Even if it’s really cold outside, you can still enjoy nature study projects in the winter. So, pull out your nature journals, and bundle up! It’s time to go explore what’s outside in the winter world.
1. Fill up the bird feeder and watch for winter birds. Are they different from the birds you see when the weather is warm? We have a bird feeder on our porch, and we (and our kitties) like to watch its visitors through the window. Keep a bird field guide handy so you can find out what varieties you are seeing, and draw your observations in your nature journal. Visit our Flying Creatures Pinterest board and our Science & Nature Study board for more ideas!
2. Look for animal tracks. We have lots of deer around us, and my kids have fun casting deer tracks in the mud:
- Measure out equal parts Plaster of Paris and water into a disposable container (we used a washed out milk jug with the top part cut off). Pour mixed plaster into a zipper-top plastic bag and seal.
- Cut a 2-inch wide strip of cardboard about 18 inches long. We used a cereal box and cut around the entire box, then taped two pieces together. Form a circle with the strip and tape it together securely.
- Take your supplies outside and hunt for tracks. Once you find some, place the ring around the ones you want to make a cast of and carefully pour your plaster into the ring.
- Let it set for a few hours, then carefully lift it up. Bring it inside and put in on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil, track side up, and leave it to harden for a couple of days. Once dry, take it back outside and brush off any dirt or debris.
3. Whether or not you’re lucky enough to have snow, you can learn more about it. Check out my suggestions for snowy books and activities in What to Read and Do on a Snowy Day.
4. Go on a winter nature walk. Talk to your child about the changes in the weather, the trees, and plants. We even discovered a wintery white squirrel on one of our winter walks! (Click here to find out more.)