This year the spring equinox occurs on Saturday March 20. Celebrating the first day of spring is a great way to help your kids pay attention to the rhythms of the natural world. Your celebration can be as simple as flying a kite, having a special picnic lunch, or taking a walk to look for signs of spring. Here’s how our family has celebrated for the past three years:
First, about a week before the equinox, we prepare our miniature spring “garden”. We gather some dirt or moss and a couple pine cones from our backyard. We arrange these in a small tray, and use very small rocks to make a path. The idea is to create a miniature green space in this tray. (If your kids are into elves or other little creatures, imagine that you are creating an elf world. Let your kids add whatever items they like. My kids like a little “kitsch” in their garden; I can live with this.)
We take some chia seeds (purchased from the bulk section of the Merc for 20 cents) and sprinkle them where we choose–on the dirt or moss and even on the pine cones. We water everything gently, about every day. In a few days, the chia seeds sprout. With a little imagination, these sprouts can be a forest in our tiny world.
On the morning of the equinox, we get up before dawn and head to our backyard. (The Wetlands would be an amazing alternative, but I’ve never had the discipline to get up even earlier.) It’s always been cold, so we take a blanket, maybe some hot chocolate. And we sit quietly, waiting for the dawn chorus of the songbirds to begin…
What do you do to celebrate spring?