Nature Study with a Preschooler? It’s really not that big of a deal. My littlest guy grabbed my hand one afternoon and wanted to take a walk outside. With his eager grin as he asked, how could I say ‘no’?
We had had some wind so we had an ample supply of leaves to crunch as we walked. I wondered around with him, resisting the urge to ask him to name everything in sight. I just let him notice and observe whatever caught my eye. If he asked me about something, I told him. Mostly though we just walked and looked.
I didn’t encourage him to pick up some leaves. I didn’t ask for specific colors or sizes. He decided on his own to gather some leaves and when he was ready to go back inside we did. He lined up a few to show Daddy when he came home. On his own, he laid some across the table – sorting big and little. By this time, I was in the kitchen getting supper ready. He wanted me take a few pictures, so I did, of course.
Nature Study with your preschooler doesn’t need to take long either. All together we spent about 20 minutes that afternoon. We might have stayed out longer playing, but he was eager to bring his finds back indoors. His older siblings were still indoors finishing seat work, so he wanted to “show off” a bit.
That’s how easy it is to do a nature study with your preschooler. My goal is not for him to observe and note as much as he can like his older siblings. I just want him to simply get out there and enjoy it.
We had a fall sensory bin we had been playing in, and this day’s walk tied in (but not with intention — I try to keep our sensory bins seasonal based). We made some crayon leaf rubbings and other art/craft things using his leaves (and others we gathered taking a walk with all of the children). This extended our fun, but was completely optional.
Do you do nature study with your preschooler? Are nature walks part of your routine?