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Small Square Study ~ Outdoor Hour Challenge

Last week's Outdoor Hour Challenge was to observe one small square of nature. I took the kids outside and told them to walk around and find any spot around our house that they wanted to observe. Our yard actually would have been a great place to do this because we just moved here and there has not been any landscaping to the yard at all. It is primitive. But, they insisted on going across the street to an empty grass lot that has some shady trees. It was their nature experience, so I relented. They each went to the spot they wanted to observe and I made a, roughly, 1' x 1' square with craft sticks and yarn.

I handed them their notebooking pages and some colored pencils and told them to just observe their square. They could dig around and see what was underground, etc. Sadly, they just weren't really into doing this. It felt like more of an assignment instead of a nature adventure. I think that if they would have chosen a more interesting square (like in our yard), it would have been a little more fun. But, I had them just go with their choices.

They wrote on their notebooking pages the things they observed that were living and non-living. Mostly their squares consisted of dirt, some clover, some dried grass, and some ants.

They drew and colored what they found in their square in the bottom section of the notebooking page and we put them in their nature journals.

This next week we'll be back at the park doing some exploration and completing the last assignment from the September Outdoor Hour Challenge Newsletter. It has been so great to have these ideas and I am thrilled that we are actually going to complete our first full month of challenges!!!


  1. Have you seen the book series One Small Square? They are awesome. I can't wait to do them again.

  2. Sometimes it goes that way...try to remember it is their study and just go with it. I have to admit that it really depends on where you are when you pick your square that can make the difference. Our family has done this activity when we travel at the beach, in the desert, in the redwoods and those were far more interesting than in our yard.

    Thanks for sharing your experience...I appreciate your honesty. :)

  3. We always loved doing small square challenges and also loved the small square books.


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