For me spring is all about drinking in the sunshine while life is blooming all around you.
Nothing breaks through the monochromatic dreariness of winter like the bold and colorful illustrations of Eric Carle. Two of Carle's books that are perfect for spring are The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Tiny Seed.
Now, neither of these books is specifically about spring (The Tiny Seed mentions all of the seasons). However, both books feature that change and growth in nature that we associate with spring: from caterpillar to butterfly and seed to flower.
Taking inspiration from Carle's unique style, I love to make tissue paper collages with kids after sharing his books. Older kids can cut tissue paper into actual shapes and pictures of their own design. With younger kids you can have them use pieces of tissue paper to fill in a template or just randomly glue them to paper (which can be just as beautiful).
Tissue paper is one of my favorite craft supplies because: 1) It is super cheap 2)It comes in so many colors 3)You can cut it, rip it, wad it, glue it, mod podge it, the uses are endless!
To create the collage put white glue in a bowl and thin it with some water. Take an old paint brush and brush a thin layer of glue on the paper and start pressing down pieces of tissue paper on top. The hardest part with little kids is to get them to not use so much glue that the collage is a sopping mess. If you want you can brush another thin layer of the glue and water over the top of the collage to give it a hard, shiny look.
There are oodles of wonderful picture books that are about spring. These are just a few that I have really enjoyed.
1. And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Caldecott winner, Erin E. Stead
I admit that part of my love for this book is because of the dog, who reminds me of the yellow lab I grew up with and the one I currently own. And Then It's Spring is a beautiful book about a boy who is sick of winter (we have all been there) and decides to plant a garden.
2. Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson
3. Spring Things by Bob Raczka
Rhyming books are always fun for kids and this one elaborates on all of the amazing things happening in spring.
4. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
5. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
6. Little Mouse's Big Secret by Eric Battut
The perfect project for this book is a fingerprint tree. Print or draw a tree trunk with branches on some heavy paper and let kids finger paint green leaves and pink blossoms. Super easy and mega cute. If you have a child that does not like to stick their fingers in paint (and it always seems like it is boys that have an aversion to paint on their fingers-at least in my experience) use q-tips. Side note: Always have q-tips for crafts. They are perfect for little hands to paint or spread glue. Plus, they are cheap and you can just throw them away afterwards.