Posted on Leave a comment

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

Posted on 6 Comments

Foggy Day Walk: Our Groundhog Study Week

The Outdoor Hour Challenge this week was to learn about groundhogs/woodchucks, prairie dogs, and marmots.

Since we do not have groundhogs, prairie dogs, or marmots in our area, we just enjoyed reading the information from the Handbook of Nature Study, the Burgess Animal Book, and watching the videos.

After that we needed to take our outdoor time.

We didn’t feel much like going for a walk but once we were on the trail….it was refreshing and it felt good to stretch our legs. The fog was drifting in and out of the trees as we walked and there was a squirrel chattering at us from high up in the trees.

The boys remembered that we had seen a prairie dog at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum and I pulled up the photos to remind us a little more.

Wow, I totally forgot that we saw prairie dogs when we were in Arizona. (We saw so many interesting things at this museum that it isn’t any wonder that I forgot.)


I thought the prairie dog was posing for us because he looked right at us as I snapped the photo. He was rather cute for a rodent. Click on the photo and then tell me….is he posing or not? That is his hole right there between us and it was really big.

Okay, back to our walk.

On our foggy day walk, we started to notice more and more muddy trails off the main trail. We are assuming these are made by animals since this area does not get many visitors this time of year….or any time of the year for that matter. This particular trail heads down into another gully and I can hear in the distance the faint sound of water so I think there must be a creek. One of these days I will convince someone to go exploring with me down one of these trails. The photo looks crooked but it really is a very steep little gully and I imagine in the spring this will not be as noticeable as the trees put back on their leaves.

After completing a little more research, we found that there are marmots in the Sierras and in Yosemite National Park. I have never seen one there but now you know that it will be a goal to see one. 🙂

This was a great challenge for us and we learned a lot about these mammals. This challenge also encouraged us to get out on a day that we would have probably not ventured out as a family and that is the best part of the whole thing.

Autumn 2010 Nature Study cover

Posted on 7 Comments

Outdoor Hour Challenge #46 Mammals: Woodchuck/Groundhog, Prairie Dog, Marmots

Outdoor Hour Challenge #46
Woodchuck/Groundhog, Prairie Dog, Marmot

Here is an informational video about woodchuck/groundhogs:

Great video introduction.

Have you ever seen a marmot? Here is a cute video to introduce you to this mammal.

1. Read pages 229-232 in the Handbook of Nature Study. As you read, highlight or underline some facts you can share with your children. There are observation ideas on page 231 and many of these suggestions are ones that you can continue to make over the next few seasons.

Here is an additional fact sheet on woodchuck:
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/groundhog.html

Information on marmots:
http://www.marmotburrow.ucla.edu/marmots.html

Prairie Dog information with video:
http://www.desertusa.com/dec96/du_pdogs.html

2. Supplemental reading in The Burgess Animal Book for Children: Read Stories 7-8. After you read each story, pause and let your child narrate back some facts they learned from the reading. This could be as simple as looking at the illustrations on pages 48 and 54 and having them tell you a few things about the woodchuck, the marmot, or the prairie dog.


3. Spend 10-15 minutes outdoors on a nature walk. Look for signs of mammals as you walk. Look for tracks, burrows, holes, or scat. If you are able to observe one of this challenge’s featured mammals, be sure to use some of the observation ideas from page 231. Be alert for any opportunity to observe a mammal during your outdoor time. So far we have learned about rabbits and squirrels, but be on the look out for more common mammals like dogs, cats, or horses.

4. After your outdoor time, if you observed a mammal, you can look it up in the Handbook of Nature Study. For your nature journal you can sketch something you saw during your outdoor time. One additional idea is to compare two animals that we have already studied. You can compare a rabbit and a prairie dog or a squirrel and a prairie dog. Make sketches or make a list of the comparisons. You may also use any of the additional resources for your nature journal.

Additional resources for this challenge: