I’ve mentioned in previous homeschool posts that we use baskets for some of our subjects. I will share those once all of our book orders are in (hopefully next week!). We are actually waiting on another nature book too, but for now I wanted to share how we utilize our nature backpack!
We live in a small-ish town, and while we have a grassy yard and some trees and a field right next door, when we want to *really* get out into some nature, we have to go to the nature park that is in town, or out to one of the lakes outside of town.
Because of this, we have put together a nature bag to take with us.
1. Two clipboards(from the Dollar Tree) with printouts from their nature journals (I will link those below!).
2. A pencil bag with crayons, colored pencils, markers, and pencils & sharpeners.
4. Plastic organizers (from the Dollar Tree) to put in all their nature finds…mostly rocks, so far.
5. Magnifying glasses.
6. Our nature books.
We also have a small first aid kit, some snacks and always bring our water bottles with us.
It is so nice to have it all in one spot, gathered in a bag for us to just grab and go when we are heading outside! We use a few Fun-Schooling journals in our homeschool, and this Nature Journal is one of our favorites! I got the PDF so I could make two copies — one for each of my girls — but you can also buy a bound version. I also have a binding machine and a laminator (and we use HP Instant Ink!), so I print everything we need, and then will laminate the cover, punch and bind. We started with this journal before I had the binding machine, so for now we are using their clipboards. I just print off a few pages, stick them in and we are off. We may actually continue to use the pages this way, and bind them when the journals are complete because it gives them a nice hard surface to write on when we are out of the house. My girls love finding little treasures to put in their boxes, and they especially love using their magnifying glasses!
We love having books with us to look up different trees, bugs and anything else we come across. These are our favorites!
Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman is my absolute favorite of our nature books. It is full of tons of information, from rocks to plants to weather to even the moon cycle and layers of the earth. The illustrations are gorgeous too. This is one we read often, even when we aren’t looking stuff up.
Exploring Nature: Activities for Children by Kim Andrews has some really fun activity ideas to do. We loved doing the map activity! It happened to tie in nicely with our universe/world/country/state/city/neighborhood unit we were doing at the same time.
The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer is my 3 year old’s favorite! It is another book full of beautiful pictures and a lot of explanations about bugs, what they do, where they live, etc. It is also another one we read a lot even when not “in school”.
The journal we use for this subject is a Thinking Tree Fun-Schooling journal. Nature Study and Outdoor Science Journal. We LOVE Fun-Schooling journals and use them for a lot of different subjects. They are fairly open ended, encouraging kids to do their own reading/research and writing. My oldest loves them, and they are also nice in that if it’s a rough day, and your child only completes a page or two…it’s okay. If they are super into it and complete ten pages, that is great too!
Our nature journal is one of the things we love to do! I hope you can find some inspiration in some of our favorites. What kind of things do you love to include in your outside studies?
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