Summary: Get outside and into nature regularly, with nature study ideas to focus your observations and learning.
Set-up: 5 minutes
Play: 1-2 hours
Complexity: medium, easier with adult supervision
- a place in nature
- a notebook
- writing and drawing materials
What to do
Visit a place in nature. Choose an aspect of nature to focus upon, for example, leaves, seed pods or cloud formations and use the notebook as nature journals to record observations. Help children to hone their observation skills by using the phrase prompts: “I notice..”, “I wonder…”, “It reminds me of…”. Model making your own observations using these prompts. Encourage children to use words, pictures or numbers to record their observations – emphasise the aim is not about making a pretty picture but about recording accurate and interesting observations, as this can help children who are less confident. Keep a nature journal for yourself.
Challenge children to use drawing, writing and numbers in their journal entry.
Discuss what children learned through their observing and questioning.
Teach children to trace around an object and use their outline as a base for filling in the detail.
Collect specimens to take home, display and/or label.
Use a magnifying glass: what more can you notice with this tool?
Allow time for free play and exploration in nature, which is beneficial for well-being, attention skills and motor skill development.