Many families enjoy taking a closer look at a topic over a period of a year, making observations once each season. This simple nature study idea creates an intimacy with the subject that makes lasting impressions.
My sons completed quite a few year long studies of trees. They would pick a tree and then return each season to note the changes. My favorite year long seasonal study was the one we completed using the Queen Anne’s Lace plants in our yard and neighborhood. The beauty of this type of nature study is that your children can pick what they want to observe and then make plans to learn about the subject in each successive season.
I have listed an linked below many of the summer seasonal studies to get you started. You can start now if wish or you can continue a study you have already begun in a previous season. Many of the challenges have free printable notebook pages for you to use in your nature journal!
Make sure to mark your summer calendar with one or two of the year long study summer season ideas below!
Start by clicking the link to the archived entry below.
It’s time to mark your calendars for your summer nature study observations! Whether you are starting a fresh year-long nature study project or continuing with one from this spring, here is a list of ideas here on the Handbook of Nature Study to inspire you. Later this summer I will be sharing a brand new year-long nature study featuring willows so look for that in an upcoming week.
Summer Seasonal Observations
I know summer is a time for casual nature study but pick something to look for and then revisit that topic every season for a year and you will be surprised what you learn. This kind of nature study is valuable because it helps us slow down and note the changes that occur from season to season. It will also help you learn how to anticipate the turn of the season as you recognize the changes in the natural world around you.
Pick one and get started by clicking the link to the archived entry that will give you lots of ideas for completing your own year-long nature study.
I love milkweed. Not only is it a beautiful flower but it is the host plant for one of my favorite insects, the monarch butterfly! During the autumn we can observe the milkweed plant turning dry and brown and the seed pods bursting open to disperse their seeds. The fluffy seeds fly away to hopefully create a new milkweed patch. This would be a great time of year to also research the many traditional uses of the milkweed fibers.
It is important to note there are many different kinds of milkweed….this I learned as part of our milkweed nature study. We have showy milkweed, purple milkweed, and narrow leaf milkweed in my part of the world. The flowers look very different and the seed pods look different. Use a local field guide to discover what kind of milkweed you have to observe in your neighborhood. If you need some suggestions for field guides, here is my Amazon.com affiliate link for my favorites: Wildflowers.
Here in California autumn is seed time for milkweed. The flowers are long past prime and the plant will be drying out. You may wish to start a year long study of milkweed and watch it over the next four seasons.
How about a free printable notebook page? This one is good for all four seasons.
Note: You do not need to purchase the ebooks to participate but just so you know, the More Nature Study Autumn ebook contains 3 custom milkweed notebooking pages (including an advanced version) and 2 coloring pages. Click the graphic at the bottom of this post to go over to check out the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.
It is that time of year again! Time to plan a few seasonal observations….and get outdoors with your family! I make it easy with the printable notebook pages that go along with these year long nature study ideas. Pick one and get started or take a few minutes to make the summer observations happen before we run out of summer.
Make sure to add your year-long study to your January or February nature study plans so you don’t forget!!!
If you are a member of the Ultimate or Journey levels here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you will find this ebook listed in your library after you log into your account. The ebook version available to members includes all of the notebook pages, coloring pages, and color images. I highly recommend purchasing a membership for all the added benefits for each and every challenge.
You may wish to start a new year-long study this autumn using some of the ideas above. If you have a continuing year-long nature study project, don’t forget to put it on your calendar or you may forget to make your autumn observations. If you are using the new planning page from the newsletter, there is a box on each page to note the seasonal observations you wish to make during the month…we all need reminders!
You may wish to start a new year-long study this spring using some of the ideas above. If you have a continuing year-long nature study project, don’t forget to put it on your calendar or you may forget to make your autumn observations.
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