Monday, 22 March 2010

Seven days with Spring

Oh dear people.*

It's been a while, but I must do this. The alternative is to typeset an academic article about Revised Extended Standard Theory.

I know which one I'm choosing.

We already did boxes, water, and sight. Let's seasonally adjust and do SPRING.

1. Make your own blossom.
Take your offspring walking in your local wood. Pick up thin sticks to bring home. Preferably without beating a sister around the head with them in the back of the car.

If we come home safely and everyone's in good humour, then we can destroy it all by asking the kids to do something pointless, like twisting crumpled up balls of pink, white and red crepe paper round the little twigs. Because look! You made blossom!

Because the mood is now turning ugly, stick the twigs in a vase and call it Spring Art. If you count the number of crepe balls on the twigs, call it Maths. If you count the number of crepe balls littering the floor, and add it, subtract, divide or multiply with the number on the twigs, brilliant. Advanced Maths.

2. Lambing.
Not the bloody visit to see cute little lambs again. You can't take an ex-vegan to a farm without complaints. Let's make lambs fly instead.

Attach paper wings to your lamb. Throw it out the bedroom window. Measure how far the lamb can fly. You can try timing the seconds before it hits the ground.

He says he likes to fly and he wants to go.
Even if his wings do keep falling off.

Build bigger wings. And fix them on properly this time. Make them of different materials. Like bamboo skewers and nylon. Off he goes! Measure the distance. Did the wings make any difference to flight direction? Distance? Speed? Time to impact? Is the weight or density of lamb causing a problem here? Has anyone got a smaller lamb?

Attach a selection of plastic bags, large and small. Keep throwing. Record the results.

After a couple of hours of cheap entertainment, create some theories as to why lambs don't have wings then call it Science.

3. Falala. Music!
Put on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring or Vivaldi's Spring from The Four Seasons. Dress up and dance along but try not to dance yourself to death.

What did you feel and hear? Dawn? Angry weather? Evening? Birds? Tractors? Flying lambs? The sound of a sister crashing to the floor when you pushed her over by accident on purpose?

4. Visit a sensory garden.
These are all over the place, so if you can't make Kew, there could be one near you. Round here there's Luton's Stockwood Park, with sensory area and garden exhibits.

You can always make your own garden sensation, even on a windowsill. Go off to the garden centre and see what they have. If you are too mean to actually buy any of the plants (and I do not blame you, having been a person that spent £3,000 on a garden only to see it systematically trashed by small people) then just let the tiddlers run around the garden centre. At the sound of smashed terracotta claim the kids are not yours and you have never seen them before.

Set your kids a challenge wherever you are to find plants that are smelly, prickly, hairy, noisy, sad, droopy, bold, dead. Call this Science. And if you come home and write a poem about the experience, English. If you can persuade Tinkertop to call her poem le jardin, you get to call it French.

5. Think big. Start your own spring festival.
Let's face it, there aren't enough spring festivals around the world. One brief scan round t'Internet shows every belief, religion, minority, nation, all human groups catered for, each using Spring for a big blow-out party. Start a trend. Make up your own.

One year we had a party called Yellow. We painted the garden tree with yellow paint, hung yellow decorations in it, blew up yellow balloons, ate yellow iced cake, wore yellow, and made paper daffodils and stuck them in the ground. It hasn't caught on, but you never know.

6. Be inspired by paint.
Off to the library for paintings research before getting out the paintbrushes and going berserk.

Berry's Book of Hours does nicely whatever the month, and you can tick Art again. And History. Or there's Arcimboldo and his Spring face, which means you can compose your own self-portraits using only flowers you hand-picked from granny's garden when she was at the shops. When she comes home, you can call it moral discussion.

7. Set up your weather station.
Stick up a dozen cheap thermometers over the house and garden, and take daily readings, if you can remember. Take the temperature of the soil in evening or deep shade and after a day of sunshine, if we get any sunshine. Any difference? More Science.

8. We're all going to die with global warming.
Perhaps not expressed quite like this if you have a three year old. Half an hour with the newspapers or radio these days and you'll know in the UK that Spring is late and we're all doomed. This may well raise some interesting discussions about ecosystems you can have with a four year old. Or not, in which you can wipe your brow in relief and get out the Lego instead.

* You can see how important is a comma.


sharon said...

I almost wish I had some little people to play with now even though we would have to 'do' Autumn.

Thames said...

Some fab ideas here Grit. You must have something interesting to do with frog spawn?!

- A Modern Mother

Grit said...

sharon, i both miss the early years, and i don't miss them at all. It was 24/7 damn hard work!

hi thames! i suppose it's not very creative to suggest letting it grow into frogs?

sharon said...

LOL! I did say 'almost'

Kookoocachu said...

Number 2 made me LOL!

Fantastic post :)