Of all the treasures of nature, nothing brings quite a smile to my face and peace to my heart as wildflowers. All flowers are beautiful, but there’s just something about the flowers that weren’t planted by the hands of a human that make God seem just a little bit closer. This nature study photography project can highlight that.
Building Interest in Nature Study with a Challenge
After an incredibly long winter, it seemed as if all the flowers that ever grow in our yard burst forth in bloom at once this spring. We have filled our farm yard with plenty of flowering trees and a few perennials that don’t count as wildflowers. But, before the first lawn cutting, the yard also happens to be full of a large variety of wildflowers.
Eli (7) has been a NaturExplorer for many years now and he’s studied his fair share of flowers already. Getting him to notice the amazing beauty that was blooming all over our yard this spring was a bit of a challenge. He thought there wasn’t much new to be discovered. I had to put on my thinking cap to find a way to spark his interest.
What boy doesn’t like a challenge?
A Photography Challenge Can Spark Nature Study
Yes, a challenge!
“Eli, I wonder just how many types of flowers we have growing in our yard right now? Stand on the porch and make a guess. Ten, you say? Maybe. I challenge you to find as many different flowers – wild or not – as you can growing in our yard right now. But…you have to prove to me how many you’re able to find. I’m going to give you my phone and every time you find a new flower, take a picture of it. Sound exciting? Good. Go!”
My little plan worked. Not only was he super-motivated for this scavenger hunt of sorts, it meant he had to observe differences, make comparisons and look for detail. He also naturally wanted to know the flower names, which we talked about. And, of course, he was honing his macro-photography skills!
The Indoor Photography Nature Study Project
Eli was proud of his pictures and I wanted to do something with them to let him know his pictures matter. What better than a follow-up activity to keep the learning going??
Together, we downloaded all our pictures. I say our pictures because I took my own camera out to photograph flowers at the same time as him. It’s motivating for my children to see mom joining in on the activity.
I allowed him to choose his favorite pictures and taught him how to make photo collages. The collages you see directly above and below are his creations. Not all of these are his photos. Let’s just say that a lot of his came out a little fuzzy because he has some work to do on his macro-photography skills. So, I let him choose his favorite photos from our collection.
He found more than 20 types of flowers, by the way!
Nature Study Always Offers Bonus Opportunities
While we were getting up close and personal with the flowers in our yard, Eli found a nest of Eastern Tent Caterpillars in the crook of a fruit tree. He wanted to know all about them, so we stopped right then and there to research them on the phone. I typed in the query, “about fruit tree tent caterpillars in central KY.” Lo and behold, we discovered everything about the caterpillars in a matter of moments. It was important to capture his excited interest before the interest faded.
Wildflowers Are the Perfect Nature Specimen for Kids
Boys might think the study of wildflowers (or any flower) is for girls. As parents, we know there is SO much to be learned about biology and the cycle of life from these beautiful little bursts of color. Sometimes, it takes creativity to convince boys that wildflowers aren’t for sissies. This nature study photography project (which is good for ANY age) is one of those moments of creativity.
I especially love the study of wildflowers for kids because they are specimens that stay still and can be observed easily. There is great diversity in colors, sizes, textures, shapes, numbers, and how they are designed. It’s a fairly easy task to compare one flower to another for similarities and differences and to see life cycles in motion. Not to mention, observing wildflowers offers plenty of opportunities to notice other things in nature like pollinators, wind motion, and how animals use wildflowers as habitats.
In the Wonderful Wildflowers NaturExplorers study, ideas like this and MANY more have already been dreamed up for you. There are 27 different creative nature walks and well over 50 ideas for creative projects to keep the learning going at home. Enjoy the spring, summer, and autumn flowers this year many, many times over, and have so much fun learning science through the lens of nature study.
Photography Walks Aren’t Just for Wildflowers
You can use this same photography idea for just about any topic in nature!
- Rock types, textures, sizes
- Leaf types, shapes, colors
- Insect types, colors
- Spider webs types
- Cloud types, shapes
- The list is really endless
If you like creative homeschooling or would like to simply turn nature walks into educational adventures, I think you might love, 100+ Creative Nature Walks for All Ages or one of the 40 Nature Walks: Science Labs On-the-Go curriculum guides.
Leave a comment to tell me about your latest creative nature walk. I can’t wait to hear about it! Or, if you are on Instagram, share pictures and tag me @OurJourneyWestward so I can actually see the fun and learning you had together!
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