Pond Study for Homeschool Nature Study

Welcome to my 10 Days Series on the topic of nature study! Each of the ten days brings you a creative nature walk idea and a fun follow-up activity to spark your enthusiasm for nature study today!

Why study nature?

The answer is more serious than you might think.

Today’s nature study: Ponds

Nature Study: Ponds

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Creative Walk:

Before heading out to observe a pond today, create an underwater viewfinder from some simple materials. You’ll need:

  • A recycled plastic container such as a milk jug, butter tub or juice carton
  • Scissors or a knife
  • Thick plastic wrap
  • A sturdy rubber band or two

Cut the bottom out of your container. (I find that an adult usually needs to do the cutting.)  Place the plastic wrap over the open bottom and secure it with a rubber band. At the pond, gently place the viewfinder into the water to observe the plant and animal life under the surface. In a nature journal, draw what you see.  Do this several times in in various places around the pond.

(Be safe near water!  A child should never be unsupervised around a pond.)

Follow-up Activity:

After your pond observations, take a few minutes at home to read about pond life from a book or internet source.  Draw a cross section mural of a pond showing life you might find in the water and around the pond. This means you will pretend as if you can part a pond like God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites escaping Egypt. What would you see if you were able to look at a pond from this perspective?

You might find the clipart in this Pond Food Web activity useful for the mural.  Or, use the activity “as-is” for an additional lesson about food webs.

We have enjoyed a little pond animal research on this interactive site, too.

Read a Book or Two If You Like:


 Today’s pond activities are just a very small sampling of similar ideas you’ll find in the NaturExplorers Peaceful Ponds study!


  1. My kiddos love exploring ponds and streams. The NaturExplorers series looks wonderful.

  2. cassie bartholomew says:

    These are easy ideas that I plan on using, thank you

  3. Wonderful idea! Will have to go find a pond somewhere…

  4. I think we’ll make an underwater viewfinder this weekend!

  5. Love these ideas! We even have a pond close by to try this out!! Thanks!!

  6. Sarah James says:

    I am excited to try these ideas out…simple and easy…right up my alley! 🙂

  7. We live right near a DOT drainage pond. I like to refer to it as the “back 40” – what an awesome place to explore.

  8. We love exploring water holes as my kiddos like to call them! LOL… We have studied many different times about life inside a pond. Wonderful post!

  9. Oh, the viewfinder is fantastic – I love that! We found a neat waterbug recently….it was bright yellow one. When we scooped it up, it seemed like it was dead…..as soon as we put it back it buried itself in the mud. Too funny – tricky little thing!

  10. My 7 year old would love this. We even have a small pond nearby.

  11. We have a pond at the end of our street that our children love to explore. I love some of your book suggestions for this one.

  12. We’ll make that viewfinder when we go to my parents’ place for Mother’s Day (they have a lake). I have not seen one before.

  13. Our jeweller’s loupe was really helpful in letting us observe the tiny creatures. Dd was most interested in the hydra and the mosquito larvae. We’ve kept some of the larvae so we can watch them change into mosquitoes. Had to rig up a secure area first because we don’t actually like mosquitoes!

  14. Sandra,
    We watched the larvae just to the point of them changing into mosquitoes and quickly released them back into the pond. I didn’t want any of those critters flying around in my house! LOL

  15. Jessica Grove says:

    Can you explain to me what a cross section mural is? We’ve been studying ponds, and we even have an in-home pond going with tadpoles, a dragonfly nymph and a crawdad! (Imagine my surprise! I did not expect to bring home a teeny-tiny crawdad!)

  16. How exciting, Jessica! What wonderful learning is taking place in your house! A cross-section mural draws a picture as if you were able to cut a pond in half and see all the animals and plants as if you were underwater observing them. If you’ve ever been to an aquarium, picture the straight on view you get of underwater habitats as you view them through the window. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see an example. I’d love to see a picture once your murals are finished!

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