Posted by Cindy on December 4, 2012
The holly bears a berry as red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good.
The holly bears a prickle as sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ on Christmas Day in the morn.
~The Holly and the Ivy | Harrison S. Morris
I bet you thought I covered everything related to nature study a few months ago in my Ultimate Guide to Nature Study
post, didn’t you? No way! In this post, I’ve pulled together everything related to CHRISTMAS
nature study for you. Christmas nature study?? Yep. Who is Christmas about? Who made creation? Well then, studying nature at Christmastime is a perfect way to talk more about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Nature Study Through the Holidays: Advent
I’ve taken some time to pull together all you need for an Advent-themed Bible and science study in Nature Study Through the Holidays: Advent. Advent is a weekly focus on various parts of the Christmas story during the month leading up to Christmas. For each of these weeks, I have provided you with Scripture references, nature study activities and full-color notebooking pages. My hope is that your family will grow closer to the Lord and His perfect gift of Jesus this Christmas season.
If you use Advent candles as part of your Christmas celebration, you might be interested in Theresa’s Advent wreath made from natural materials.
Christmas Tree Study
If you’d rather focus on Christmas trees as nature study, NaturExplorer’s Constant Conifers offers many ideas!
Homeschool Share has a free study using the book Chita’s Christmas Tree, too.
Other Fun Christmas Nature Study Ideas
There are many, many nature topics you might focus on during the month of December. I’ve listed just handful of fun ideas below.
- December (or anytime during winter) is a wonderful time for a study of Snow and Ice.
- You might enjoy a study of spices as you prepare all those yummy Christmas cookies.
- If you have the opportunity, take a unique nature “walk” – go ice skating!
Christmas & Nature Literature
There are books galore that tie together nature and Christmas. Really good books, too. Enjoy one or two of these a week to spark nature walks.
Christmas Gifts & Crafting from Nature
Decorate your house with natural elements found on nature walks – everything from door and table decor to Christmas tree ornaments. Many nature projects turn out so beautifully they make perfect gifts, too! Below, I’ve linked you to some of my favorite Christmas nature crafting ideas. I’ve also been busy pinning fun ideas on my Christmas Nature Study Pinterest Board.
- Milestone Academy encourages her children to make herb gardens as gifts by rooting supermarket herbs in small glass jars.
Christmas Gift Ideas to Promote Nature Study
Just in case you’re still shopping, there are tons of fun ideas for gifts that go along with nature study. I’ve compiled a huge list of some goodies here.
And, don’t forget things like zoo memberships, science museum tickets, or even a subscription to Nature’s Friend magazine
Have fun this Christmas season. Make memories in learning that will last a lifetime!
Need more Christmas ideas? My post is just one of 25 in a daily blog hop sponsored by iHomeschool Network. Be sure to check out all the great ideas!
I’m also linking this up to the holiday edition of the Charlotte Mason Carnival!
Posted by Cindy on October 11, 2012
While we love simple nature walks around our home, we also love taking the time once a month (sometimes more often) to go somewhere interesting for nature study. This post highlights our autumn walk through the wetland trails of Cove Springs in Frankfort, KY. What a beautiful afternoon!
We were blessed to have my parents along on our hike, too. Generally, on nature walks to new places, I don’t focus on any particular nature topic. We like to simply explore the area to see what treasures we can find. Fallen leaves, shallow ponds, city landscapes…
…reflections in the creek, water fowl, interesting rocks and so much more. ‘Tis the season for wonderful, crisp, satisfying nature walks. Take advantage of these beautiful autumn days!
Posted by Cindy on October 6, 2012
Math, science, geography, history, and language arts? Yes! Skip the textbooks for a few days and enjoy pumpkin school this October!
Several of these ideas come from my e-book, Loving Living Math. The additional ideas were supplied by the wonderful parents in my co-op. Have fun!
- Measure the circumference by wrapping a tape measure around the largest part of the pumpkin.
- Calculate the diameter and radius using only the circumference measurement.
d=C÷3.14 (3.14 is otherwise known as π)
- Count the vertical lines on the skin of the pumpkin. These numbers can be used to calculate:
Fractions – “1/2 of our pumpkin is equivalent to 6/12”, for instance
Percentages – “What percent of our pumpkin is equivalent to 2/12?”
Degrees – “If a full circle is 360°, how many degrees is 1/4 of our pumpkin?”
- Estimate the weight and use a scale to weigh the pumpkin.
- Complete simple algebra problems. For example, weigh three pumpkins on a scale together. Remove one pumpkin from the scale. Use an equation like Total Weight – P = New Weight.
- Measure heights and widths of the pumpkin and its stem.
- Measure the volume of the pumpkin using water displacement. (This is most ideal to do with a smaller pumpkin.) Place enough water in a container with measure marks so that the pumpkin can be immersed in the water. Before putting the pumpkin in the water, record the volume of water by using the measure on the side of the container. Submerge the pumpkin and write the new water volume measurement. To determine the volume of the pumpkin, simply subtract the smaller number from the larger.
- If you have several pumpkins or several children, make comparisons between the pumpkins like ordering them by height or weight, or even figuring averages on such data as height, weight, volume or number of seeds.
- Make graphs of any comparison data you collect.
- Have pumpkin races to determine such things as:
Which pumpkin makes the fewest revolutions to reach the finish line?
Which pumpkin goes farther when rolled down an incline?
Do varying inclines make a difference in how far a pumpkin rolls?
- If you can safely do so, drop pumpkins from a height to determine such things as:
Do larger pumpkins splatter farther than smaller pumpkins?
Do larger pumpkins fall faster than smaller pumpkins?
- Estimate the number of seeds, then count the seeds and compare your estimate.
- Examine and open the seeds. Measure and weigh them.
- Observe the difference between the inner and outer pumpkin shell.
- Measure the thickness of the shell.
- Look for signs to see where the pumpkin touched the ground and notice differences in the shell.
- Learn about the geography of where pumpkins grow in the world and complete a map.
- Learn about the history of pumpkins in America and write a report.
- Make your favorite pumpkin recipes.
Tricia Hodges offers a fantastic tutorial for drawing pastel pumpkins. Don’t miss it!
For an entire e-book full of ideas for studying all sorts of fruits and nuts this autumn, check out my Fruits and Nuts NaturExplorers study!
I’m linking this post to these fun places!
Posted by Cindy on October 1, 2012
It’s autumn and time to have a little leaf fun with your preschoolers and kindergarteners!
The Colors of Autumn in Playdough
After observing the changing colored leaves on trees, let your little ones create their own autumn trees from play dough or clay. You might even use some autumn scented play dough.
Perimeter with Non-standard Measuring Tools
Collect various shaped leaves to practice measuring perimeter. Use any manipulative you like to place around the edges of the leaves. Compare perimeters from one leaf to another.
Area with Non-standard Measurement Tools
Use the same leaves to measure area. Of course, this method of covering the leaves isn’t a perfect measurement, but you’ll be building an understanding of what area means.
Will It Sink or Float?
Float various leaf shapes on water then see which shapes can hold the most coins before sinking. This is also great fine motor skill practice.
More Leaf Fun
- Although I originally wrote about concrete leaf graphs for older children, the same activity on a smaller scale would be very good for little people, too.
- Negative leaf paintings highlight leaf shapes and make nice nature notebooking pages.
Posted by Cindy on September 20, 2012
Early autumn is such a wonderful time of the year for nature studies! The crispness in the air keeps walks comfortable, while the scenery abounds with exciting treasures to find!
Believe it or not, the photos in all of the collages were taken during only one short woodland walk!
What might you study in nature this autumn?
WOW!! Enjoy $4.00 off ANY product $8.95 or higher at Shining Dawn Books through the end of October 2012!
Use the code FallFour upon checkout.