Spring is such an exciting time of the year. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and I don’t know about you, but this mama is tired of being cooped up all winter! So here are a couple of easy spring nature study ideas to get you and your kiddos outside and into nature.
Easy Spring Nature Study Ideas – Plants
Spring is the perfect time to sprout seeds for the garden or flower bed. Before planting, take a closer look. Some seeds, like those of a mustard plant, are only as big as the tip of a pen. While other seeds, like those of a bean plant, may be as large as a coin! Seeds may be different sizes, shapes, and colors.
Faster growing seeds, like bean seeds, are a fun way to watch the growing process and to examine root structures. We like to start our seeds in a peat pellet greenhouse, but there are numerous mediums from which to choose.
Have you noticed any spring seeds outside? Seeds form after the flowers have are pollinated. Many plants and trees are producing seeds this time of year. Dandelions are one of the first plants to show off their seeds. Their fluffy round seed heads are quite easy to spot, and children love blowing the seed pods about. Remember to make a wish first!
Examine the soil! Whether you are out on the trail or in your garden, take a look at what’s under your feet. Soil comes in many forms from loamy, clay, sandy, chalky and silty. There are even organisms living in the soil!
Dissect a flower! Tulips, Crocus, Daffodils and many other flowers can be found in abundance this time of year. Why not take apart a flower and examine the inner working of the pistil, stigma, ovule, and stamens?
Be sure to keep your pocket microscope and nature journal handy, so you can jot down all of the interesting things you discover! You can also check out our 8 Tips for Nature Study for even more inspiration!
Easy Spring Nature Study Ideas – Creatures
Spring is a great time to look for birds! Many birds will be busy building nests. Why not catalog and tally up the different birds and bird nests you see?
Look for evidence of animals! Signs may include tracks, sounds, scat, and animal trails. You could even make it into a scavenger hunt! We like to bring these Take Along Guides to help us identify animal evidence.
Raise Tadpoles! You can usually find tadpoles near any slow moving or stagnate body of water like a pond, bucket of water or ditch. Just collect them with plenty of the water you found them in. Keep them in a large plastic tub or glass container (without the lid) away from direct sunlight. Change the water out periodically with more of the pond water or collected rain water. Watch as the tadpoles develop into frogs!
Raise Butterflies! We ordered a butterfly kit with a butterfly habitat one year and raised painted lady butterflies. It was awesome to watch them go through their metamorphosis! Since the butterfly habitat is reusable we now simply order the cup of butterfly caterpillars each year. The kids have yet to tire of raising and releasing butterflies.
With winter’s chill coming to an end, it’s time to get outside. I hope you won’t have long to wait before spring’s warmth and life call you outdoors.
How will you and your children explore nature this spring?
Erin Vincent is a homeschooling mom to two intense kids. They are child led with a heavy emphasis on read alouds, games, art, nature hikes, and hands on science! They traded the hustle and bustle of city life for the quiet farm life where opportunities for exploration in nature abound. When they're not homeschooling you'll find Erin curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book!. You can find Erin at Nourishing My Scholar.