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The Ultimate Mammals Homeschool Nature Study Using Outdoor Hour Challenges

You can enjoy a simple mammals homeschool nature study with these resources we have gathered for you to use in your own backyard. It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures!

NOTE: All of the mammals homeschool nature study resources listed are available as an Outdoor Hour Challenge in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. If you have a membership, you will be able to pull up the Outdoor Hour Challenge curriculum and print any notebook pages, coloring pages, or other printables for your mammals nature study.

Wondering how to start? Grab our FREE Getting Started with Homeschool Nature Study Guide!

Mammals Homeschool Nature Study Using Outdoor Hour Challenges (in Nature Study Membership)

  • Animal Tracks Hunt – Mammals Outdoor Hour Challenge
  • Bats – Summer course
  • Bear – Forest Fun course
  • Beavers
  • Cats – Spring course
  • Cattle and Deer – Winter Continues course
  • Chipmunks – Autumn course (An example of a chipmunks and squirrel study with Homeschool Nature Study here)
  • Coyote – High Desert course
  • Elk – High Desert ebook
  • Goats – More Spring Nature Course
  • Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel – High Desert course
  • Horses – Autumn course
  • Moose – Forest Fun course
  • Mountain Lion – High Desert course
  • Mouse – More Summer course
  • Muskrat – Creepy Things course
You can enjoy a simple mammals homeschool nature study with these resources we have gathered for you to use in your own backyard.
  • Pig – Autumn Continues course
  • Pocket Gopher – High Desert course
  • Porcupine – Forest Fun course
  • Rabbits
  • Raccoons – Summer course
  • Rats
  • River Otter – High Desert course
  • Sheep – More Winter course
  • Skunks – Summer course
  • Skunks and Badgers
  • Squirrels and Squirrels with Rodent Notebooking Page
  • Winter Mammals from Winter Wednesday course
  • Winter Mammals Hiberation – Winter Wednesday course
  • Winter Mammal Tracks – Winter course
  • Wolf, Fox, and Dog
  • Woodchuck, Groundhog, Prairie Dog, and Marmot
We’re starting with a favorite topic, black bears! Enjoy a bear nature study in your homeschool with this Outdoor Hour Challenge and bring the Handbook of Nature Study to Life in your homeschool.

Additional Mammal Homeschool Activities Included with Membership

  • Mammal Outdoor Hour Challenge Notebook Page
  • Mammal notebook page
  • Running List of Mammals printable notebook page
  • Looking for Signs and Tracks
  • Mammal nature study journal idea printable. Mammals at the zoo.
homeschool nature study membership for families

Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

Can you believe all of these mammals resources you will find in membership? You will also find a continuing series on mammals plus all the Outdoor Hour Challenges for nature study in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. There are 25+ continuing courses with matching Outdoor Hour curriculum that will bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool! In addition, there is an interactive monthly calendar with daily nature study prompt – all at your fingertips!

first published 2011 by Barb and updated by Tricia 2022

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Skunks and Badgers: Our Outdoor Hour

Our Outdoor Hour Challenge #50 – Skunks and Badgers

Our area is inhabited by quite a few striped skunks. In the summer time we frequently see them in the evening hours in our backyard as they dig under the birdfeeder and in the yard. We even had a family of skunks living under our house a few years ago.

Every night that summer we would have the fragrance of skunk to contend with. We sort of became used to smelling it at night but when they would sometimes spray right up under the windows, it would make you feel sick to your stomach.

This time of year we only occasionally see skunks and it is a nice break in our “nature study”.

This is a photo from last year and it shows what the skunks come and do at night in our yard. They dig around looking for insects and worms and the holes look like swirls when they are done. This was an especially bad night where I am so grateful they decided to dig in the unlandscaped part of the yard and not a few feet over and into the grassy area. They are very good diggers as you can see. This year we have a dog that sleeps outside in her kennel so we shall see how that goes with the resident skunk population.

On another topic, we did have a special treat this week while we were on our trip to the desert. The Living Desert Museum actually had a badger to view and observe! We had never seen a real badger before and we were surprised at the size and the claws! The badger was busy digging in his enclosure so we stood and watched him for a long time and we can now see how he uses those long claws to dig his burrow.

Skunks are really an ongoing nature study subject for our family since we have them so close at hand. We have learned to live with them and to stay out of their way.

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Outdoor Hour Challenge #50 Mammals-Skunk and Badger

Outdoor Hour Challenge
#50 Skunk and Badger

This week there are some great videos to share with your children to capture their interest.

PBS Nature Skunk
This video series is excellent and we learned more than we ever wanted to know about skunks. You must watch this for yourself even if you don’t watch it with your children.

Here is a video about badgers.

Wow! Those critters can dig!

1. Read pages 245-247 in the Handbook of Nature Study.
Resources for the skunk
Resource for badger

2. Supplemental reading in The Burgess Animal Book for Children: Read Stories 22-23. Use the illustrations on pages 135 and 110 to prompt a narration your child’s narration if needed.

3. This week during your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time, keeping an eye out for signs of mammals as you walk. In our area we many times will smell a skunk but not see him. If you have the opportunity over the next few weeks, point out the fragrance of a skunk to your children.

  • Another idea this week is to carry a small pouch or bag to collect any nature items you find while you are outdoors.
  • Start or add to a nature collection. (see challenge 6)
  • Did you find any animal tracks this week? Take photos or make a mental note of how they looked for further research.

4. After your walk, take a few minutes to discuss anything your child found interesting during their outdoor time. If they collected items in a bag, pull those objects out and take a closer look with your magnifying lens. Use a Mammal notebook page to record what you learned about skunks and badgers this week. Complete the Seasonal Weather Study notebook page and file it in with your autumn observations. You could talk about the differences between what you observed in autumn and those things you recorded this time. How is the scene you drew this week different from the autumn scene? How are the temperatures different? Is there a difference in the number of hours of daylight?

Additional resources for this challenge: