How to Turn Your Backyard into a Nature Wonderland for Your Homeschooler

Do you want to add more nature study to your homeschool?

We see trees and plants every day, so they can easily become part of the background noise of our lives, but nature study can be such an important part of your child's learning.

Rather than yet another thing to add to your already overcrowded hoemschool schedule, nature study is much easier than you think!

In fact, you often don't even have to go further than your own backyard.

There are a number of benefits to turning your garden or backyard into an outdoor nature classroom, and it's easy to do.

Read on to find out how you can use your backyard to teach science and much more...

Benefits of Learning in Nature

There are countless benefits to getting your homeschoolers outside for nature study, outdoor play and learning.

Here are just a few:
  • Improved concentration and focus
  • Increased creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Better mental and physical health
  • Greater appreciation for the natural world
  • Deeper understanding of science concepts

How to Create a Nature Homeschooling Space

Here are some tips on how to turn your backyard into a homeschooling wonderland:

1. Make a bird feeding station

This is a great way to attract feathered friends to your yard and learn about different types of birds.

You can make a simple feeder by punching holes in the bottom of a plastic container and stringing it from a tree branch.

Fill it with birdseed, and watch the birds come!

2. Set up a vegetable garden

Growing your own food is a fun and rewarding experience.

It’s also a great way to learn about plant science.

Start small with a few pots of herbs on your windowsill, or go all out and transform a section of your yard into a vegetable garden.

Growing plants is an amazing way to study earth science, but you also use a lot of maths when planning a garden.

3. Go on a nature scavenger hunt

This is a great activity for younger kids.

Make a list of items to find, such as different types of leaves, flowers, or rocks.

Then head outside and see how many you can check off your list.

You can use a scavenger hunt to explore math and science concepts like classification and measurement, too.

4. Build a den

Start a collection of logs, large branches and sticks.

Use them to build dens for dolls, teddies or soft toys, even for yourselves if you have enough!

Building a structure exposes kids to STEM concepts in a very hands-on way.

5. Go stargazing

Stargazing is a great way to learn about astronomy.

Lie on your back and look up at the night sky. See if you can find some constellations.

If you have a telescope, even better!

6. Make some music

There’s no need for expensive instruments to make beautiful music.

Look around your yard for things that can be used as percussion instruments, such as sticks, stones, or shells.

Then let the rhythm flow!

7. Make nature art

Use items from nature to create works of art.

Pressed flowers make beautiful pictures, and leaves can be used to create stencils.

Get creative and see what you can come up with!

8. Set up a reading nook

A reading nook is a perfect place to curl up with a good book.

It can be as simple as a blanket and some pillows under a tree.

Or you could get more creative and plant a teepee or shelter from willow or bamboo.

9. Have a picnic

Spread out a blanket and enjoy a meal in the fresh air.

This is a great way to relax and enjoy nature all year round.

Observe the changing seasons from your blanket and vary your food and clothing choices according to the season.

10. Keep a nature journal

This is a great way to document your observations of the natural world.

Write down what you see, or take pictures and sketches.

This is also a good activity for days when the weather isn’t co-operating and you can’t go outside.

11. Play yard games

There are tons of games you can play in your yard, from tag to frisbee.

Get the whole family involved for some fun exercise.

12. Identify trees and other plants

This is a great way to learn about the different types of plants that grow in your area.

You can use a field guide or look up the plants on an app on your phone.

13. Identify insects you find

This is a great way to learn about the different types of insects and other minibeasts that live in your area.

Go on a minibeast scavenger hunt or journal about the different activities you see the insects do.

Where do they live? What do they eat? What are their habits?

Do they know the difference between a bee and a wasp, or the different types of bees?

You could also create a bug hotel to encourage more creatures to stick around.

14. Observe the changing seasons

This is a great way to learn about the different seasons and how they affect the plants and animals in your area.

Record the weather for a week each season, or even each month, to see how much it changes.

You can journal about the changes you see, or take pictures and create a scrapbook.

Watching one tree and taking a weekly photo from the same place is a great way to teach children about the seasonal cycle of deciduous trees.

15. Make crafts from natural materials you find

There are tons of crafts you can make from things you find in nature.

Leaf rubbings, pinecone bird feeders, and acorn caps are just a few ideas.

Creating or investing in a mud kitchen for kids play is a great way to encourage them to be more creative outdoors.

16. Invite other homeschoolers over for a nature playdate

This is a great way to socialize and have some fun.

Set up some activities, such as a scavenger hunt or water balloon toss, and let the kids run wild!

Safety Tips for Nature Play

When it comes to safety, there are a few things to keep in mind to stay safe and healthy.

1. Wear sunscreen and insect repellent

Be sure to apply sunscreen before you head outside.

If you’re going to be in an area with mosquitoes, be sure to wear insect repellent, and if you’re going to be in an area with snakes or other wildlife, be sure to stay aware of your surroundings.

Beware of ticks too.

2. Drink plenty of water

It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re playing outside.

Be sure to drink plenty of water, and take breaks in the shade if you start to feel overheated.

3. Wash your hands

Be sure to wash your hands after you’ve been playing outside and before eating.

This will help remove any dirt, pollen, or other allergens that you may have come into contact with.

And if you’re going to be in an area with poison ivy or other plants that can cause skin irritation, be sure to wear long pants and sleeves.

Nature play is a great way for homeschoolers to get outdoors and learn about the world around them.

By following these tips, you can create a safe and fun environment for your homeschoolers to enjoy.

So get out there and start exploring!

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