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Nature Study

FREE Butterfly Garden Activities for Families

FREE Butterfly Garden Activities for Families

Are you looking for ways to spend more time with the kids outside? One excellent way to get kids more engaged in the outdoors and interested in nature is to start a butterfly garden. 

FREE Butterfly Garden Activities for Families includes free printables and fun ideas to take your learning outdoors! Create a butterfly garden, learn about their life cycle and more!

You can use a butterfly garden as an opportunity to learn about pollinators and plants with these butterfly garden ideas and free printable activities from Angi. 

The printable activities include: 

  • A butterfly and caterpillar observation sheet
  • A garden journal page

Butterfly Garden Ideas

First, you‚Äôll need to attract butterflies to your yard. Here are several tips to build a new garden or revamp an existing one to increase your chances of attracting colorful pollinators. 

  1. Pick the perfect spot. Plant your flowers in an area of the garden that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. 
  2. Choose butterfly-friendly plants. Flowers that are native to your region are rich in nectar for passing butterflies. 
  3. Include caterpillar-friendly plants. Plants that specific butterflies lay their eggs on are called host plants. For example, monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed plants. If you want to see monarch caterpillars and possibly even a chrysalis in your garden, include a milkweed host plant among the flowers. 
  4. Lay out butterfly shelter. Bushes or logs provide great protection for butterflies from natural predators. 
  5. Add butterfly food and water. Lay out a bowl of water or a bird bath to provide a drink station. An optional but fun step is to lay out ripe fruit, like a banana, out on a saucer to produce even more aromatic sweetness to attract the butterflies. 

Once you have your garden all set up, you can begin to observe and learn about butterflies with the kids. Use the garden as an opportunity to teach about the butterfly life cycle, for example. Below are two additional activities you can try. 

Butterfly Observation Activity

A butterfly garden is also a great place to practice observational skills. Print out this butterfly and caterpillar observation sheet to get started. 

Spend some time out in the garden and encourage your child to use descriptive words to describe the butterflies they see. They can also color them in to help with their descriptions. Then, if you want, you can help them identify each butterfly and caterpillar by looking at a book or guide online.

FREE Butterfly Garden Activities for Families includes free printables and fun ideas to take your learning outdoors! Create a butterfly garden, learn about their life cycle and more!

Garden Journal Activity

Another way to get the kids engaged in the garden is to work together on garden maintenance. Teach them about the importance of plants and get them involved in plant care by letting them help with the watering and weeding. 

Print out this weekly garden journal page to either pin on the fridge or place in a binder. Each week, fill out the page together. You can mark which plants you watered, write down your observations and to-do‚Äôs, and come up with new goals for the garden. 

FREE Butterfly Garden Activities for Families includes free printables and fun ideas to take your learning outdoors! Create a butterfly garden, learn about their life cycle and more!

Use these butterfly garden activities as part of your homeschool curriculum or just as after-school family activities!

Caterpillar to Butterfly Lifecycle Activities

You can add in more learning opportunities with these Caterpillar to Butterfly Lifecycle Activities

Lifecycle - Caterpillar to Butterfly from Starts At Eight
Elementary Enrichment Program – Enriched At Home

Elementary Enrichment Program – Enriched At Home

Have you ever thought about how you would love to do more with your kids? Things like nature and reading, cooking and nutrition? And as parents we all want to raise children with positive character traits! That’s where this elementary enrichment program – Enriched at Home.

Elementary Enrichment Program – Enriched At Home

Enriched At Home is a cutting-edge digital subscription service delivering at-home enrichment modules for families to facilitate with their children.

{I received free access to Enriched at Home and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Enriched At Home is designed to complement every style of elementary education (Grades K-6), allowing families to bridge the gap between traditional school subjects and the development of the whole child.

Each month an Enrichment Kit is delivered (in PDF formant) to provide a framework for developing greater self confidence, health and academic performance.

Each Enrichment Kit Contains Three Research-Backed Modules:

  1. S.E.L.F (Social and Emotional Learning for Families)
  2. Nature
  3. Nutrition

What’s Inside Enriched at Home?

To give you a sense of what is included in each of the categories I’m going to use the February Enrichment Kit as an example.

Ok, ok, I know I am referencing the February Enrichment Kit which inevitably would have a Valentine’s Dayish theme, but I can’t say how much I LOVED the LOVE theme!

S.E.L.F

S.E.L.F – Social and Emotional Learning for Families, is designed to help families institute a comprehensive character education initiative at home. It’s character development with a splash of literature!

Did you know?¬† “Social and emotional learning improves academic achievement by an average off 11 percentile points, increases kindness, sharing, and empathy an improves attitudes towards school and reduces depression and stress.” (J.A. Durlak, 2011)

S.E.L.F in the February Enrichment Kit

Some activities included this month:

  • Affirmations like: “I am loved”, “I am loving”, “I am loveable”
  • Reading & Discussing The Giving Tree and Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Five Love Language Family Activity – this is based on Dr. Gary Chapman’s series of books about The 5 Love Languages. Worksheets are included for the whole family to not only think about their love language but the love language of others in the house.

==>> CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED TODAY! <<==

Nature

  • 4 easy open-and-go activities adaptable to any outside environment
  • Cues to develop observation skills using all 5 senses
  • Parent guide with tips for the field to help you become an instant nature expert

Did you know?¬† “2 hours a week in nature helps reduce stress, and symptoms of ADD and aggression while improving mood, emotional stability, physical health and general well being.” (J. Robbins, 2020)

Nature in the February Enrichment Kit

Some activities included this month:

The nature focus for February is Sky & Weather and include things like:

  • Recording & Forecasting the Weather – this activity includes short sessions over the period of week. Observing the weather and recording your findings such as temperature.
  • Understanding & Observing Clouds – Learn about common types of clouds and then get outside to see what you can find!
  • Catching the Sunset – Take a trip to somewhere special, for us the local beach offers great sunset views!
  • Mapping the Backyard – For this activity you can map the backyard, local park or school playground.

==>> CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED TODAY! <<==

Nutrition

  • A foundational nutrition concept simplified for kids
  • 2 family-friendly recipes that bring it all together to prepare and enjoy
  • Parent guide with ideas to teach the value of nutrition to everyone makes better food choices

Did you know?¬† “Proper nutrition can improve mood, focus, immunity, sleep, and symptoms of disease, while stabilizing energy, reducing sick days and preventing chronic illness.” (U. Maimoo, 2018 and the CDC, 2020)

Nutrition in the February Enrichment Kit

I love that even though this was created to be an elementary enrichment program, so many of the activities can include the whole family! The Nutrition category is a place where you really see this!

February nutrition is all about the sweet tooth! The focus is on how too much is not good. Causing things like our body transforming excess sugar into fat for long term storage.

Some activities included this month:

  • Shifting Your Taste Buds – this is a 3 step process that includes choosing options with natural sugars like fruit, honey, pure maple syrup instead of the usual sugary snacks.
  • Recipes – Guacamole, Apple Crisps

==>> CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED TODAY! <<==

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Including Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail is a great way to not only get up and out in the fresh air, but to include both exercise and learning along the way!

If there’s one thing homeschooling parents know, it’s that diverse learning strategies can mix up their time spent studying and be some of the most memorable and effective ways for kids to learn. Hands-on experiments, learning about life skills, and stepping out into the world to see biology firsthand are all great ways to teach new information and concepts.

National Hiking Day

Time spent on the hiking trail is a great place for learning, which is a wonderful reason to celebrate National Hiking Day. It’s a celebration of America’s amazing hiking trail system, which spans more than 66,000 miles throughout our 50 states, and the many ways that hiking can contribute to our mental and physical well-being.

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Hiking and homeschooling are a natural pair. Here are some of the subjects you can touch on through hiking:

Math

A math or science lesson can easily take place on the trail, whether they’re counting rocks, identifying animal tracks, drawing leaves and flowers in their notebook to research, or even preparing for the journey by planning the volume of their water and food supply, and determining your hike times.

To calculate your hike time follow these steps:

  1. Determine your distance and walking speed.
  2. Add 30 minutes for every 1,000 feet gained in elevation.
  3. Make an estimated addition of time due to sightseeing.
  4. Add the numeric totals in Steps 1 through 3 to come up with an estimated hiking time.

Science

Getting outdoors offers tons of opportunities for science homeschool lessons on the hiking trail.

Click on the image below for tons of FREE Nature Study Resources to help you gather information on your hikes.

Free Nature Study Resources from StartsAtEight

Include Nature Study Options including:

Art

Draw a Bird's Nest ~ Spring Nature Study

Two ways you can include art in your hike are

  1. nature journal along the way on your hike. Here are some more nature journal ideas.
  2. plan to stop and create a painting along the way

Writing

1.Writing can be accomplished with fun nature prompts:

  1. If you were a part of nature, what element would you be?  Why?
  2. Spend 15 minutes outside observing the world around you.  Write about what you notice most.
  3. What is your favorite season?  Why?
  4. When you go outside, which of your senses are you most thankful to have?
  5. Do you consider yourself a nature-lover?  Why or why not?
  6. Would you rather have your favorite season all year long or experience different seasons throughout the year?  Why?
  7. What element of nature speaks to you the most?  Why?
  8. What is your favorite place outside to explore?
  9. How does the weather impact the way you are able to enjoy nature?
  10. Write about your favorite thing that lives outside.  It can be a flower, an animal, a vegetable, etc.
  11. What part of nature are you most thankful for?  Why?
  12. Write a story from the perspective of a bird that can see the entire world from above.
  13. Write a short story about a leaf falling from a tree.
  14. Write a poem about your favorite season.

2. Writing can also be via a nature journal:

Robins - Outdoor Nature Challenge #2 from Starts At Eight

3. Also Check out this FREE Printable Hiking Journal

4. How about creating an acrostic poem for the park or area you are exploring? Fill in the letters of the name with things you see, explore, experience while on your hike.


History/Geography

History…

Many areas have a history all their own. You might find information about Native Americans or early settlers. Or maybe there is a historic battlefield or homestead nearby. Be sure to check online as well as the park information to see what you can find. This is information that can be added to your nature journal!

Geography…

Beyond the basic map skills you will use to find and navigate your hike, you could also experience elevation changes.  If there is a visitor center where you are hiking, see if they have a topographic map you can look at and how elevation changes are noted on the map.  No visitor center? Take a look online and see if there is a topical map you can reference.

Also, be on the look out for geographic features such as ponds and lakes, streams and rivers, hills and mountains.  Are there any plateaus?  Or are you near the water and notice any bays or peninsulas?

Photography

Taking photos is a wonderful way to document your hikes. You can take pictures of signs you see, as well as all the beauty to be found in nature.

Using a camera on your hike also allows you to explore the world of photography with your kids. Everything from framing shots and lighting, to artistic choices and photo editing apps!

Health/Physical Education

There are both cognitive and psychological benefits to hiking. So be sure to count your hikes as PE too!

Physical Health…

Like brisk walking, hiking is a good way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, particularly if your route includes some hills, which will force your heart to work harder. Taking a hike on the slightly uneven surface of a trail also provides a natural way to engage the core muscles in your torso and to hone your balance skills.

Mental Health…

Not only are there cognitive benefits of hiking, but both kids and adults can benefit psychologically and socially from hiking as well.

One of the most impressive ways hikers benefit from their treks is a reduction in the brain function associated with depression. Time spent in nature has been linked by scientific study to reduced subgenual prefrontal cortex activity — this is the area of the brain where depression happens. For children, this outdoor time has the potential to improve their mental health well into adulthood.

Social Benefits…

When families socialize with each other on the trail, a lot of good things happen:

  • There are opportunities for quality time with parents
  • forming closer bonds with peers and siblings
  • chances for kids to practice cooperating with a group to reach a mutual goal

Hiking is also associated with an increase in the frequency and duration of both social and physical engagement, so it’s a great exercise choice for both mind and the body.

Whether close to home or on trails unknown, a family hike is a wonderful way to learn and celebrate National Hiking Day.

To learn about trails in your area, visit All Trails.

Teaching Seasons and Months Using A Busy Year

Teaching Seasons and Months Using A Busy Year

Teaching seasons and months was one of the things I loved best when the kids were little! There are so many colorful books, songs, and printables available for teaching seasons and months!

Teaching Seasons and Months

{This post was originally from 2012 and has been updated with current links and more resources}

A Busy Year by Leo Lionni ~ Seasons & Months Printables & Resources from Starts At EightAva and I have been reading A Busy Year by Leo Lionni.  This book is a fantastic base for digging into both the seasons and months of the year, as well as a great story to work on story sequencing.  I compiled some fun activities to reinforce these concepts.

4 Seasons Printables:

Months of the Year Printables:

We used a cut/paste activity sheet to match the month to what happened in A Busy Year. (While the one we used isn’t available anymore, I created something similar.)

==>> Get the FREE A Busy Year Sequencing Printable Here <<==

The Spring, Summer, Fall Winter coloring sheet was done separately and just added on. Here are a few free Seasons Coloring Sheets to choose from:

A Busy Year by Leo Lionni ~ Seasons & Months Printables & Resources from Starts At Eight

Months of the Year Song:

A Busy Year Discussion Questions:

Here are some basic discussion questions to use with your child.  Some are straight forward comprehension questions and others rely on the child to think a little bit deeper:

  1. Where do Willie and Winnie live?  (McBarney Barn)
  2. How did the twins feel when they heard Woody talk? (surprised)
  3. In this book what is the weather like in March? (windy and rainy)
  4. Why does Woody like the rain? (Trees need rain to grow)
  5. What is your favorite type of weather?
  6. Woody says that May is “my month!” ¬†What does Woody look like in May? (he has blossoms and leaves)
  7. What is your favorite season or month? Why?
  8. How do Willie and Winnie help Woody in July? (They use a hose to keep the fire from getting to Woody)
  9. Tell about a time when you helped someone.
  10. Where do the twins go in August? (to the seashore)
  11. What does Woody have int September? (fruit)
  12. What type of fruit do you think it is? (any fruit that grows on trees and looks similar, ex. apple)
  13. What happens to Woody in October? (leaves blow off)  How do the twins feel about this? (sad or worried)
  14. What presents did Willie and Winnie give to Woody for Christmas? ( flower seeds to plant, bulbs, manure)

You can also use this A Busy Year Book Companion that includes things like vocabulary practice and a mini tree report.

Fredrick was Ava’s favorite and she was thrilled that it was one of the ones done in the video¬†Swimmy…and more classic Leo Lionni stories.

More Seasonal Unit Studies

SPRING: Homeschool Gardening Unit

Homeschool Gardening Unit from Starts At Eight

SUMMER: Teach Bugs and Insects Using Eric Carle BooksTeach Bugs and Insects Using Eric Carle Books from Starts At Eight

WINTER: 3 Fun Snowman Activities

3 Fun Snowman Activities from Starts At Eight

FALL: Johnny Appleseed Unit

Johnny Appleseed / Apple Unit from Starts At Eight

Earth Day Resources for Kids – Books/Projects/Food and More!

Earth Day Resources for Kids – Books/Projects/Food and More!

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd with events worldwide in support of the environment, as well as to raise awareness for the environmental care and protection of our planet. This is a great time to celebrate nature, the earth, and teach our kids about how we can help preserve our planet. This Earth Day engage your kids in some fun recycling activities, do an earth related craft project, and read some great book about our wonderful planet. This article has TONS of Earth Day Resources for Kids for you to choose from!

Earth Day Resources for Kids from Starts At Eight. This mega list of earth day resources includes books, printables, activities, crafts, snacks, and service projects to help kids learn about the earth and how they can help preserve it!

Earth Day Resources

Printables

  1. This first one is both a printable and activity. The goal of this Earth Day Scavenger Hunt is to not only find the items listed but also discuss how they relate to being eco-friendly.
  2. FREE Coloring Page Рa bold coloring page that will be suitable and fun for all ages!
  3. Book Marks – These are cute, printable books marks from 3 Dinosaurs are great for laminating and using with your kids! And they’re FREE!
  4. Lorax Inspired Coloring Sheet – We love the Lorax! You can check out all our Lorax Resources: The Lorax Activities + Printables = Lapbook and Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax Resources and Printables. Be sure to also go and print this FREE Coloring Sheet!
  5. Printable Memory Game – This is a FREE Printable Earth Themed Memory Game!
  6. Earth Day Printable Packet –¬†This FREE activity pack will teach your kids what Earth Day is, why we celebrate it and what we can do to help the Earth. The¬†8 page packet not only teaches these concepts but also includes some fun activities as well.

Books


Activities

Earth Day Resources for Kids from Starts At Eight. This mega list of earth day resources includes books, printables, activities, crafts, snacks, and service projects to help kids learn about the earth and how they can help preserve it!

  1. Songs! – As many of you know we love learning via song! We have math songs, Spanish songs, state and president songs! Now check out this cool collection of songs for Earth Day and recycling!
  2. Videos! – Here’s a great collection of videos for kids including Peppa Pig Recycling and more!
  3. It’s Time to Recycle Game –¬†A fun way to review the numbers on a clock as well as things you can recycle.
  4. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt – What better way to appreciate Mother Earth than to search the outdoors for treasures? You can search your own back yard or venture into your closest park! And here are some more Scavenger Hunt Ideas & Printables.
  5. Plastic Cup Mini Greenhouse – “These plastic cup greenhouses are perfect for planting with kids. They speed the up the sprouting process, they almost always ensure success and they’re a great way to put random leftover birthday party cups to good use!”
  6. Bingo – Free Printable Earth Day Bingo Game

Crafts/Art Projects

Earth Day Resources for Kids from Starts At Eight. This mega list of earth day resources includes books, printables, activities, crafts, snacks, and service projects to help kids learn about the earth and how they can help preserve it!

  1. Trufflula Tree Watercolor Art – “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” Create beautiful water color trees with this tutorial!
  2. Paper Plate Weaving – “Paper plate weaving is a fantastic fine motor challenge. This simple paper plate weaving activity is a fun way to spark discussion with your students about stewardship of the earth while encouraging creativity!”
  3. Upcycled Suncatchers – Using something like the clear berry boxes you can make these cool suncatchers!
  4. Salt Dough Necklaces – Salt dough has SO many uses! These are cute and simple necklaces to make with salt dough, some ribbon, and paint!
  5. Earth Day Agamograph –¬†What’s an Agamograph? A picture that morphs into another when you look at it from a different angle. This one is an image of the Earth that morphs into a recycling symbol, and another image of rain drops that morph into a tree!

Snacks

Earth Day Resources for Kids from Starts At Eight. This mega list of earth day resources includes books, printables, activities, crafts, snacks, and service projects to help kids learn about the earth and how they can help preserve it!

  1. Earth Day Popcorn Рnot only is there direction for green and blue popcorn, but cute treat cups too!
  2. Earth Cookies РThese cute earth shaped blue and green cookies are sure to delight!
  3. Cupcakes – I love the added touch of the red heart frosting in the center of these!
  4. Earth Inspired Lunch – This cutie includes broccoli, grapes and PBJ!

Service Projects

Earth Day Resources for Kids from Starts At Eight. This mega list of earth day resources includes books, printables, activities, crafts, snacks, and service projects to help kids learn about the earth and how they can help preserve it!

  1. Park Clean Up – participate in a park clean up. Can’t find an organized one in your local area? Just head out to your favorite local park with gloves and garbage bags and do your own clean up!
  2. Start a Community Garden – We have many local places that have community gardens. Instead of just picking up your produce why not help out? Or gather people up and start your own!
  3. Plant a Tree – There are always more trees being cut down then planted! Give back to the earth by planting a tree!
  4. Volunteer – Volunteer to help sort at a local recycling center.
  5. It Starts At Home – How about all the little things you can do at home like water conservation, using less electric, etc. These Printable Earth Day Action Reminder Cards are great to help kids remember all the little things they can do on a daily basis around the house to be more earth friendly!
North American Bird Nature Study

North American Bird Nature Study

Springtime is big nature study time in our house. The winter months are cold here so we tend to hibernate a little, but as soon as spring hits we can’t wait to get outside. One of our most favorite things to do is check out the birds in our area. It is very simple to do a North American Bird Nature Study with a few easy to find resources and a little curiosity.

North American Bird Nature Study - Resources, Books, Printables, Freebies & More! from Starts At Eight

Things to Have on Hand

When spring comes and we prepare for nature study time – in this case a North American Bird Nature Study, there are a few must have items that we pull out to get us going.

Nature Journal/Notebook

This can be one you have purchased, blank white or lined pages, or printable notebook pages. We have been using a combination of white card stock paper and printable notebook pages. Since we have spread our study out over years (sometimes adding more to a topic) we keep all our loose pages in a folder and plan to bind them when we are done.

FREE Printable Activity Book: ¬†Creamer’s Field Student Activity Book

This printable activity book has several different birds in it like geese, ducks, birds of prey, cranes, chickadees and sparrows. Each page has a color number code so you know what color to color the bird.

Colored Pencils

While you can use markers or crayons we have found colored pencils give you the best drawing control along with a large variety of colors. We also like Twistable Colored Pencils because there is no need to have a sharpener on hand, just twist and it is like new again!

North American Bird Field Guide

We like the National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America and Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America.

You can find a ton of great free field guides and resources in this FREE Nature Study Resources Page including How to Attract Birds, The First Book of Birds, and more!

Another great resource to use as a field guide is the iBird Pro Guide to Birds app

Two great online identification sites: North American Bird Photo Gallery and Birds of North America


Binoculars

While you can certainly observe nature without binoculars, when it comes to something like birds, that tend to be flying around or high up in trees, it can be a great help to have binoculars.

Camera

We like to have a camera on hand when we do our nature studies. While we like to at least attempt to sketch or draw in our nature journals, sometimes it is difficult to do and having a photo is a great alternative. Another reason we use the camera is for things that might not stay in place long enough for us to sketch them, like birds, butterflies and other animals.

Backyard Birds of North America

Bird Nature Study Activities

1. Outdoor Nature Challenge: Robins

_MG_8581blog

2. First Signs of Spring РNorth American Robin Рfree printables resources & crafts

3. Backyard Birds & Birds of Prey Printable Units

4. Bluebird Nature Walk – Facts & Nesting Boxes

Bluebird Nature Walk ~ Facts & Nesting Boxes from Starts At Eight

5. Two awesome coloring books that you can use in place of drawing your own. These are great for younger children who are not yet ready to draw, as well as for us older folk who are not very gifted in the drawing department! Audubon’s Birds of America Coloring Book & ¬†The Birdwatcher’s Coloring Book from Dover.

6. Chalk Pastel Drawing

Draw a Bird's Nest ~ Spring Nature Study

Teach Bugs and Insects Using Eric Carle Books

Teach Bugs and Insects Using Eric Carle Books

If you have young children, I am sure you have seen at least one Eric Carle book. The illustrations are brightly colored and very distinguishable. We love them so much that I created Bug & Insect Units around some of them. It is fun and engaging to teach bugs and insects using Eric Carle books!

Teach Bugs and Insects Using Eric Carle Books from Starts At Eight

Teach Bugs and Insects Using Eric Carle Books:

1. A General Bug and Insect Unit

What is an Insect? A Unit Study from Starts At Eight

Learn about what makes an insect and insect.  Label a free diagram and make a fun craft in this general bug/insect mini unit.  This includes many great website and book resources for any bug/insect unity study.

2. The Grouchy Ladybug

A Bug/Insect Unit Using Eric Carle Books: The Grouchy Ladybug from Starts At Eight

Did you know there are over 5,000 species of ladybugs? ¬†We didn’t until we read this book and dug more into the world of ladybugs. ¬†Read The Grouchy Ladybug, watch a life cycle video, create a fun lapbook, make a cute edible treat and more in this ladybug unti study.

3. The Very Busy Spider

A Bug/Insect Unit Using Eric Carle Books: The Very Busy Spider from Starts At Eight

In this bug/insect unit about spiders you will read The Very Busy Spider.  Then your child will learn spider facts, complete a spider lapbook, learn a fun song, and more!

4. The Very Quiet Cricket

A Bug/Insect Unit Using Eric Carle Books: The Very Quiet Cricket from Starts At Eight

In this bug/insect unit you will read The Very Quiet Cricket.  Your child will learn about crickets and how they are different from grasshoppers.

5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

While I have not finished the Hungry Caterpillar specific unit study (It will be COMING SOON) I do have a fun mini-unit on the Caterpillar to Butterfly Life-Cycle.  As well as an article about visiting a Butterfly Garden to enhance your study (also COMING SOON).

6. The Honeybee and the Robber

The Honeybee & the Robber is a fun moving/picture book about a honeybee and the bear who tried to rob the hive. I created this fun All About Bees unit study to go along with it.  This includes a fun science video for kids, a lapbook, labeling activities and more!

All About Bees Unit Study from Starts At Eight

All About Bees Unit Study

All About Bees Unit Study

Spring is here and the bees have been invading us all around!  It has given us the perfect opportunity to learn about them.  Since we collected resources, and learned about them ourselves, I thought I would share our All About Bees Unit Study for others to enjoy.

All About Bees Unit Study from Starts At Eight

Like with most of our unit studies these days, this one began as whim of our little one and thus turned into a unit study.  We usually head off to library to gather books which we read over a period of a week or two.

Then we began putting all that information we learned together using this FREE All About Bees Lapbook from Homeschoolshare.  We created a video to show you the lapbook and tell you some of the things we learned about bees.

All About Bees Lapbook Video:

This book, The Bumble Bee Queen by April Pulley Sayre is a fantastic book with lots of information about bees in story form.  We had taken the physical book out of the library and then I found this one in video form that was such much fun to watch.

The Bumble Bee Queen Animated Science Story:

Finding Out About Bees for Kids:

Related All About Bees Facts:

All About Bees Printable Resources:

  • Honey Bees Project Pack and Lapbook
  • Do All Bees Make Honey? –¬†This daily science unit from Evan-Moor for grade 4 presents information and five activities in which students learn about the various jobs that bees have in the hive (including some that make honey), about how bees need flowers, and about how flowers need bees for pollination.
  • Honey Bees Notebooking Pages –¬†This set contains 44 notebooking pages embellished with images of bees, apiaries, bee keepers, honey, honey comb and more.
  • Bees ~ Colors, Shapes & Numbers – for preschoolers
  • Bee Activities from Enchanted Learning – things like labeling, bee word wheel, poems and more.
A Spring Chalk Pastels Art Tutorial & Spring Nature Study Resources

A Spring Chalk Pastels Art Tutorial & Spring Nature Study Resources

Here in New York spring is coming around late as usual. ¬†But that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare to get outside and explore nature! ¬†While others actually get to get outside to see bird nests, we are just creating them in art class! ¬†Using the Spring Chalk Pastels Art Tutorial from Southern Hodgepodge we have created our very own birds nests! ¬†I have also compiled a host of FREE and low cost Spring Nature Study Resources!

Spring Chalk Pastels Art Tutorial & Spring Nature Study Resources from Starts At Eight

We have started anticipating the arrival of actual spring weather here in NY with some fabulous art! A Seasonal Start in Spring Chalk Pastels is now available for beginning or continuing art lessons in the chalk pastel medium.

Draw a Bird's Nest ~ Spring Nature Study

What’s included in this art curriculum?

Tutorials for things like:

  • Rain
  • Rainbow
  • Swing
  • Spring tree
  • Quilt on a clothesline
  • Bird‚Äôs nest (try the FREE video tutorial)
  • Three little chicks
  • And More!!

 

Spring & Bird Nature Notebooking Resources:

  1. Use these Spring Nature Study Notebooking pages to help in your bird study!
  2. FREE Backyard Birds Lapbook
  3. FREE Audubon Notebooking Pages and artist study
  4. FREE Feeder Birds Coloring Book
  5. John James Audubon Nature Notebooking and Bird Study from Harrington Harmonies

You are an Artist!

Nature Study Tips from iHomeschool Network РA  G+ Hangout

Other Bird/Nature Related Posts:

 1. Bluebird Nature Walk ~ Includes Facts & Nesting Boxes

Bluebird Nature Walk ~ Facts & Nesting Boxes from Starts At Eight

2. Where Do Chicks Come From? ~ An Elementary Science Unit Study

Where Do Chicks Come From ~ An Elementary Science Unit Study from Starts At Eight

3. Robins ‚Äď Outdoor Hour Nature Challenge #2

Robins - Outdoor Nature Challenge #2 from Starts At Eight

4. FREE Nature Study Resources

Free Nature Study Resources from StartsAtEight

5.¬†Nature Study: Daffodils ‚Äď Dissection, Poetry & Drawings

Nature Study: Daffodils from Starts At Eight

Christmas Tree Science ~ Resources for Studying Conifers

Christmas Tree Science ~ Resources for Studying Conifers

Each year we set out about 3 weeks before Christmas to cut down our Christmas tree.  Check out our Christmas Tree Memories to get a look at what a fun experience it can be to cut down your own tree.  We bundle up and head out to a local tree farm where you can find a plethora of different types of Christmas trees to choose from.  Trees like the Fraser,  Balsam, and Douglas Firs and the Concolor, Norway,  Blue & White Spruces.  But what are the differences in these trees?   What makes these types of trees good for use as our Christmas Trees?  As a homeschool family we use this opportunity to include Christmas Tree Science as we have so fondly deemed it.

Christmas Tree Science - Resources for Studying Conifers from Starts At Eight

Christmas Tree Science Facts:

  1. All Christmas Trees are conifers.  This means that they produce cones.
  2. They are also evergreen which means they do not shed their needles.  Their needles (leaves) are unique because of their hard narrow shape.
  3. There are approximately 30 million Christmas trees told in the United States each year.
  4. It can takes as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (approximately 7 feet).  Average growing time is about 7 years.
  5. We prefer a Fraser tree for our home.  The combination of the pleasing pyramidal form, good needle retention,  dark blue-green color and pleasant scent have led the Fraser firs to become one of the most popular Christmas trees.
  6. The most popular Christmas trees are: noble, balsam, Douglas and Fraser firs and Scotch, Virginia, and White Pine.
  7. For more Christmas Tree Facts check out this printable called Real Tree Fast Facts.

Christmas Tree Identification:

Heading out to cut our won tree gives us a great chance to check out the different types.  Even if you are putting up an artificial tree you can still go to your local tree farm to check out the different types for yourself.

Check out the National Christmas Tree Associations website  for a quick look at Christmas Tree Characteristics.  You can print the page out and take it with you to the tree farm.

Video on Identifying Christmas Tree Varieties:

Christmas Tree Science Resources:

  • Real Trees 4 Kids¬†– this is my most favorite site for studying Christmas trees. ¬†They have all their activities broken down into grade levels and it is all FREE!
  • Constant Conifers NaturExplorers Unit¬†–¬†Do you know why conifers have thin, waxy leaves? Where are their seeds housed? Why don’t conifers produce flowers – or do they? What’s the difference between a conifer and an evergreen? These questions, and so many more, are answered through fun investigations.
  • Deciduous and Evergreen – Speedy Lapbook
  • Learning About Trees
  • Christmas Tree Mini Unit – Looking for a fun and educational way to “jazz” up the learning for the holidays? This Mini-Unit includes the History and Tradition of the Christmas Tree; Types of Trees; Tree Farming; and How Artificial Trees are Made. Also includes a Review Worksheet; Math pages for younger and older students, activities and coloring pages.
  • Tremendous Trees – An Amanda Bennett Download N Go‚ĄĘ One-Week Unit Study/Lapbook

Fall Nature Walk – Scavenger Hunt Lists & Resources

Fall Nature Walk – Scavenger Hunt Lists & Resources

FALL is here! Fall is here! While summer is my favorite season, fall takes a close second! The changing colors, pumpkins, fresh donuts and cider, apple picking, hay rides, & more make fall a fun time of year here in New York. This is the time to put on long sleeves, some good sneakers and head out to enjoy the changing of the seasons. To help you do this I have created FREE Fall Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt Lists and gathered some nature resources together for you.

Fall Nature Walk ~ Scavenger Hunt Lists & Resources from Starts At Eight

There is so much to explore out in our world. Nature offers up so many wonders for us to study. Fall is a great time to spend outdoors exploring the many types of trees, flowers, animals and more. Grab a field guide, or two! Here is a great article with loads of Free Nature Study Resources for you to use and take along on your explorations.

There are also loads of Autumn Nature Study Resources including notebooking pages over at The Handbook of Nature Study website!

You can also read my tips on taking Fall Nature Walks, over at  Hip Homeschool Moms.

Printable Scavenger Hunt Lists

Fall Scavenger Hunt List
I have created two variations of printable scavenger hunt lists.

The first one is for Middle and High School ages and is more specific in nature. Please feel free to download the Fall Nature Walk РScavenger Hunt List for Middle & High School and use it in your homeschool.  If you love it, please consider sharing this post with others so that they may enjoy it as well!

The second one is for Elementary ages and is more general in nature and includes colors and shapes as well.  Please feel free to download the Fall Nature Walk РScavenger Hunt List for Elementary School as well to use in your homeschool.

Other Fall Stuff:

Fall Leaves Fall from Starts At Eight

  1. Fall Leaves Fall – use the things you find to create fun crafts.
  2. Oil Pastel Resistant Pumpkin Project – A fun art project using oil pastels and paint.
  3. Pumpkin Jack Рa Fall Nature Study using the book Pumpkin Jack as the basis. COMING SOON
  4. 10 Fall Leaf Crafts & Activities – A round up of some of our favorite fall crafts and activities.
  5. Fall Poetry Leaf Painting Project – Combine a fall poem with a simple fall tree painting tutorial and you have a beautiful decoration for your wall for years to come!
A Bug/Insect Unit Using Eric Carle Books ~ The Very Quiet Cricket

A Bug/Insect Unit Using Eric Carle Books ~ The Very Quiet Cricket

Two weeks ago I shared The Grouchy Ladybug portion of our Bug/Insect Unit Study. Then last week we continued our Bug/Insect Unit, entering the world of spiders. This week we are learning about crickets, enjoying The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle, and also comparing/contrasting crickets to grasshoppers.

A Bug/Insect Unit Using Eric Carle Books: The Very Quiet Cricket from Starts At Eight

The Very Quiet Cricket Storybook:


The Very Quiet Cricket Video:

You can watch a video adaptation of The Very Quiet Cricket here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhm9kf_the-very-quiet-cricket_animals


Watch the cricket life cycle in a breeding habitat:


What is the difference between Cricket and Grasshopper?


‚ÄĘ Crickets have long antennae while grasshoppers have short ones.
‚ÄĘ Crickets make sounds with the help of organs on their forelegs, while these organs are on the abdomen of the grasshoppers.
‚ÄĘ Crickets make sound by rubbing wings together, while grasshoppers do so by rubbing hind leg with forewings.
‚ÄĘ Grasshoppers can be seen in both day and nights, while crickets come out only at nights.
‚ÄĘ The feeding habits of grasshoppers differ from that of grasshoppers. While grasshoppers are herbivorous, crickets are predatory in nature and are both omnivorous as well as herbivorous.
‚ÄĘ Grasshoppers are mostly green to blend into grass or vegetation though there are many bright colored varieties of grasshoppers in the world.
‚ÄĘ Crickets are mostly dark colored (black or brown) to blend into the night or vegetation.
‚ÄĘ Crickets have ears in legs, whereas grasshoppers have ears in their abdomen.
‚ÄĘ Grasshoppers can fly, also jump higher. Crickets‚Äô wings are mostly absent, and they do not fly.

Other Resources:

  1. Read more: eHow’s How to Tell a Cricket from a Grasshopper
  2. The Very Quiet Cricket Craft
  3. A plethora of Very Quiet Cricket Activities like bookmarks, story sequencing, a puzzle, and more!

Check out the other books in this Bug/Insect unit:

Teach Bugs and Insects Using Eric Carle Books from Starts At Eight

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