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For many of us, the winter months can feel long, dreary and cold. Many of our outdoor homeschool activities are put on hold until the weather warms up. Following are some fun nature study ideas which will warm up your days!

1. Studying Nature Tracks. If it snows where you live, you are sure to find animal tracks in the snow. Take pictures of the tracks so your student can create a journal where he/she draws the tracks then uses the internet to research which animal left the track.

2. Birdwatching. Oftentimes, we think there aren’t many birds in our backyards during the winter months. Have your child build a bird feeder and watch how many birds will come to visit. Take pictures of the birds, research the birds and their migration patterns, keep a tally of which birds feed in the early morning or in the evening and add the findings to their nature journal.

3. Walking Through The Evergreen Trees. Even the winter months have warmer days. Take a trip to a local conservation area where you’ll be surrounded by the many types of evergreen trees in your area. Have your child study the type of tree, its needles and the pine scent for each type of evergreen.

4. Studying Ice. Do you live in an area where icicles form? Measure the icicles on each day of the week and record the changes. Did they get longer? Did they get wider? Do they look white or clear? If it isn’t cold enough for icicles, place bowls of water (different depths) outside and watch to see how long they take to freeze. Now, add some salt. What happens?

5. Measuring Snow. After the next snowfall, ask your child to collect two bowls of snow to bring inside. Measure the depth and weight of each bowl. Allow the snow to melt. Did any of their findings change?

6. Magnifying A Snowflake. Use a magnifying glass to take a close look at the beautiful crystals found in a snowflake. If your child has an interest in photography, encourage him/her to capture the crystals in a photograph.

7. Cozying Up To Nature. Not all activities have to be done outdoors. There are plenty of nature documentaries which are fun and informative. Gather around the TV with a cup of hot cocoa and explore nature from the comfort of your couch.

We would love to hear about your learning experiences! Feel free to share your findings and any pictures you take with your learning coach. Have fun and stay warm!

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