Spring offers so much to enjoy outdoors. Find spring nature study ideas for wonderful topics to share with your kids.
After a long, cold winter, it feels so nice to be able to get outdoors in the sunshine and warming temperatures. With so much growth and activity happening in nature, finding ideas for spring nature study isn’t hard to do.
Below you’ll find over ten different ideas for nature study topics to learn this spring. You’ll also get ideas for ways to incorporate subjects like literature and art into your studies.
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Spring Nature Study in Your Homeschool
We really enjoy studying nature in our homeschool. Learning about the world around you, the animals and plants, is something you do your whole life. From babies examining fallen leaves or watching an ant crawl along the sidewalk to adults trying to grow a garden or hiking, we are constantly learning how to appreciate the natural world.
Getting outside to observe nature firsthand is fun any time of year. Summer nature studies can focus on the abundant plant life in bloom, water while visiting lakes and oceans, and woodland animals. Fall nature studies are colorful with a focus on apples and pumpkins, falling leaves, and squirrels. Winter nature studies are perfect for learning about snow, evergreens, deer, and winter birds. However, with the new growth and baby animals, spring is an especially fun time to get out and observe nature.
Studying nature is so convenient, too. You can learn about nature topics indoors through great books or observing through a window. Nature study can be done any time of day or week. It can be as simple as walking around your backyard or as involved as a hiking trip or big unit study. It’s what you make of it and what fits best for your family’s needs.
How to Fit Nature Study into Your Day
In our family, we do try to get outdoors as much as we can on the weekends. However, our more formal nature studies happen during our homeschool day. We try to have a weekly or monthly focus for our learning about the natural world. We’ve found that a good time to fit nature studies into our day is through our morning basket time. Morning time is when all of us gather for group learning, which also includes nature study.
We loosely follow the topics found in the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum around two to three times a week. Often we’ll enjoy a book about our topic. A short nature walk around the yard or to a local park helps us get firsthand knowledge through observation. Then we’ll finish up the topic of study with a simple activity, which may even just be writing what has been learned in nature journals. Incorporating art and literature into nature study is a great way to combine beauty and goodness with your children.
Spring Nature Study Ideas for Your Homeschool
- Spring Birds
- Season of Spring
Spring Bird Study
Bird Study is a great topic any season of the year. In a spring bird study, focus on nests, eggs, and birds that migrate back to your area. My kids call me a crazy bird lady, so it’s no surprise we study birds all the time! We enjoyed many activities in our spring bird study. Birds are also a wonderful topic for a preschool bird study.
Spring Bird Books
- Birds, Nests and Eggs by Mel Boring
- A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston
- An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston
- A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz Jenkins
Spring Bird Activities
- Many birds create nests in the spring. Go on a nature walk and try to find them.
- Put a bird feeder outside that you can see from a window. Kids will love trying to figure out the different types of birds they see. This window feeder allows you to check out the birds up close. You and your kids might also enjoy making your own bird feeder.
- Include art in your bird study by drawing birds with chalk pastels or painting them with acrylics.
- Listen to classical music inspired by birds.
Flower Nature Study
Spring flowers are such a welcome sign of regrowth after a mostly dormant winter. Kids of all ages enjoy seeing and smelling flowers. Learning about the many bulbs coming up in spring, like tulips and daffodils, is sure to be a great spring topic for your kids.
Flower Books for Kids
- Wildflowers, Blooms and Blossoms by Diane Burns
- A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston
- Flowers by Gail Gibbons
- What’s Inside a Flower? by Rachel Ignotofsky
Flower Activities for Kids
- Dissect a flower and label the parts.
- Grow flowers in a container or a flower bed outside.
- Enjoy an entire nature study just on wildflowers.
- Take a nature walk and find as many different kinds or colors of flowers as you can.
- Bring your nature journal outside and draw a flower you find in it.
Garden Nature Study
Mid to late spring is a good time to start a garden in many areas. I find myself learning more about gardening and how to do it well every year, so it’s definitely a topic that kids can learn more about too. A garden nature study can be as simple as learning about how plants grow to a more in depth study of creating and maintaining a family garden.
Gardening Books for Kids
- From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
- How a Seed Grows by Helene J Jordan
- The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons
- The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds by Joanna Cole
- Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
Gardening Activities for Kids
- Grow a seed in a clear container and observe the roots and stem as it grows.
- Start a family garden.
- Design a garden and research plants that help each other.
- Combine gardening with an online nature book club from Literary Adventures for Kids using The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
Dandelions are not the weeds that many people think they are. They are one of the first flowers to appear in the spring, so they are important for pollinators like bees. You could add a dandelion study to a larger flower study, or just observe them in a dandelion nature study on their own.
Books about Dandelions
- Little Dandelion Seeds the World by Julia Richardson
- The Dandelion Seed by Joseph P. Anthony
- From Seed to Dandelion by Ellen Weiss
For any activities you do that require picking dandelions, be sure to pick from places that don’t use pesticides. Also, these flowers are needing for pollination, so make sure you leave plenty in an area for the bees.
- Go on a nature walk and count how many dandelions you find.
- Bring your nature journal outside and sketch a dandelion you find, including its leaves. Label the parts.
- Use the beautiful printable materials in this Dandelion Unit Study Bundle to complement your nature study.
- Kids will love getting creative designing their own seed inspired by the book, The Dandelion Seed, above.
Bee Nature Study
Bees are such important insects to our food supply, so they make a perfect topic for your spring nature study. Learning about bees can easily be combined with several other spring nature studies as well. Combining a bee study with learning about gardening, flowers, butterflies, or dandelions helps kids see how much our natural world is connected.
Books about Bees
- The Life and Times of the Honeybee by Charles Micucci
- I Am a Bee by Rebecca McDonald
- Five Bizzy Honeybees by Lance Douglas
- Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton
- The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons
Bee Activities for Kids
- Label the parts of a bee. This bundle of bee resources includes a bee anatomy poster.
- Your kids will love to make beeswax candles. These jar candles are super quick and easy to make. I also love dipped candles even if they are more time-consuming.
- Older kids will really enjoy creating a bee hotel, which is a fantastic STEM activity.
- Teach kids about pollination in a hands-on activity. Put a handful of Cheetos or Doritos-type chips on a sheet of paper and have kids eat a couple without cleaning off their hands. Then have them rub their fingers on a second piece of paper to show how it rubs off, similar to how bees pollinate flowers.
- Add literature to a bee nature study with the book Little Bea and a Literary Adventures for Kids nature book club.
Pond Nature Study
Ponds are interesting places to study all through the year. If you find a local pond to observe, plan to come back at least once each season to note what is the same and what has changed in and around the pond.
Pond Books for Kids
- Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
- In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
- Be a Pond Detective by Peggy Kochanoff
Pond Activities for Kids
- Take a nature walk around a pond, observing the wildlife and plant life in and around it. Write down observations in a nature journal.
- Have kids draw and label a cross-section of a pond. Alternatively, they can use playdough, sticks, and other materials to create a replica of a pond.
- Take home a small sample of pond water and observe under a microscope. Kids can write and illustrate findings in their nature journals.
- Take an in depth look at ponds with this pond nature study guide from Our Journey Westward.
Frog Nature Study
With this being the time frogs lay their eggs, spring is a fun chance to see a complete frog life cycle from the beginning. A frog nature study makes a great addition to a pond study too.
Books about Frogs
- Frogs by Gail Gibbons
- From Tadpole to Frog by Wendy Pfeffer
- Frogs, Toads and Turtles by Diane Burns
- All about Frogs by Jim Arnosky
- Walk around a pond in the springtime to try to find frog eggs in the water. Kids can sketch what they look like in their nature journals.
- Learn about the frog life cycle and have kids write and illustrate it in their nature journals. For a good visual, use these magnetic pieces on a dry erase board or add these realistic figurines to a science shelf or sensory bin. Layered life cycle puzzles are also a fantastic learning resource.
- Have your kids watch this frog video to see examples of frogs that live in a rain forest and also learn about camouflage.
- Learn all about frogs in this frog nature study guide from Our Journey Westward.
Butterfly Nature Study
Along with bees, butterflies are important pollinators to plants. They are also so beautiful and intriguing. A butterfly nature study gives you a chance to show your kids how some creatures go through a metamorphosis in their life cycles.
Butterfly Books for Kids
- Butterflies for Kids by Lauren Davidson
- Hello, Little One: A Monarch Butterfly Story by Zeena Pliska
- A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston
- Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies by Mel Boring
- Learn about the life cycle of butterflies. Have your kids illustrate the life cycle in their nature journals. This butterfly life cycle puzzle is a great hands-on resource. Your younger kids will love snacking on the butterfly life cycle while learning about it with this edible butterfly life cycle activity.
- Get a butterfly kit to watch caterpillars turn into butterflies at home.
- Take a nature walk in late spring through summer to look for butterflies. If you have room in your yard, you could plant a butterfly garden with lots of bright-colored, pollinating flowers.
- Get even more ideas with this butterfly nature study guide.
Learn about Spring as a Season
While it’s fun to learn about plants and animals during spring, this is also a good time to learn about why we have the season of spring. This study fits perfectly around the spring equinox and can be a good starting point for your spring nature studies.
Spring Books for Kids
- Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring by Kenard Pak
- Busy Spring: Nature Wakes Up by Sean Taylor
- And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano
Spring Activities for Kids
- Take a nature walk and observe signs of spring. Have your kids search for buds on trees, the beginnings of bulbs emerging, and signs of animals coming out of hibernation or returning to the area.
- To extend the nature walk, have your kids draw different signs of spring they noticed in a nature journal.
- Enjoy a lovely Spring Poetry Teatime with fun spring themed poetry, teas, and snacks.
- The bright colors of spring are perfect for spring chalk pastel video lessons.
- Enjoy classical music for spring with five beautiful pieces of classical music over at SQUILT.
- Your preschooler will love learning preschool skills with these spring-themed activities.
Cloud Nature Study
Spring weather seems to change daily, if not sometimes hourly, where I live. We may be enjoying sunshine in shorts one day while watching the snow fall the next. Clouds can be a good indicator of the weather we’ll experience. With spring weather being inconsistent much of the time, it’s a good opportunity to observe many different types of clouds in a cloud nature study.
Books about Clouds
- Clouds by Anne Rockwell
- The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola
- Shapes in the Sky by Josepha Sherman
- Down Comes the Rain by Franklin M. Branley
Cloud Activities for Kids
- Observe the clouds in the sky. Do this over several days or one day a week over several weeks so that you’ll get to see different types of clouds. Have kids illustrate their findings in their nature journals.
- Learn about different kinds of clouds. Create a chart in nature journals and describe what each type looks like, where it’s located in the sky, and what kind of weather you find it in.
- Complete a large cloud nature study with Our Journey Westward’s cloud nature study guide, which also includes a picture study with clouds from a variety of artists.
- Your kids will love creating a rain cloud in a jar activity.
Rabbit Nature Study
Rabbits are another great topic for a spring nature study that can also tie into a unit on Easter. Learning about rabbits is also a great way to combine literature and art with nature through a Beatrix Potter unit study or while reading The Green Ember.
Books about Rabbits
Rabbit Activities for Kids
- Take a nature walk and try to find rabbits. Look near grassy areas or vegetable gardens if walking through your neighborhood. They may sit under evergreen trees for safety, so you may also be able to see them there.
- Study the anatomy of a rabbit and have your kids try to draw one and label the parts in their nature journals. This mini unit guide by Stephanie Hathaway includes a printable anatomy poster.
- These garden nature chalk pastel video lessons include a lesson on drawing a bunny.
- Combine literature and rabbits in this Tale of Peter Rabbit nature book club.
As you can see, spring is a wonderful opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the plants and animals spring has to offer. You can choose a couple of topics above, or combine some of them for an extended nature study. So grab a few books and your nature journal and head out to enjoy the beauty found in springtime.