1. Bark Study – Up Close: This is the perfect place to record your winter tree study as you focus on the bark.
2. Know Your Own Backyard – January: Use this notebook page to record a sketch and some details after you complete a backyard nature study. This is the focus of the January 2017 newsletter and you will find many ideas to help you get started.
3. January and February Bird List Notebook Page: This is for your January and February bird nature journal entry. We love to keep track of our winter birds and this is a simple chart that you can use to keep a running record of birds you observe in your own backyard.
For a complete list of member’s printables, click the button below for a printable list.
Please note that Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level members have access to members only printables each month in addition to the newsletter printables. You will need to log into your account and then go to the “Other Releases” section. You can download a complete list of printables available to members here:
Please read the following explanation outlining how to get this month’s newsletter.
The newsletter link is not in this email but will come separately. There may be a delay in your receiving the email so please don’t email me until the second day of the month if you haven’t received the link on the first. For some reason, some email providers take longer to receive the newsletter email.
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Contents of this edition of the newsletter include:
This month we are focusing on finding something in our own backyard for nature study. I have written an article sharing subjects that might be right outside your back door and then a plan for following up with some of the Outdoor Hour Challenges available on the website archives.
There is a new article from Shirley Vels (from Under an English Sky) that tells how she uses her kitchen window as a way to view the natural world.
From the archives: There are two articles I wrote that explain how we created a “wild side” in our yard as a nature “laboratory” and another article that talks about creating sensory experiences in your own backyard.
January Planning Page for Mom – Much more than just a planner page, this is full of nature journal ideas, a short challenge for parents, links to the up-coming challenges, and ideas for using the archives.
Printables: This month I have mined the archives to find a nature study grid and bookmark for you to print and use. Plus, there is a brand new nature journal topper just perfect for this month’s nature study topic..winter backyard study.
Resources for your Nature Library: I have started to build a nature library store on Amazon that will feature by category my favorite nature study books and resources. Take a look and see if there is anything you would like to put on your wish list for your family’s nature study library: Handbook of Nature Study Nature Library Suggestions on Amazon.com. Note this is my affiliate store to items I personally recommend and have read or seen in person.
Please note that Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level members have access to members only printables each month in addition to the newsletter printables. You will need to log into your account and then go to the “Other Releases” section.
Outdoor Hour Challenge Extraordinary in the Ordinary – December Edition
Find the Extraordinary in the OrdinaryI challenge you to find five ordinary things in your backyard or in your everyday life that you can study and learn something more about. Find something extraordinary in something you have come to think of as ordinary and usual, so usual that you may not even notice it anymore.
You may remember that we have done this challenge in the past two times. Please be inspired by both of these entries to complete your own extraordinary nature walk this month with your children.
Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #8. Take along a magnifying lens on your Extraordinary in the Ordinary walk. Find something to examine more closely…even ice, frost, water from a puddle, the bark of a tree, or snow. Find something to be amazed by and then complete the notebooking page in the ebook.
Outdoor Hour Challenge November World Nature Observations
November is a transitional season month in our part of the world…not exactly autumn and not quite winter yet. Use this week’s outdoor time to create an impression of your November World…create word pictures and enjoy the time outside with your children.
Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #2-Using Your Words. Create some lovely word pictures after your outdoor time for this challenge. Use the accompanying notebook page to record your words or use a blank journal page.
Watch an introductory video!
June 23, 2012 – The National Wildlife Federation is sponsoring the Great American Backyard Campout and you are invited. From their website,”Spend the night under the stars with National Wildlife Federation and take your family’s first step into a lifetime filled with healthy, outdoor fun.”
If you have been reluctant to try camping, this is an easy way to test it out with your family closer to home. You may just end up liking it! Who knows where you will take your tent next?
My boys put their tent on the back deck during the summer.
I know that sleeping outdoors can seem scary and unfamiliar but overcoming the fear of being outside at night is worth the effort. You will realize there are some amazing things going on between sunset and sunrise right in your own backyard!
Combine nature study with an overnight backyard campout
and you will build family memories that last a lifetime.
Prepare with some nature study ideas from the Outdoor Hour Challenge!
Pick a challenge, read the pages in the Handbook of Nature Study, and then look for an opportunity to apply what you learned. Keep it fun and always, always, always follow your child’s lead if they find something they are interested in. You can follow up with a library book or a Google search in the morning.
Bring a few art supplies outdoors and your nature journal so you are prepared if you find something of interest. If you have a nature related storybook or a favorite outdoor adventure book, bring it out for some after dark reading with a flashlight.
More than anything else, be aware of your surroundings and use all your senses, when you can’t rely on your vision…listen, feel, and smell the nighttime in your backyard. Try to spend a few minutes just sitting quietly in the dark if your children are able and see what you notice. Even a few seconds of quiet is good for younger children.
If you are new to nature study, you may wish to download and print out my free nature study guide:
As part of this great event, I am teaming up with five other bloggers to promote getting outside and having fun with your children. All of us have put together some exciting, informative, and easy ideas to get you started planning your own Great American Backyard Campout for this coming weekend.
The tips in these posts will apply to any camping you do with your children so make sure to bookmark, Pin, and promote these links! We even started a Camping With Kids Pinterest board for you to follow and glean even more ideas as the summer goes by. I know for my regular readers the list below includes a few new faces and I encourage you to click over and visit these awesome bloggers who take getting outdoors with their children seriously. Leave them a comment and let them know you popped over from the Handbook of Nature Study.
Going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary.
Noteworthy or remarkable.
The Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter for May 2012 builds on the theme of Noticing Nature in the Everyday. One of the activities from the newsletter is to find something extraordinary in the ordinary….by using the May Grid and Printable Bookmark. I encourage you to spend time in your own backyard, helping your children find something of interest.
I wanted to expand that a bit with this post and offer a printable notebook page to use to follow-up your Extraordinary in the Ordinary outdoor time. I challenge you to find at least one thing to take a closer look and to then complete a notebook page or nature journal showing what you learned. My family will be participating in this challenge too!
See if you can find something extraordinary right under your noses.
I know that yesterday was the first official day of summer but for some reason I forgot to publish this post so you are receiving it a day late. Perhaps it was that my laptop died and I have been working from a different computer….in any case, enjoy the notebook page and your second day of summer.
Note: I am hoping to continue working on a series of “Know Your Own Yard” posts over the summer and perhaps even into the autumn.
When all else fails, know your own backyard.
Take a few minutes on this first day of summer and explore with your children.
Here is a bonus notebook page for you to use to follow up your outdoor time!