We are a Charlotte Mason Style homeschooling family that just loves the outdoors. Nature walks, exploring, discovering, and learning through nature studies is a large part of our homeschool. The more time we spend outside the more I look for nature study supplies that will enhance our experience. Below is a big list of nature study supplies that will compliment your nature studies.
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How do I keep my toddler busy? This is one of the most common questions among homeschooling families. Toddlers are so busy and energetic, I personally have been blessed with a miniature Tasmanian devil (the cartoon not the actual animal) so I really understand “the busy toddler.” We spend a great deal of time outside or on nature walks “keeping the toddler busy,” has a whole new meaning. To support my little guy’s nature exploration, I set him up with a toddler size nature backpack filled with hand garden tools and a insect collection kit. I keep a nature backpack for myself as well-it usually contains water bottles, snacks, nature diaries/journals, watercolor box, sketching pencils, and sometimes a field guide. Often times, our nature study finds come home with us in my backpack.
Nature Diary or Nature Journal
The terms are interchangeable, in Pocketful Of Pinecones by Karen Andreola’s, she refers to it as a “nature notebook.” Regardless of what you like to call a nature diary, it is the visual narration of a nature observation and essential for a complete nature study. (Read more here: How To Get Started With A Charlotte Mason Style Nature Diary)
These are the exact nature diary supplies we use at the moment. I chose Winsor and Newton watercolors even though they were slightly more expensive than other brands because they were the most recommended among other Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. We all share the same watercolor tray and the quality is phenomenal! A little goes a long way, the colors are vibrant, blend well, and have amazing pigmentation. I like the field set as it travels smooth-the pans are movable which makes it easy to swap them out if we want different colors. You can also buy individual pans to add varying color. The Strathmore visual journal is my favorite because the 140 LBS cold press paper makes bleed through and buckling non-existent. It is also the most paper for the least amount of money.
My oldest prefers to learn all she can on her own. I make sure to keep these children’s field guides on hand just for her. For very young children it is best to support them in their learning by being a source of reference. I will admit, I have a few Audubon field guides in my nature backpack but I just don’t use them that much. It is so much quicker to search the internet for information. These are my favorite nature study resource websites:
When we first started spending more of our time outside, I found that nature was enough to keep my children engaged. As my children became more involved in their time outside, I realized I needed to find ways to enhance and support our experience. If you could only get a few items, I would focus on the nature diary supplies.
Is there anything you would add to the list?