Nature Walks and Activities
My favorite way to help the children become more observant of their natural surroundings is through nature walks. I am pretty confidant this idea stems from Charlotte Mason who advocated getting children outside at least once a day in all sorts of weather. We are a bit more lax. Instead, we opt to traverse about on nice, pleasant days. Sometimes, we bring notebooks, pencils, colored pencils, and identification books. On these walks, we'll pause in an area and try to draw a plant, animal, rock, cloud, or something else of interest. After we have spent time observing the details, we search through the appropriate identification book and read the information outlined in the book about our chosen subject. Then, the child will write, or dictate as I write, a few sentences about the item. More recently, we have started bringing the cameras along. This allows the children to photograph bugs, leaves, or trees of interest.
For more hands on learning ideas about nature, we like
The Kid's Nature Book, by Susan Milord
Fun with Nature: Take Along Guide, by Mel Boring, Diane Burns, and Leslie Dendy
More Fun with Nature: Take Along Guide, by Laura, Evert, Mel Boring, Diane Burns, Christiane Tibbitts, Linda Garrow, and John McGee