There are many educational and enjoyable ways to explore nature year round. Here are 7 Ways for Kids to Explore Nature This Summer that we particularly like that allow us to dive into nature studies. Whether you homeschool with the traditional calendar, year-round, or you don't homeschool at all and are just looking for ways to make the most of the great outdoors, you will find fun activities here to get you and the kids started.
7 Ways for Kids to Explore Nature This Summer
- Nature Walks- If you have never done nature walks with your child, I highly recommend you start. They open the door to so much natural exploration and discovery. Take along a field guide, water, a jar for observation, and a paper bag to collect treasures. You can learn more about how to go on nature walks with your kids here.
- Nature Shelf- When the weather is just too miserable for outdoors we can always turn to our nature shelf for inspiration and learning. Our nature shelf is just a simple inexpensive 2 shelf unit where we keep field guides, books on current topics of interest, our microscope, magnifying glasses, and nature finds like pinecones, snakeskin, butterfly wings, rocks, abandoned wasp nests, or any other treasure we have found.
- Feed the Birds- Grab or make bird feeders, fill them up, and wait for feathered friends to come flying in for a closer look. Try different types of seeds and feeders to attract a variety of birds. Make sure you provide water for them and they will stick around. Check out How to Make a Cheerio Bird Feeder to get started on one of your own.
- Natural Art- Whether your child's favorite art medium is chalk, watercolor, charcoal, pencil, or crayon you can always load one of them up with a pad of paper and head outdoors. Right out in your own backyard, at a local park, or beach you will find a plethora of nature subjects to capture on paper like birds, bees, butterflies, trees, ants, pinecones, shells, etc. Bring your natural art indoors and make these natural paintbrushes.
- Start a Butterfly Garden- Head to your local garden center and pick up plants that draw butterflies. What better way to study nature than to bring it to your own backyard. Kids can learn what types of plants they like and what plants caterpillars need. Then, they can watch butterfly lifecycles in action and learn about caring for earth's creatures.
- Press Flowers- Summer is a great time for garden and wild flowers. Make lasting memories and keepsakes by pressing flowers, using them in journals, and more. Here is a simple portable flower press you can carry with you wherever you go.
- Bring Nature In- We really love to bring nature inside with various habitats where we can observe for a short time or through a whole cycle. Never underestimate the simplicity of a jar with holes in the lid. You can try this Frog Habitat or Butterfly Habitat as well.
What is your favorite way to explore nature during the summer?