there’s more color around, thanks to blossoming trees and blooming flowers. So here are some signs of spring for kids to look out for once the days get longer and the weather gets warmer.
Flowers and trees
Most flowers bloom during spring, so there’s plenty to look at throughout the season. However, if you’re looking for early signs of spring for kids, look out for these. They bring in the season of vibrant colors because they’re among the first to bloom. When you see these, you know that winter is coming to an end and that it’s time to enjoy everything spring offers.
Snowdrops bloom as early as January or February, so if you’re not a fan of winter, then you’ll be eagerly looking out for these white flowers. Because of their association with the end of winter, they have also been called the flower of hope. These are a welcome sight if the winter has been particularly harsh for people and other living creatures. They pop up in woods and meadows, your garden, and your local park. It would help if you also kept an eye out along riverbanks because they prefer damp soil.
Crocuses can be white, yellow, or purple. They’re a great food source for bees and insects emerging for the first time because they pop up early. You can find them in gardens, woods, roadsides, and streamsides.
These bright, yellow flowers help bring in the new season, thanks to their vibrant color and the fact that you’ll often see whole clusters of them. You’ll find these in many places, like grasslands, woods, and river banks.
Similar to flowers and wild plants, some trees blossom earlier on in the spring. So look out for the small buds on their branches that will appear before the flowers do. It would help if you looked for ash, beech, oak, and rowan trees.
Spring is often associated with baby animals because so many are born during this season. This is because young animals are more likely to survive during the warmer weather that comes with spring compared to colder months in autumn and winter. It also gives these animals plenty of time to grow up and learn important things from their parents before they have to forage for food and prepare for winter. So see if you can spot any of these animals during spring. Just make sure not to disturb them or their nests if you do.
During the spring, a ewe (a female sheep) will birth to between one and three lambs. Most lambs can stand up about an hour after they’re born. A mother sheep can recognize her young from their unique call, a ‘bleat.’ Lambs are usually kept with the mother sheep for about 2 to 4 months to feed on her milk and grow stronger.
Tadpoles form the second part of the frog life cycle. Frogs lay a cluster of eggs called frogspawn, which hatches into tadpoles in early spring. At first, they don’t have any arms or legs, but these start to grow a bit later. First, they have a tail for swimming because frogs lay their eggs partially submerged in water, in a pond, for example.
Many birds start to build their nests in early spring so they’re ready for when it’s time to lay eggs. These include blackbirds and bluetits. You’ll also see birds that are returning to the UK from warmer countries; these are called migratory birds. Some of these include blackcap, chiffchaff, wheatear, and sand martin.
Not everyone loves insects, but they’re a key part of nature and are important signs of spring for kids. They pollinate plants, disperse seeds, keep the soil healthy, and are a food source for many different living things. Without them, nature would not function. So here are a couple of insects you can look out for when spending time outside:
- Bees. Once flowers bloom, you should see bees soon after, busy collecting nectar and pollinating plants.
- Beetles. Did you know that ladybirds belong to the beetle family? Look out for the 7-spot ladybird, the most common type in the UK.
- Spiders. The most common type of spider you’ll likely come across is the garden spider.
- Butterflies. Keep an eye out for the small white butterfly, which looks exactly as its name suggests. Another butterfly you might spot early on is the brimstone butterfly, which has yellowy, leaf-like wings.
People sometimes disagree about when exactly spring begins. But one of the dates people sometimes mark as the beginning of spring is the spring equinox date. This date can change each year slightly but is usually sometime around the 21st of March.
Equinox means that we get an almost equal amount of daytime and nighttime. There are two equinoxes each year, the spring equinox and the autumn equinox. After the spring equinox, the days become longer than the nights, so we all get more daylight hours. So another sign of spring for kids to know is what time the sun goes down. You could even keep track of this and see how it changes daily or weekly.