If you follow us on Instagram you know that being outdoors and in nature is a huge part of our daily lives. I don’t often write about it on the blog because our outdoor play and nature study is for the most part completely unplanned. We just dress for the weather and head outside at least once a day, but usually two or three times a day.
Although I don’t plan lessons or activities for outdoor play and nature study, when I sat down and thought about it, we actually learned so much over the year just through free play and exploration outside. Here is a list of what I thought of and some resources to expand on our nature studies. This post contains affiliate links.
Things we Learned about Nature in 2016
- Beavers chew on trees to cut them down to make dams and dens. We were also told that wood chips cut by beavers smell like vanilla but we couldn’t confirm this ourselves. To us it just smelled like fresh-cut wood.
- Crayfish live in New Hampshire! Who knew?! Our friends over at My Little Poppies brought us to a little pond where the kids had fun catching crayfish!
- The Lifecycle of a Crayfish
- Crayfish Flip Flap Book
- Crayfish Experiment Journal
- Basic Biology: Crayfish Dissection
- Porcupines live up high in trees and poop falls outside to the base of the tree where you can dig for quills.
- Owl pellets are not poop & contain near complete skeletons of small rodents.
- We learned to identity several birds by sight & some by call including the blue jay, chickadee, gold finch, tufted titmouse, woodpeckers, hawks, crows, morning doves, cardinals, Juncos, sparrows, owls, bald eagle and seagulls.
- Learned the difference between moss, lichen & mushroom or fungi.
- Can identify wild berries including blueberries, blackberries, partridge berries & wintergreen berries.
- Can identify snapping turtles & painted turtles.
- Knows the difference between toads & frogs.
I hope this gives you an idea of what can be learned about nature by just getting outdoors to play on a regular basis and how easy it is to incorporate into your homeschool! Be sure to follow our nature adventures on Instagram and check back here often for more ideas for learning about nature!
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