It's Spring! Time for Nature Studies!
By Cindy Rushton
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Spring is here!
Anybody else having Spring Fever? Ready to get outside to soak up the beauty and fresh air? Oh! This is the perfect time to make up any excuse to get outside. But, what if we call it "school" as we enjoy this gorgeous Spring?
Yep! It is Spring and and time for Spring themed Nature Studies. Yep! Time for that weekly Nature Walk! Time to pull out those Nature Notebooks and begin a fresh new study. NO pressure. Just with atmosphere of fun and delight! Want some ideas that are EASY? How about some of our favorites? Let's dig in...
• Hunt for new leaves (buds!). Mark the date for each tree.
• Look for blossoms on your tree. Describe and draw.
• Mark the date that your tree is in full foliage.
• Measure the height of your tree.
• Determine the age of the tree. Measure 5 feet from the ground around the tree trunk. Divide this measurement by 1 inch to get the approximate age in years.
• Collect and press leaves. Mount some in your nature notebook.
• Sketch your tree in watercolor or crayon for your nature notebook.
• Hunt for spring poetry about trees! Copy into your nature notebook.
• Look up Scripture verses about trees. Copy into your nature notebook.
• Each week take a walk to collect new wildflowers around your neighborhood. Press into a scrapbook/nature notebook.
• Sketch and label flower parts.
• Hunt for poetry about the flowers that are blooming each week.
• Find Scripture verses to copy into your nature notebook about all flowers.
• Plant some flowers outside in your yard.
• Set out a bird feeder for birds around your home. Put one right outside of a big window so the children can watch the birds up close.
• Listen for early birds…they should be coming soon.
• Set out nesting materials for birds common to your area.
• Try building your own nest.
• Learn birdcalls and songs.
• Watch the birds as they gather materials for their nests…maybe you can see where they are building their nests and watch them as they feed their young.
• Hunt for nature poetry about the birds native to your yard. Copy into nature notebooks.
• Hunt for Scripture verses about the birds native to your yard. Copy into nature notebooks.
• Start an ant farm.
• Begin your bug collection.
• Hunt for animal tracks.
• Go on a night hunt for salamanders. You may want to make a home for one as a pet.
• Set up an aquarium for a frog home. Go to a local pond to collect some frog eggs—watch their life cycle! Be sure to document in your nature notebook!
• Make a chart of animal characteristics. Study how animals are classified.
• Hunt for woodland flowers.
• Choose seeds or plants for spring planting. Start seeds now to have an early bloom.
• Grow plants from pits. (see Ideas Section)
• Gather samples from the woods of plants without flowers. (Good resource is Plants That Never Ever Bloom)
• Go on a hike through the woods. Look for tree seedlings.
• Hunt for spring mushrooms.
• Keep a chart of the moon phases for a month—try March.
• Take an evening to spend stargazing.
• Keep weather chart for the first two weeks of the season—begin March.
• Find out how rain is formed.
• Find any poems about rain for nature notebook.
• Find out about lightning. Add information to nature notebook.
• Hunt for rainbows.
• Take a day for each of your collections to maintain. (Rocks… shells… feathers… so on.)
Seasonal Table Ideas…
• Budding branches
• Bird’s nest
• Fresh flowers
• Potted Wild Violets
• Dyed eggs
• Tissue Paper Butterflies
• Colors…pastels and jewel tones
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