EXPLORE, DISCOVER, LEARN
Observing nature is interesting and fun for kids and adults. Whether you live in the city, country, suburbs, mountains, desert, etc. there are always interesting things going on in nature.
Have students keep a monthly or seasonal log of nature in their environment throughout the year. They will start to notice the small and large changes in their landscape.
Things to look for by season:
- buds blooming on trees
- trees and shrubs leafing out
- bulbs and other flowering plants sprouting up in gardens (day lilies, etc.)
- spring flowers blooming (daffodil, tulip, crocus, etc.)
- sap in sugar maple trees beginning to flow
- squirrels making nests with leaves and branches
- few insects appearing
- ducks and birds returning to northern climates
- old leaves from last fall are on the ground
- earthworms are coming to the surface
- lots of rainy weather
|Pine Tree/Pine Cones|
|robin red breast|
Suggestions: Look and listen carefully for signs of spring. Have students sketch pictures of "signs of spring" in their neighborhood. Use binoculars and field guides, if available. Take pictures.
- plants are reaching full growth
- lots of insects and butterflies are around
- insects, butterflies, and birds drink the plants' nectar
- days are their longest and often hot
- lots of birds are in the trees
- leaves change colors and fall from trees
- some flowers are still in bloom (asters, goldenrods, etc.)
- most flowers are gone
- berries grow on shrubs
- ducks, birds head south
- animals move to their winter homes
Suggestions: Collect dried leaves, acorns, pinecones, and seed pods. Press leaves. Sketch trees and other plants.
- deciduous trees have lost their leaves
- evergreen trees and shrubs stay green all year
- the land begins its season of rest
- animals are hibernating
Suggestions: Look for animal tracks in the mud and snow. Use a guide to identify active animals in your environment. Sketch trees and other plants.
Set up a Nature Table >