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Spotting the First Signs of Spring

Posted by Gav Grayston.
First Published Jan 2014; updated May 2023.

There are a few first signs of Spring approaching as early as January. Here's some things to spot and a download for you and your kids to use.

It's nice when you start noticing the long days of Winter getting lighter. There are a few other things you can look out for that let you know Spring is on its way...

Spotting the first signs of spring

It's great when the dark days of Winter start to get left behind, new growth appears, and on those few moments in March, the sun appears and you notice how much more powerful it is than for the last few months (and yes, can even get a sunburn in March!).

Well, the team over at The Nature Detectives have pulled together this great downloadable sheet for spotting the first signs of spring. Pop over and download it here, or click on the picture above to download.

You can start spotting the early signs even in January - so keep your eyes peeled!

Some things recommended to look for:

  • Snowdrops - these can appear early and love to grow in woodland, usually by streams.
  • Bluebells - an early Spring plant. They flower a little later, but you might start to see the shoots appear in January or February.
  • Hazel Catkins - these are the long yellow 'fluffy' flowers on hazel trees and appear very early in the season.
  • As Spring gets closer, look out for blackbirds gathering materials to make a nest.  You could always help them along by leaving out straw, and even hair from your hairbrush!
Signs of Spring on our Fridge Door

Download the sheet, print it out, and stick it on the fridge to see who can spot the most signs of Spring first, or go for a family hike and get your kids to tick off the items they find.

Nature Detectives Book with Hazel details

By the way, if you get The Nature Detective's Handbook there are sections for your kids to complete and even attach their own photo.

The book also has charts so that you can see what animals and plants are doing at different times of the year.