Are you feeling the winter blues yet? Waiting for what seems like an eternity for summer to get here? Sounds like you need something to break up those winter blues! I have to admit, winter can get cold and dreary, but it can also be fun, exciting, and educational. Have you tried incorporating winter nature studies into your homeschool yet?
If you have tried them and need some inspiration on new winter nature studies, or if you haven’t and need some ideas on how to get started, you’ve definitely come to the right place! There are so many ways to do winter nature studies to break up those dreadful winter blues, so without further ado, let’s tackle these fun winter nature studies! (Oh! And don’t forget to sign up for my FREE 17-Page 4 Seasons Nature Scavenger Hunt Activity Pack linked at the bottom of this post!!)
Scavenger Hunts, Bingo Games, Board Games & Activities
There are so many things to search for when you’re out in the great outdoors. Of course maybe not as much as you would in the summer, but there are still plenty of things to search for: animals and birds, animal tracks, leaves, icicles, trees, clouds, streams, rivers, pine needles, twigs, and much more. Have fun with finding the items and bring them inside for the indoors part of your winter nature studies. Keep the items on your nature study table to research and learn more about each of the items. Sometimes it’s just too cold to go outside so you might try some nature board games and activities as well.
Make Bird Feeders
There are so many fun bird feeders you can make that are actually pretty easy to make. For example, you can melt lard, suet, or just plain old bacon grease, mix it with a bunch of bird seed, put the mixture into little containers or yogurt cups, put a string in the mixture, and let it cool until it gets hard. Then you gently wiggle the hardened mixture out of the container and hang it up outside for the birds!
Reading About Nature
Incorporate nature into your reading curriculum. There are many great books to choose from that will even inspire you more to learn about nature!
These are so fun and simple. You can research how a bird flies and do a science project on how birds are made to fly. Or you can take the bird feeder you made and put it by the window so you can watch and identify the birds that are eating from your feeder. Document the findings in your nature journal.
When it comes to doing winter nature studies, trees take the cake because there are so many ways to study trees. If you happen to find a cut log, you can count the rings to determine how old it is. Learn about the life cycle of a tree and how it evolves throughout the seasons in the year. Identify the different types of trees there are by the type of bark it has.
Winter Weather Study
There are plenty of winter nature studies considering the weather. Discover which clouds produce snow and how it’s formed. Have your kiddos keep a journal of the temperatures throughout winter and log it into a bar graph for a science and math lesson. You can also study how blizzards and snowstorms are developed.
Winter Animal Study
This is my absolute favorite (well, besides making and sharing my unit studies)! Animals are so interesting and there’s just so much to learn about them! Go on a nature walk and identify the animal prints you find. Learn about animals that thrive in the winter and ones that hibernate. Find out how animals thrive in the barren winter.
Craft, Art, and Music Projects
There are a plethora of craft, art, and even music projects you can make while you’re doing your winter nature studies! You can paint items you find out in nature and stamp them onto paper to make designs. Make your own wreaths, gifts, and ornaments for Christmas out of things you find in the outdoors. Or how about making your own wind chimes out of twigs, rocks, and other fun things you find.
Build a Snowman
I’m sure this one will be a favorite for the kids. Give them a challenge though. Don’t give them any materials or accessories for the snowman. Charcoal for the buttons or eyes? A carrot for the nose? No way! Make them get creative searching for things they find outside in nature for the snowman’s accessories. Maybe some leaves or rocks for the buttons and so on.<
Build a Quinzee Hut
Quinzee huts are little huts similar to igloos, but they’re made from snow instead. These are really easy and fun to make. Just grab a shovel and start piling up snow. My rule of thumb is the pile of snow should be taller than you! Once you have your giant mound of snow, gather a bunch of twigs and sticks that are about a foot long. Stick the twigs all over the quinzee hut leaving half of the stick showing. This will make sure the quinzee hut stays solid over time.
Once that part is done, you wait at least six hours for the snow to set and become hard. Then you’ll take a hand shovel to hollow out enough space for you to fit in the hut. If you don’t have a hand shovel, I would just recommend using a regular sized dinner plate to scoop and hollow out your hut. It makes a pretty cool little fort for the kids. My son and I actually learned how to build one on a winter survival course we took in the Minnesota Northwoods.
Catch and Photograph Snowflakes
If you have a kiddo that is interested in photography, you can have them take a piece of black construction paper, let the snowflakes drop on the paper, and photograph all of the different sizes and shapes of them.
Make a Snow Gauge
This is such a simple little task to add to your winter nature studies, but still a learning lesson. Get a paint mixing stick from the hardware store and have the kiddos make a ruler out of it to measure how deep the snow is. Of course, they could just use a plain old ruler to measure how deep the snow is, but where’s the fun in that?
Another measuring task. Have the kids collect measurements of different icicles and determine what the volume is for each one. Then you can have them document the information into a graph as well.
Science Lesson on Boiling Water
This is definitely something that an adult would do demonstration and the child would do the learning. If the temperatures are below zero, you can boil plain water in a saucepan (with some food coloring for an extra effect). Once the water comes to a full rolling boil, swing it like you’re swinging a baseball bat and watch it instantly become snow! You can do a science project on how the “matter” changes in a matter of seconds.
And there you have it folks…some great ideas for winter nature studies! I hope you’re fully inspired and ready to incorporate these fun winter nature study ideas into your homeschool. Turn those winter blues upside down! For more year-round nature study ideas, you can check out my latest article on 69+ Nature Study Ideas That Make You Want to Homeschool Outside!
What did you think about this article? Have you ventured out on any nature studies of your own? Drop a comment below and tell me your thoughts! If you like this article, please share the fun with your friends & family. Also! Be sure to sign up for my freebie 17-Page 4 Seasons Nature Scavenger Hunt Activity Pack HERE!!
Your Minnesota Country Girl, Sharla
Hey everyone! I’m Sharla Fossen from Minnesota Country Girl. I’m a single mom, blogger, homesteader, homeschool mom, and avid gardener. Minnesota Country Girl provides tips, encouragement, resources, support, and inspires families to become self-sufficient on the homestead and in homeschool. If you’re looking for some guidance and resources on homesteading, gardening, or homeschooling, I’ve got you covered! You can find me at Minnesota Country Girl and I’m also on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Thanks for taking your time to learn more about MCG and I look forward to connecting with you!