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Nature Study Crafts For Kids: Easy Activities For Learning And Fun!

Nature study crafts for kids are a hands on way to learn. What beautiful and easy activities for learning and FUN! Let us show you how.

Nature study crafts for kids are a hands on way to learn. What beautiful and easy activities for learning and FUN! Let us show you how.

Nature Study For Kids

There is such value in adding nature study! Getting outside for a walk may be one of the most refreshing activities you could do with your children. Not only will you be learning about the beautiful creation in your very own backyard but you will be building lasting memories together.

And, gathering supplies from your yard makes doing a nature craft together even more fun! Spend a little bit of time outdoors then come inside and create. You could even stay outdoors and be crafty on a nice day.

Nature study crafts for kids are a hands on way to learn. What beautiful and easy activities for learning and FUN! Let us show you how.

Nature Study Craft Activities For Learning and Fun

Using our nature craft activities makes nature study easy on mom because our craft artist, Victoria, leads you and your students, step by step. Victoria grew up participating in the Outdoor Hour Challenges with her family. Nature has always inspired her work, right from when she was young. She, along with her sister, would go on weekly nature walks following lessons from the Handbook of Nature Study to learn about the beauty of our natural world. She has found through years of nature study that the slow and simple process of painting and being surrounded by nature has become her form of escapism from such a fast paced and material world.

Each craft activity is seasonal and matches what you are already studying in your homeschool. Plus, nature crafts are just so much fun!

Here are a few examples of the nature study craft activities you can enjoy in Homeschool Nature Study membership!

Nature study crafts for kids are a hands on way to learn. What beautiful and easy activities for learning and FUN! Let us show you how.

Ice Nature Art

Ice art incorporating foraged berries, leaves, cones or whatever else you find in nature makes for a beautiful garden decoration…even of it only lasts a few hours.

How to Make Forage Fairies

This homeschool nature craft makes it so much fun to get outdoors and forage for your supplies.

How to Make a Leaf Mask

You will love making a nature craft with leaves! We will be making these gorgeous leaf masks with only a handful of supplies. Let your creativity go wild with these masks!

Other nature study crafts include:

  • Last Days of Summer Wreath
  • Flower Hammered Note Cards
  • How to Make a Pouch for Your Nature Journal
  • Pressed Flower Vase

With new nature study crafts for Homeschool Nature Study annual members each month!

Nature study crafts for kids are a hands on way to learn. What beautiful and easy activities for learning and FUN! Let us show you how.

More Resources For Nature Study In Your Homeschool

We love the nature crafts Victoria shares! And, did you know that Victoria’s mother, Shirley Vels, is your Outdoor Hour Challenge hostess? Not only does Shirley share your new, weekly Outdoor Hour Challenge, she also encourages fellow homeschool moms with her monthly Outdoor Mom lessons in membership as well!

Find out more about the Outdoor Mom encouragement and prompts in The Joy of Nature Study in Your Homeschool Year.

If you are not a Homeschool Nature Study membership yet, please consider joining to gain the benefit of having a nature study library at your fingertips. There are numerous resources available for you to help create the habit of nature study within your family.

nature membership for your homeschool

Members also enjoy access to:

  • NEW, weekly Outdoor Hour Challenges to bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool!
  • the annual nature study plans
  • matching courses with materials and journaling pages
  • interactive calendar with daily nature study prompts
  • Nature Journaling course
  • and MUCH more!

Annual members of Homeschool Nature Study enjoy access to both the Nature Crafts course AND Outdoor Mom plus more exclusive courses and content.

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get outdoors!

Tricia and her family fell in love with the Handbook of Nature Study and the accompanying Outdoor Hour Challenges early in their homeschooling. The simplicity and ease of the weekly outdoor hour challenges brought joy to their homeschool and opened their eyes to the world right out their own back door! She shares the art and heart of homeschooling at You ARE an ARTiST and Your Best Homeschool plus her favorite curricula at The Curriculum Choice.

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The Habit of Gathering Things for Your Homeschool Nature Table

Unsure of what a nature table is exactly? Here is simple definition with some ideas and tips. These will help you begin the habit of gathering things for your homeschool nature table during your Outdoor Hour Challenge time.

The Habit of Gathering Things for Your Homeschool Nature Table

Unsure of what a nature table is exactly? Here is simple definition with some ideas and tips. These will help you begin the habit of gathering things for your homeschool nature table during your Outdoor Hour Challenge time.

What is a Nature Table?

A Nature Table Is…

1. A table, shelf, box, or tray where teachers and families can gather and collect natural items for exploration and discovery.

2. A collection of natural objects gathered by the teacher or student for closer observation.

3. A place for the child to touch and interact with the natural items.

4. A place that changes with the seasons and interests of the student.

5. A collection of inanimate, living, and once living objects.

6. A place to encourage the outdoors to come indoors.

7. An aid to looking more closely at nature from your own backyard.

8. A part of a nature center, hopefully near a window for firsthand observation of things in your own yard or neighborhood.

9. A place to gather tools and ideas for further investigation.

Unsure of what a nature table is exactly? Here are some tips to help you begin the habit of gathering things for your homeschool nature table.

How A Nature Table Can Work in Your Homeschool

The habit of collecting nature items for a homeschool nature table helps us transition from season to season. At the start of each season, we would evaluate which things on the table we would keep and which things could be taken back outside. Leaves get crunchy and flowers wilt over time, so they were easy to recycle. The other items like rocks and shells can live on the nature table or be stored in a box for future observations or display. I’m sure you’ll come up with a system of rotating items for your family that makes sense to you.

During our family nature walks, my boys would gather things to bring home for our nature collection. They were always asking me to carry things for them and soon my pockets would be stuffed with rocks, acorns, and other interesting natural items. If they had too many items, I would make them choose a few favorites.

Handbook of Nature Study quote on nature collection

Often, we would draw the items once we were home but many times these treasures went straight to our homeschool nature table. This habit of gathering items while outside together was one that connected our time in nature with our indoor life and learning.

Inevitably, the table would be covered with lots of things, and I decided we needed a system of displaying the items. I gathered a few baskets and plates and boxes for holding the bits they brought home from our outdoor excursions. (See the post linked below on how this worked with our rock collection.)

items for your nature table

Practical Suggestions For Creating Your Nature Table

  • Please use common sense when adding things to the nature table. Please be cautioned about potentially hazardous items like glass jars, sharp objects, and/or possibly poisonous items like berries, mushrooms, and leaves.
  • The nature table can be a part of a larger nature observation center in your classroom or home. Positioning the table near a window for outdoor observation is a great way to use the nature table as a place to gather nature study tools like magnifying glasses, binoculars, a nature journal, and field guides.
  • Consider changing items from year to year to freshen up your seasonal nature table.
  • Do not look at the items collected as something to necessarily save from one year to the next.
  • Allow a place for new objects and for areas of interest.
  • Let your children gather and collect items for the table if possible.

 

Here are some ideas from the past to inspire

If you’re not a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study yet, please consider joining to gain the benefit of having a nature study library at your fingertips.

Unsure of what a nature table is exactly? Here is simple definition with some ideas and tips. These will help you begin the habit of gathering things for your homeschool nature table during your Outdoor Hour Challenge time.

More Resources For Homeschool Nature Study

For even more homeschool nature study ideas, join us in Homeschool Nature Study membership! You’ll receive new ideas each and every week that require little or no prep – all bringing the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool! There are endless resources available for you to help create the habit of nature study within your family.

Be inspired. Be encouraged. Get Outdoors!

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5 Ways to Use Your Magnifying Lens in Homeschool Nature Study

Looking for ways to encourage your child to explore things in nature? Using a magnifying lens in homeschool nature study is not only fun for children but it helps them see more clearly the wonderful world of objects we have all around us. Try one of the ideas below to help your child get started making careful observations of natural items.

Looking for ways to encourage your child to explore things in nature? Using a magnifying lens in homeschool nature study is not only fun for children but it helps them see more clearly the wonderful world of objects we have all around us. Try one of the ideas below to help your child get started making careful observations of natural items.
photo by Amy Law

5 Ways to Use Your Magnifying Lens in Homeschool Nature Study

“Adults should realize the the most valuable thing children can learn is what they discover themselves about the world they live in. Once they experience first-hand the wonder of nature, they will want to make nature observation a life-long habit.”

Charlotte Mason, Volume 1, page 61

#1 – Nature Station With a Magnifying Lens


Create a magnifying glass station with natural items either indoors or outdoors. Collect a few things to have on hand to start but them encourage your child to find a few of their own while outdoors playing or during a nature walk.

Looking for ways to encourage your child to explore things in nature? Using a magnifying lens in homeschool nature study is not only fun for children but it helps them see more clearly the wonderful world of objects we have all around us. Try one of the ideas below to help your child get started making careful observations of natural items.

#2 – Square Foot Nature Study


Use your magnifying lens in homeschool for a square foot study. There are plenty of ideas here on my blog to help you get started. You can follow-up with this entry: Small Square Study-Living vs. Non-Living.

Examine Insects with a Magnifying Lens

#3 – Examine Insects With a Magnifying Lens

Collect a few insects to examine close up with your magnifying lens. Look for dead insects in window sills, in the garden, or in spider webs. If you can capture a live insect and put it in a clear container, use the magnifying lens to get a closer look. Have your child observe closely the wings, the legs, the antennae, or the eyes of insects using a magnifying lens. Another tip is to place the insect on a mirror and then you can see the underside easily.

Looking for ways to encourage your child to explore things in nature? Using a magnifying lens in homeschool nature study is not only fun for children but it helps them see more clearly the wonderful world of objects we have all around us. Try one of the ideas below to help your child get started making careful observations of natural items.

#4 – Create a New Level of Tree Homeschool Nature Study

As part of a tree study, use your magnifying lens to examine the bark, the leaves, and the cones or acorns of a tree in your yard or neighborhood. You can also use the magnifying lens to compare two trees with careful observations.

For more ideas to use with your magnifying lens and my recommendations for products, you can see my Squidoo Lens: Best Magnifying Lens Plans and Activities.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Homeschool Nature Study Lens Activity

#5 – Use the Outdoor Hour Challenge Homeschool Nature Study Magnifying Lens Activity

Discover the wonder of ordinary objects using this magnifying lens in homeschool nature study activity. Use the suggestions on the page to spark some ideas for objects to collect and observe. There is a place to record a few sketches and some follow-up thoughts if your child is interested in keeping a record of their magnifying lens activity.

Homeschool Nature Study Activities

Find this activity in Challenge 8 Getting Started in Homeschool Nature Study Guide available in membership and HERE.

A magnifying lens in homeschool nature study is fun and helps children see more clearly the wonderful world of objects we have all around us.
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Weed Bouquets and Autumn Time

My Autumn Weed Bouquet

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Our neighborhood is mostly evergreens with a few deciduous trees mixed in. The view from my back window is over a slope leading down to the river and it has very few trees and lots of shrubs and grasses. The grasses are what most people would call “weeds” and in between those grasses there are a few wildflowers like yarrow and asters. The river is lined with willows, the shrubby kind and not the trees. For what it’s worth, I find the view from any of my windows beautiful and refreshing.

IMG_2161

 

As the winter snows have already started, I’m seeing fewer and fewer short plants as they get buried and mashed down by the snow and ice. There are still a few plants surviving so I took the opportunity a week or so ago to cut some of the autumn weeds for a bouquet to have indoors. It was pretty late for gathering much but I still managed to create a bouquet that makes me happy. Once again, it is a matter of perspective in determining whether a plant is a weed or something amazing to look at as part of an autumn bundle in a vase.

Weed bouquet
My winter weed bouquet from years past.

My husband and I debate about the definition of a weed, an on-going discussion in our family. I say a weed is something growing where you don’t want it to grow, like in a flower or vegetable garden or in the middle of your manicured lawn. But, if the plant is growing, like most of those in our yard, in a natural landscape, I try to leave it as part of the habitat.

In my eyes, my autumn weed bouquet is as pretty as any flower shop bunch of roses.

Invite your children to gather some of your autumn weeds to be indoors as part of your nature display.

Other Entries of Interest and Inspiration

Poetry in Your Nature Journal

Winter Weed Gallery – from my archives, showing lots of winter weeds

 

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Birds

Outdoor Hour Challenge:
This week take some time to observe your neighborhood birds and document in your nature journal a bird you have noticed during the winter at your birdfeeder or in your yard. This is such an enjoyable nature study topic for the whole family. View from your window if you need to and use some of the ideas in the following challenges:

Winter Bird Study from Winter Wednesday – see this post for ideas to use without the Discover Nature in Winter book.
Winter Bird Challenge-focus some of your time on learning about bird migration using a field guide with migration maps
Bird Nature Journal Ideas – use some of these ideas to record your birds in your nature journal
 

Bird Themed Nature Table Ideas:
Use some of the ideas in this printable to find items for your children to have access to on your family’s nature table. 

Bird Themed Nature Table Printable

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #5. Use the ideas in this challenge to start or continue your family’s list of birds observed. If you have the ebook, there is a printable notebook page in the back to keep track of your Running List.

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Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter – January Nature Table Edition

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter January 2014 Button
January 2014
Nature Table Edition

Contents of this edition of the newsletter include: 

  • Five articles sharing various ideas for nature tables
  • Nature book series review
  • Spotlight family interview
  • Winter Fun Study Grid and bookmark printable
  • Four nature table printable idea sheets
  • Recommended nature study links

Down a sample copy of this January 2014 Newsletter:

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter – Nature Table (with the Winter Nature Grid printable).

 Special Note –

Handbook of Nature Study Subscribe Now

Here on the Handbook of Nature Study we have weekly nature study ideas posted every Friday! You can subscribe to my blog to receive those in your email inbox.

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy

Or, if you would like to have all the archived newsletters and ebooks (20 of them!), you can become an Ultimate Naturalist Member and have access to everything!

We will be working our way through the Winter Wednesday series of nature study ideas starting in January. This ebook includes premade notebooking pages for you to use with your family. It is included in the Ultimate Naturalist Library.

https://naturestudyhomeschool.com/2011/01/winter-wednesday-outdoor-hour-challenge.html

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Winter Nature Table



Outdoor Hour Challenge
Winter Nature Table

Creating a nature table or nature display is an easy way to add a little nature study on days your weather is too cold or wet.

Here are some ideas from the past to inspire you. Make sure to see the printable ideas I shared below!

 Nature Table – Winter Ideas


Nature Table – Winter Ideas Printable

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #6. Use the printable notebook page in this challenge to record some of the things you collect for your winter-themed nature table. 

You may wish to follow my Pinterest – Nature Display board for additional ideas. 
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November Weather Grid Observations

Have you started your November Weather Grid observations? We have continued to have warm, sunny days – last week with the afternoon temperatures in the 70’s and this week in the 60’s. It is not our typical November weather at all.

 My rain gauge has not had a drop of rain in it all month.

There were only a few clouds to observe this week and we made a point to get out and watch for awhile. I remembered to think of some words to describe them: thin, grey, fast-moving, swirly, like cotton, friendly.

The birds are returning to my feeders a little at a time and I spend some time each day looking out the window at the trees in the backyard for some bird visitors. Mr. B pointed out two Northern Flickers a few days ago…he says, “Hey Mom, there are two really colorful big birds outside my window!”

I found parts of two different butterflies in the yard when we were raking up some leaves. Have you ever tried picking up a butterfly wing? It is so very delicate and when you set it down it blows away in the slightest breeze. Amazing to look at with the magnifying lens.

One day I collected some autumn twigs, branches, and dried flowers from the garden for a “bouquet” that sits on the nature table. Nothing fancy but it makes me happy.

We have still been walking outdoors just about every day, sometimes in our neighborhood and sometimes we take the local walking trail. The trail is dry and covered in fallen leaves…so very dry. I know the rest of November may be cooler and wetter but for now the word to describe our weather is DRY or maybe WARM.

The Kona dog doesn’t mind the weather and takes advantage of the opportunity at our river walks to jump in and swim. The river is low right now so she paddles around or fetches a ball if we have one to throw in for her. The water is too cold for me but for our Labrador it is heaven.

Look for a weather related challenge this week and I look forward to seeing some of your November World observations in the up-coming Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival.

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Outdoor Hour Challenge: Table Top Garden

Tabletop-Garden-Nature-Study-@handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com

Outdoor Hour Challenge:
A fun way to learn about plant parts is to grow a table top garden with a few root vegetables. This week I challenge you to make a table top garden with your children. Keep it simple and start with one veggie and see the way it grows roots and stem and leaves. This is an easy project for any age. 

Instructions on Hearts and Trees: Indoor Nature Study Idea: Table Top Garden 
These instructions include a free downloadable notebooking page to go along with your table top garden.


Add your table top garden to your nature table as an on-going nature study experience.

Activity Suggestion: Create a Garden Flowers Nature Table
 
Free Printable Nature Table- Garden Flowers

Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #3. Use this challenge to help you draw your table top garden as you make your observations. Use the notebooking page in the ebook or the free one noted in the challenge above. 

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Moss on Our Nature Table and Up-Close

What a delightful addition to our nature table! Moss in a pot adds some color and texture to our little growing area of the nature table where we also have several varieties of cactus growing. The light seems just about right here for the moss and so far we have watered it once a week and it is still going strong.

The moss on the plate above was the specimen we brought inside to examine as part of the Moss Challenge from last week. We viewed it closely with our eyes, magnifying lens, and camera lens. There really is a lot to see and the parts of the moss are really interesting.

After viewing, I took a small pot and filled it with some regular garden soil and then placed our specimen on the top. I watered it well from the top and then pressed it firmly onto the soil. I did a little research and it said that moss really does like to be watered from the bottom so when I need to water it I place it in a small bowl of water and let it sit until the whole thing is moist.

Moss and capsules up close @handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.comHere are few images that we took with our camera…really showing the capsules and the stems.

Moss up close @handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com

Amazing structure and no wonder it is soft and enjoyable to the touch!

Our front yard is a great habitat for moss since we pulled out the lawn. The cracks in the pavers and the area below the retaining wall have moss that adds such a great feel to the yard. We did not plan on the moss but it just invited itself to grow in the cracks and crannies.

Moss-on-Rocks-@handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com

The big rocks in the foreground were bright green with moss a month or so ago but since we have had warmer temperatures and drier days the moss has turned sort of brown. I know with the next rain it will green up again so I will enjoy that when it happens. You can see our Lamb’s ear plant here in this image…one of my favorite low water plants in our front yard….I know it spreads but with the big rocks right there and the retaining wall behind, it can’t go too far.

So there you go…our continuing moss study! Don’t forget there is a free printable in the Moss and Lichen Challenge that you can use to record your own moss study.


How about your family? Have you found some moss to explore with all your senses?