Fall is a great time of year to get out and enjoy nature. See wonderful topics to choose from for fall nature study ideas.
Cooler days and colorful scenery make fall a perfect time to get outside and enjoy nature. In your homeschool, you’ll have no shortage of topics to study during this season. Whether you spend an entire day hiking through wooded trails or look out your window, you’ll find many wonderful parts of nature to study in fall.
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Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler temperatures and the changing colors of leaves. I enjoy seeing birds in our yard that I didn’t see much of during the heat of summer. And with fall also signaling the beginning of a new homeschool year, I enjoy having lots of options when it comes to our nature study.
In our homeschool, we keep nature study pretty simple. I do love seeing all of the beautiful setups other homeschool moms share on social media for inspiration, but that’s just not us. So while you won’t find ideas below for elaborate nature studies, you will find simple, easy to do activities for kids of all ages. Nature study makes it easy to homeschool multiple ages.
Nature study can be done anytime of day, even on the weekends. We like to include our nature study in our morning basket time. But we’ve also enjoyed nature study during leisurely afternoons as well. We try to take at least one nature walk each week. I also pull out a couple of books about our topic that we read aloud. Then the kids will complete a couple of activities. Many times those activities include art and nature journaling.
Fun Fall Nature Study Ideas and Activities
You certainly do not need to study all of the topics listed below each year! Use the ideas below as a guide and choose a couple of topics to explore further. Then save this page on Pinterest so you can come back to it year after year as you work your way through each topic.
If you like having nature study ideas ready to go for your lessons, you may want to look into using the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum. We loosely follow it for our nature studies. It’s great for kids up to around 8th grade. You’ll find weekly topics described with book and activity ideas, a poem, and extension activities.
We love to incorporate art into our nature study as much as possible. One way we do that is through chalk pastel lessons. Chalk pastels are easy for kids of all ages to use, and I enjoy the lessons just as much as the kids. The fall video chalk art lessons have several drawings of many topics below. It’d make a great addition to your fall nature studies.
In the fall, you can find many different types of acorns or other seeds all around. Fall is a great time to study them and how they disperse. It’s also a perfect chance to observe animals who search for them, as you’ll find below in a squirrel nature study. These two fall nature study ideas complement each other nicely.
Acorns/Seeds Books and Activities
- From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
- Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer
- A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston
- Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move by Joann Early Macken
- Go on a seed hunt. Bring an empty egg carton along to hold different types of seeds you find.
- Discuss different ways seeds are dispersed. The book above, From Seed to Plant, shares great illustrations about the various ways seeds are dispersed. Afterwards, your child could share what they learn by illustrating seed dispersal themselves.
- This sample nature study lesson on seed dispersal is perfect for learning more about seeds.
- Watch a seed sprout. This works well with bean seeds. Place a seed in the middle of a moist paper towel. Put them in a sealed baggie & tape it to a window for light. Check your seed after a few days to see if it sprouted.
- Include art in your nature study by drawing acorns with chalk pastels, watercolors, or just colored pencils.
Studying apples makes a fun and tasty nature study! So many wonderful books about apples are available. However, the books below are some of my favorites for sharing information about apples.
Apple Books and Activities
- Apples by Gail Gibbons
- How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro
- The Life and Times of the Apple by Charles Micucci
- The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara
- Take a nature walk at an apple orchard. Your kids can see the different varieties grown and have a chance to pick some to bring home.
- Study an apple tree, including what its blossoms look like, how the fruit grows, and when the fruit can be picked. Younger kids may enjoy drawing an apple tree in each season.
- Sample different kinds of apples. Notice the difference in sweetness/tartness among them. Graph the family’s favorites.
- Observe how long it takes different apple varieties to brown. Alternatively, experiment different ways to keep apples from browning.
- Combine art with an apple nature study through fun chalk pastel lessons, watercolor, apple stamping, or simply drawing with colored pencils.
A leaf study in fall is great for kids of any age. Young kids will enjoy searching for leaves of different colors, while older kids can learn about chlorophyll and why the leaves change. Plus, nature walks are easy for finding leaves because you only need to find a few trees.
Leaf Books and Activities
Leaf Books for Nature Study
- Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro
- Fall Leaves: Colorful and Crunchy by Martha E.H. Rustad
- Look What I Did with a Leaf! by Morteza E. Sohi
Leaf Nature Study Activities
- Go on a nature walk and collect fallen leaves to take home and observe.
- Observe the different colors of the leaves and discuss why they change colors and fall in autumn. This nature study guide explains chlorophyll.
- Do a leaf rubbing by putting a leaf under a piece of paper, then rubbing over it with the side of a peeled crayon.
- Create leaf art with chalk pastels. These chalk pastel lessons are great for any age.
- Preserve leaves by dipping in melted beeswax. This activity is definitely one for kids to watch while mom does it.
Pumpkins are a fun topic to study for all ages. A pumpkin nature study is perfect in October or November, as that’s when they are ripe and available.
Pumpkin Books and Activities
Our Favorite Pumpkin Books for Nature Study
- The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
- From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
- How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara
- Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington for toddler and preschool age
Fun Pumpkin Activities for Nature Study
- Go to a pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin. Notice how the pumpkins grow.
- Measure the circumference of your pumpkin.
- Guess how many seeds are inside, then cut it open and count them. Roast them with some oil and salt for a yummy snack!
- Do pumpkin art. Use colored pencils, chalk pastels, or watercolors. Make a needle-felted pumpkin.
- Create a bird feeder out of your pumpkin. After cleaning out the inside, fill with birdseed and hang outside.
- Write everything learned in a nature journal. Draw a pumpkin and label the parts.
Spider webs seem to overtake every corner in the fall. What a perfect time to learn more about these arachnids!
Spider Books and Activities
Spider Books Perfect for Nature Study
- Spiders by Gail Gibbons
- Spinning Spiders by Melvin Berger
- Are You a Spider? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries
- Do All Spiders Spin Webs? by Melvin and Gilda Berger
Fun Spider Nature Study Activities
- Take a nature walk and look for spider webs. See if you can find a spider on one or an egg sac nearby.
- Follow activities in this ready-to-go spider nature study guide.
- Learn about the anatomy of a spider.
- Learn about different types of spider webs.
- Write everything learned in a nature journal. Sketch illustrations of a spider & label its anatomy. Sketch different types of webs and label.
Around our house, we see squirrels running all over the place in the fall. They are constantly finding hiding places for acorns. Fall is a great time to watch them in action, which makes squirrels perfect for fall nature study ideas.
Squirrel Books and Activities
- The Squirrels’ Busy Year by Martin Jenkins
- Welcome to the World of Squirrels by Diane Swanson
- Rabbits, Squirrels, and Chipmunks by Mel Boring
- Squirrel’s Family Tree by Beth Ferry
- Squirrels are interesting creatures to observe. Your child can look out a window inside or choose a spot outside to sit quietly and observe.
- Study a squirrel’s anatomy and draw it.
- Combine a squirrel study with an acorn study, as mentioned above.
We were so astonished to see a family of wild turkeys frequent our land when we moved here several years ago. Ever since, they’ve been a great fall nature study idea to study. We do have to watch from inside the house though. If the turkeys hear a sound, they are off into the woods.
Turkey Books and Activities
- Study the differences between wild turkeys and farm turkeys.
- Illustrate a turkey in nature journal and label the anatomy.
- If your kids haven’t seen wild turkeys, observe them through this wild turkeys video.
- Here’s a cute handprint turkey for younger kids to draw.
Pick a topic and enjoy the cooler fall temperatures with a fun and engaging fall nature study! With so many wonderful choices, you and your kids will love learning all about apples, leaves, pumpkins, or spiders. Fall offers amazing nature walks and opportunities for interesting activities. You will love learning right alongside your kids, drawing and reading about all things fall. So choose a topic and get a fall nature study planned today.