October's Outdoor Hour Challenges from Handbook of Nature Study centered around Trees. The kids and I had started identifying trees at our local park this summer, so we transitioned into these lessons quite nicely. We didn't get all of the challenges done, per se, but made connections none-the-less.
Our fun primarily included going to the park and each choosing a tree to follow all year.
Brynne chose the Maple.
Eli chose the Sweetgum.
And I chose the mighty Oak. I had the kids run around the park and find the tree with the acorns. It took some time, but they found one. We observed the acorns and the oak leaves. Several times through the month I would hold up a leaf at the park to see if they could identify it, trying to focus on the oak, maple, and sweetgum. We are trying to get to know our three trees more intimately, and can't wait to see what they look like covered in snow.
We did bark and leaf rubbings of "our trees", and pressed leaves.
We also spent some of our outdoor park time this month doing a Fall Scavenger Hunt provided by Marcy at Ben and Me. So far we have found everything except a feather and helicopter seeds. We were particularly attracted to all of the moss we found, especially the moss on and at the base of one of the trees in the park. The moss was like a bright green carpet and was so pretty and soft.
Of course I also love the other nature learning that happened spontaneously while focusing on trees, like seeing Brynne chase a "yellow and black butterfly", coming across a walking stick, and finding a limb with some fungus on it and wondering, "what is that?" I have seen my kids being more in tune to what is around them, and it's great!!
Looking forward to nature studies in November! Join us! Head over to Handbook of Nature Study and sign up for email notifications. You will then automatically receive the monthly Outdoor Hour Challenge newsletter with all of the fun activities.