I will be the first to admit that when it comes to doing a nature study I get a little overwhelmed. Obviously, we could just go out and explore nature, talking about all of the things that we see. When the books come in handy is when the kids start asking the hundreds of questions that I just don’t know the answers to. They also come in handy when I want to steer the learning in a certain direction, sometimes I want us to discuss the clouds or the landscapes and the nature books really help with how I include these topics into our time in nature. We also have used a couple of books that give us ideas of how we can connect with nature during each season of the year!
This is by far our favourite nature study book, we turn to it all the time. There are so many ways to use this book and so many different topics that it covers. Earth science is covered with the rocks, minerals, layers of earth, and landforms. It covers North American landscapes, weather, and even touches on astronomy. Then there is a deeper dive into the ecosystems, which includes things like the plants, animals, bird, and bugs found in each area. The illustrations are amazingly drawn and watercoloured, they really bring the book to life. Plus, they are easy to use as a reference when doing nature sketching.
I honestly can’t express enough how much I love this book!
There are so many ways that you can use this book, you can use it as workbook like it’s marketed as or you can use it as a reference book for other nature projects that you might be doing. The book is split into three parts, how to be a naturalist, learning the sky, exploring nature. Each part is packed full of information and worksheets. A huge chunk of the book, in the exploring nature section, is split into month mini-sections. Every month section begins with a little write up about the month which includes a poem, a nature note page, picture of the month page, and other work pages. The month sections also include information pages about the changes happening in that season. The book is a great way to get your family diving into nature studies.
This book isn’t necessarily a nature study book, but out of the 101 activities, at least half of them have to do with nature. I find that this book is our go to when we need something simple that is open and go. Each activity is laid out with step-by-step instructions and illustrations to give you a visual of the activity. Some of the activities include; making a stick family out of sticks, making a bird feeder, make a leaf rubbing, creating a treasure hunt, and building a woodland den. The book has a neat “done” checkmark feature along with a place that you can write the date that you completed the activity.
Another book that goes through the seasons and provides activities for each. The difference with this book is that it’s written in a way that makes you feel like you’re going on a journey with the family throughout the year. The months start off with a short story from the mother and father about how their families spend time in each season. Make and do pages are also included, they provide ideas for crafts, food items, and making things for the home. The Soule couple really knows how to pull you in with their captivating stories, providing you with a heap of inspiration.
When I was a little girl I remember my grandmother doing so many activities with me, creating, making, and baking. This book basically slams all the amazing things that grandmothers do with their grandchildren, most of which happens to be outside or nature related. The book is written in a way that is talking to grandparents that are expecting their grandkids and are trying to plan activities for when they are around. We tend to use this book for ideas of things we can do when the kids are getting bored. Things range from indoor rainy day activities to cooking in the kitchen. The best sections for nature studies are by far the neighbourhood naturalist and kids in the garden.