Winters can feel so very long in the classroom. Once spring has finally shown signs of coming, most teachers are more than ready to jump into some seasonal activities to celebrate! Spring is a great time to explore some new science topics, make time for some fun crafts and add a little bit of themed instruction to your routine. Today, I have brought you my favorite fun and engaging spring activities to do with your firsties! Your students will love these activities and best of all, you will love how simple they are to implement!
Start with Books
When I was still teaching, one of my favorite ways to celebrate a new season or holiday was to swap out the “special books” in my classroom library. As a first grade teacher, I always had tons of book options available but my students’ favorites always came from the seasonal bookshelf.
I like to include a variety of different types of books in my seasonal picks including non-fiction, easy readers, and picture books. This allows my students to explore different varieties during silent reading time.
I have always been a huge fan of the National Geographic non-fiction books for children. Students love the full-color pictures in these and they come in so many great topics! These books would go great with my Plant Unit (which is a fantastic way to welcome spring all on its own). Some of my favorite spring-themed books from this series are:
- Seed to Plant by Kristin Rattini
- Caterpillar to Butterfly by Laura Marsh
- Bees by Laura Marsh
- Weather by Kristin Rattini
Picture Books and Fiction stories
Since we are talking about first-graders here, don’t forget to grab a few silly stories and picture books too! First Grade students love storybooks, and there are so many fun ones you can put out during the spring! Some of my favorites are:
- Pete the Cat and the Cool Caterpillar by James Dean
- How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton
- How to Catch the Easter Bunny by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton
- Junie B Jones: First Grader Springtime Set by Barbara Park
- The Berenstain Bears Spring Storybook Favorites by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- The Berenstain Bears and the Real Easter Eggs by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Grab Some No-Prep Printables
Just like any other time of the year, it can be difficult to cover all the areas of the core curriculum and make sure our students are getting enough practice. Over the years, I’ve collected a few tips for extra practice that helped to bridge that gap! One of my favorite tips is having plenty of no-prep printables ready to go.
I’ve taken the guesswork out of planning for you with my no-prep printable resources for March and April! These engaging spring activities are perfect for adding to your weekly rotation and require minimal effort from you. Best of all, once students get the hang of these, they become very independent as well! That makes these the perfect activity for centers, small groups, and independent desk work.
Students will cover both ELA and Math in these adorable, seasonal-themed worksheets. Some of the math topics covered in the March and April sets include addition practice, place value practice, solving word problems, fact fluency, and telling time. For ELA, your students will work on spelling, contractions, long vowels, verb tenses, opinion writing, and much more!
Each of these resources comes with at least 60 pages of content as well as answer keys for all the activities. The springtime themes in these no-prep printables make extra practice fun for firsties! These engaging spring activities are also great for extra practice in homework packets!
Looking for no-prep printables for the rest of the year? Check out my HUGE Bundle of No-Prep Printable Worksheets for the entire year! This comprehensive set comes with everything you need to help your First Grade students practice ELA and Math skills all year long!
CELEBRATE ST. Patrick’s Day
There is just something about St. Patrick’s Day that gets young students SO excited. I mean, I can’t really blame them- rainbows, leprechauns, and pots of gold are pretty fun! I love to use this excitement to my advantage in lesson planning by centering some of our lessons around this fun holiday.
My St. Patrick’s Day Literacy, Math, and Crafts resource is the perfect, engaging spring activity to excite your kiddos! This is such a fun way to practice key skills during the first weeks of March. These activities can be used as independent work, whole class lessons, or add them to your centers. These no-prep math and literacy activities make great morning work or homework too!
The activities in this set are aligned with the standards to cover a variety of skills. For math, students will practice addition, subtraction, word problems, tallying, and graphing. ELA topics include a mini-book, parts of speech activities, a word search, and long vowel color by code. These engaging activities are a great way to spend the day celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or spread out over the month.
And don’t forget crafts! We all know how much young students LOVE to craft and I think they are so important to incorporate into the curriculum to build in fine motor skills practice. This resource comes with a rainbow mobile craftivity as well as a super cute St. Patrick’s Day crown! These are great for Fun-Friday activities during March or as part of your St. Patrick’s Day party. It’s always so much fun to see your students’ creativity as they craft and the mobiles make great classroom decor for spring!
More ENGAGING SPRING ACTIVITIES
If you teach First Grade, I’m sure you are well aware that students can have varying skill levels and needs, often meaning your kiddos will finish their work at different times during the day. Avoid the dreaded “I’m done!, Now what?” from your students, and make sure you’re prepared with a simple “fast finisher” activity!
Having something like my Spring Addition and Subtraction Color by Code worksheets prepped and ready for your students is such a lifesaver!
Print these up and store them in a paper filing tray for students who finish their work before you are ready to move on. Children who finish an activity before everyone else can grab a sheet from the paper file tray and work quietly while the others finish up.
This will prevent any disruptions while you work with students and keep them occupied and practicing important skills! These worksheets feature a variety of spring theme pictures and cover facts through 10. And . . . you don’t just have to use them for fast finishers. They made a great addition and subtraction practice activity too!
SPRINGTIME SCIENCE & WRITING
Looking to add something extra special to your curriculum in the spring? Why not add a simple science project to your classroom? I love raising butterflies with kids. When I was teaching, this was always something I looked forward to. I know what you’re thinking. . . I don’t have time for anything else in our curriculum! But truly, this one takes up minimal time and the students absolutely love it. It’s a great way to build a classroom community and break things up after a long winter!
SET THE STAGE
I recommend this Insect Lore Butterfly kit. It comes with everything you need, including a voucher to redeem for your caterpillars! Just make sure to give yourself a little extra time to order your caterpillars.
Your students will watch as the caterpillars grow and transform from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterflies! Also, make sure to grab a copy of the National Geographic Reader: Caterpillar to Butterfly that I mentioned above. This is a great way to introduce this topic to your students.
Practice WRITING SKILLS TOO!
It takes about 3 weeks from start to finish for the butterflies to emerge. During this time, I typically would pick 2 days each week for the students to write a quick observation in their journals of the butterflies.
This is great as a small group activity as I do recommend being seated with your kiddos while they make their observations. We all know First Graders can get a tad rambunctious when they are excited! Sit in the center of your group, closely monitoring the butterfly habitat, and ask the children to observe what they see. From there, ask the students to write down their observations in story format and draw a picture.
This is a super fun activity that the students ALWAYS look forward to completing. It’s a great way to mix up your writer’s workshop and welcome spring with a new, engaging study. Plus, releasing the butterflies once they have emerged is always so much fun and a great wrap-up activity for a Friday!
Save These Ideas for later
I hope you found something fun to try in your classroom! Don’t forget to save these engaging spring activities on your favorite classroom Pinterest board for when you’re ready to access them quickly and easily!