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It's officially spring
March 21, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

It is officially spring – the time of year when life begins anew. All awakens from the winter blanket.

In the Northern Hemisphere, spring begins the day the center of the sun is directly over the equator. The sun crosses the equator and begins moving northward, March 20 or near there. As it travels north, its rays strike the northern countries more directly each day.

I think we are all ready for some direct sun, warmer weather, and some green grass. I certainly welcome the spring visitors.

Evaleen Stein wrote this poem of spring, “Up, Little Ones.”

“A robin redbreast, fluting there upon the apple-bough, Is telling all the world how fair are apple-blossoms now; The honey-dew its sweetness spills from cuckoo-cups, and all the crocuses and daffodils are drest for festival.

“Such pretty things are to be seen, Such pleasant things to do, The April earth it is so green, The April sky so blue, The path from dawn to even-song so joyous is to-day, Up, little ones. And dance along the lilac-scented way.”

This poem of spring is food for the soul. I bought a small bouquet of tulips for my dining room table to replace the poinsettia. It is time for spring.

To join your children on this venture of spring, create some coffee filters flowers with coffee filters, water color paints, and some pipe cleaners.

Flatten the coffee filters and paint with watercolor paints. You can create your flowers by fringing the ends in thin strips leaving the center uncut to make the flower look like a pom-pom. Cut the ends thicker, about one inch wide, to make a flower with petals or don’t cut the filter all to make it resemble a rose.

Cut about two inches off of the pipe cleaner so you have two pieces. Put the longer piece into the center of the coffee filter about 1-and-one-half inches in. Hang onto the small end and turn the flower upside down so that the long end of the pipe cleaner is sticking up.

Grab the center of the coffee filter and gather it around the small end of the pipe cleaner. Twist the smaller piece of the pipe cleaner (the two-inch strip) around the gathered coffee filter to secure the flower. Turn the flower over and fluff as needed.

(craft idea: http//crafts.kaboose.com)

Instead of using water colors you can also color the filter with various colored markers and then paint over it with water. The colors will spread. You can also do this project with various colors of tissue paper, cutting the tissue paper into circles as is the shape of a coffee filter. You then would not have to use water colors or markers. Create a bouquet of flowers for the kitchen table.

Want to do a math project with your kids regarding spring and Easter? Buy some jelly beans and have your child sort by color, count them and graph them to see what color jelly bean(s) appear the most in the bag. (I think I might do this with my children just so I can enjoy the jelly beans after).

Happy spring; we deserve it.