Science and creativity seem mutually exclusive, don’t they? It makes sense that the two fields are so opposite of one another that they can’t possibly compliment one another, right?
I mean, the idea of a creative and scientific study for children does sound almost comical when you consider the limitless range of creativity and the somewhat confined rules of science. For the most part, I think most people tend to view science as one discipline and creativity as another.
Think about serious science. It can be tough to feel like you have the freedom to introduce creativity…or to entice your creative kiddo to participate. The truth, however, is that nature – and all of the science discovered within – was created by a very creative Creator!
The very act of forming so many different species of beetles, so many colors of wildflowers, and such varied weather patterns speaks to the immense creativity that is not only present, but necessary for nature to exist. Creativity is at the core of nature, and studying nature allows for your children to express and enjoy their own creativity, too.
Is your child is a dancer, painter, sculptor, graphic artist, singer, or musician? It can sometimes be tough to do structured activities with creative kids. Am I right? These kiddos tend to think outside the box and can sometimes balk at a question that requires a black-and-white answer.
Nature Study for Creative Kids
Fortunately for us, nature is not black and white. Creative kids can still very much learn – and enjoy – nature study without feeling stifled. And…nature study IS science. Forget thinking about science as boring, stiff, or the polar opposite of creativity because it can, in fact, BE creative!
Nature Journals for Creative Kids
One of the most common and well-loved nature study items is the nature journal. It’s used to record data, note observations, and sketch intriguing specimens. A creative kid, however, can do so much more.
- Consider a photographic nature journal, allowing your child to photograph the pieces of nature being studied and having them printed in a book or using the photographs to make a scrapbook-style nature journal.
- Encourage multiple medium uses, incorporating objects, paints, paper mache, charcoal, pencils, and more.
- Use a flattened piece of birch bark as a notepad, the juice from berries as ink. Really use nature in your journal and watch the wheels spin as your creative child discovers more and more ways to appreciate the nature around them.
Create Art From Nature
A favorite activity for children is gathering petals, leaves, twigs, moss, and more to arrange into a picture. Try suggesting an image and see what they can forage during a nature walk to create it. Or, start with the collection of items and see what wonderful picture unfolds when you get home.
Take this a step further and create scenes that tell a story using only natural materials. The balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, a moment from a favorite book, or an entirely original story. Creative kids are masters of using unconventional materials in unconventional ways, so put it to use! You could even combine your current read-aloud or period of history that you’re studying when creating pictures and scenes with found objects.
Discuss What Can’t be Quantified
Creative kids often have incredibly profound insight into what we might consider mundane. Their gifts and unique perspectives often help them to see and appreciate new angles that we, as parents, may have overlooked in an attempt to make everything a learning opportunity.
Yes, we may know why leaves change colors and drop from their branches, but what does your creative kiddo think about the process? What do leaves falling on a breeze remind them of? What might an argument between a frog and a cicada sound like? If you were a bird, where would you build your nest? What would you use? What would you improve about that spider web? Which part of this pond do you think you’d want to claim if you lived in it?
Allow your creative child the opportunity to freely create, to tell stories, to consider their own perspectives. Listen as their excitement grows and their connection to nature deepens.
Yes, we learn the names and functions of various parts of nature, but there is much that can’t be quantified, identified, or studied. Let your creative child explore that side, as well. Allow them the freedom to view science through their naturally creative lens and listen to the connections they make without being prompted. Creative kids tend to see the whole, big picture, so let them.
See, nature study for creative kids isn’t hard at all!
Nature study will always be one of my favorite elements of homeschooling. I love feeling connected to what we’re learning. I also love the opportunity to get out and move, and to see and experience for myself how wondrous and perfectly executed nature is. What moves me even more, though, is witnessing my childen fall in love with nature, use their creative gifts, and ultimately become who our creative God created them to be.
If you need creative nature study curriculum, check out each of these unique options:
- 100+ Creative Nature Walks
- 40 Nature Walks: Science Labs On-the-Go
- No Sweat Nature Study DIGITAL
- No Sweat Nature Study LIVE
Other posts you might like: