This summer I was thrilled to be invited to share a favorite book and accompanying activities in a project called “‘Love Books’ Summer Book Exchange.” 36 parents and educators sent packages all over the world with creative ideas for things that we can do to encourage our children to fall in love with books; we learned about the 4 seasons!
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The family we were matched with chose the book The Reasons for Seasons by one of my favorite children’s non-fiction authors: Gail Gibbons. The Reasons for Seasons explains in a clear and concise way the science behind the changing of the seasons, the temperature differences, what happens in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere during the different seasons, and characteristics of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.
To make the lesson come alive, Kara from the Dynamo Rhino (who is no longer blogging!) sent us a very complete package with a fun activity for each season. Kara homeschools her 4 children, and I could tell by her creative and organized package that she must be such a great teacher! The first 2 activities we did while still at home, and the second 2 we were able to take with to Mexico.
Activities for Each of the Seasons
In sunny, hot, and humid Houston, the summer activity was perfect! Kara sent us some Sun Art Paper that makes sun prints when exposed to light. We went on a short nature hike and collected various plants, rocks, and sticks (plus some shells we had inside) that had interesting outlines. The instructions are simple: place the objects on the photo paper and place outside in direct sunlight. After 5-7 minutes, bring the papers and objects inside carefully and wet the paper to rinse and “set” the images. The kids loved watching the shadows turn to white (which really darken/brighten once you rinse with water!). It was fun to experiment with the length of time and the different objects.
For our fall package, Kara sent us a package of pumpkin seeds! We planted half of them in the garden and are crossing our fingers that they are growing when we come back! We saved half the package and may plant them upon returning. We LOVE gardening and hope to grow out own pumpkins!
The winter activity was so clever!! Kara sent us packages of hot chocolate, a favorite winter drink in the US. She told us to make the hot chocolate, but then freeze it into popsicles so that we could feel the cold temperature of winter! Since we were in Merida, Mexico, these popsicles helped us to cool off in the very, very hot weather! We imagined all of the activities we do when we visit our grandparents in Chicago during the wintertime: sledding, skiing, making snowmen, and playing in the snow.
For the last seasonal activity, Kara sent us some bright tissue paper and pipe cleaners to make tissue flowers! Little did she know that we would be making them in Mexico, where tissue paper flowers are a popular decoration! We loved this activity, and the girls made several to hang in their room so they could “decorate” it and make it more girly. Later, walking in the market, we saw lots of colorful tissue papers for sale and we thought of our own spring flowers hanging up at home.
Learn More about Weather and Seasons
If you are interested in deepening your learning, here is a complete weather packet in English, to teach your students about weather. Whether they are in kindergarten or elementary students, or if they are older but are ELLs (English Language Learners).
We also have the weather packet in Spanish. I love the vocabulary in context. Kids learn how to describe the weather, use numbers when talking about temperature, name the seasons, and the colors in the rainbow.
Thank you so much Kara for this incredible package! We had a lot of fun learning about the seasons with the book, and then with each activity.