4 Hands-On Springtime Learning Activities


This article is sponsored by Sylvan Nation.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Spring is a great time for learning…everything seems so NEW & shiny!

After being cooped up in the house all winter (OK, we live in Texas so it isn’t exactly like that, but it FEELS like it is!), there isn’t anything better than spending some outdoor time.

Hands-On Learning Activities - Sylvan Nation

I was inspired by Sylvan Nation to try some new things with my kids!  Sylvan Nation is a place where you can get a ton of information and resources while earning rewards.

Earning rewards?


For example, let’s look at how I was inspired for these springtime learning activities…

I first logged into Sylvan Nation and looked around for something fun to try.

Sylvan Nation Choose Activity

There were lots and lots of choices, but this one caught my eye.

I clicked on the “Earn +10 pts” and inspiration hit me!  So many ideas that we could do today:

4 Hands-On Ideas for Outdoor Learning

Planting Math

The garden is the perfect place tackle math.  There are things to count, calculate and measure!  In our case, we don’t have an official garden, but we have a small flower bed in the front yard.

Sylvan Nation garden math ruler

Garden math for younger kids: Counting seeds and simple measurements that are perfect for budding mathematicians.  Seeds need to be planted at a certain depth.  Kids can use a ruler to create holes the perfect size.  Then use that ruler to measure how far apart another plant can comfortably live.

Sylvan Nation garden math tape measure

Garden math for older kids:  Calculating the volume of mulch needed is something that I struggle with each spring.  Putting my kids on the task armed with a tape measure seems like the perfect solution!  After they figure out the amount we need, we can go to the garden center together and decide which type of mulch is the best value.

Outdoor Journal

Sylvan Nation suggests the topic of the journal be about the garden and its progress.  We adapted that to include the nature surrounding our house — the trails, lake and wildflowers!

We started by choosing a special notebook to draw and write on a regular basis to inspire creativity and  practice writing skills!  This book can be decorated on the outside and designed on the inside to the child’s delight.  It is their place that no one can tell them what to do.

Set aside a little time each day (or week) to sit outdoors and soak up the fresh air and inspiration.  Younger kids may need some drawing prompts and older kids may need some privacy!

Garden Science Experiments

The entire outdoors is a huge science experiment!  It can be fun to narrow it down a LOT and choose something to look at specifically.  The outdoor journal is the perfect place to record the observations and results.

Sylvan Nation suggested some ideas:

  • What happens if a garden is watered every other day instead of every day?
  • Will thinning the plants result in a bigger harvest?
  • Do some fertilizers work better than others?

Sylvan Nation garden science

We looked at how the same amount of rain affected different types of soil.  It was something we notice frequently on the trails near our house.  It will rain really hard, yet the middle of the trail which feels sandy will not be muddy, but the ground near the plants on either side is really wet.

Creating Outdoor Art

Sylvan Nation had the really cool idea to create painted rocks to mark the different plants in the garden.  We thought it would be fun to arrange the rocks we found in the woods artfully!

What I love about this activity is that it can be done nearly anywhere and it brings a smile to whomever might discover it after we have left.

And I Earned Sylvan Nation Points

We had a really fun day exploring math, writing, science and art for kids in the garden.  And I earned Sylvan Nation Points!

Sylvan Nation points - Holly Homer

In fact, I had over 200 points just from researching what we wanted to do (and play) today.

Now I have a decision to make…

Do I keep earning points toward a $50 gift card to a place of my choice or do I redeem them right now for something that is less than 201 points?

I feel like my kids at the prize counter at Chuck E. Cheese’s!

I decided to do both.  I grabbed something that was just 20 points – a restaurant survival sheet – and then will save the rest for a gift card or something bigger!

They have several themed restaurant survival sheets that are super cute.  Here is one side of the one I chose:

Sylvan Nation Restaurant Survival Sheet

I can’t wait until I can “earn” enough points for a gift card!

How You Can Get Involved

You can join Sylvan Nation for free.  Check out all the amazing resources like the one we used today and it will EARN YOU POINTS!


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