• Rachel Tidd

9 Ways To Bring Nature Inside

Updated: May 22, 2018

March has been the snowiest of the winter so far here in upstate NY! We have at least 18 inches of snow on the ground. While snow is very fun and you can still do lots of learning outside in any weather, I am hoping for some spring weather!

We are not outside all the time, despite what it may look like! I make sure the kids are outside everyday (in addition to Forest school), but at this point in the winter everyone is ready for a change. There are some ways you can bring some green and nature inside during these last few days of spring!

1. Plant some seeds! Or flower bulbs! Beans, marigolds, calendula, herbs are all so fun to start indoors! You don't need anything fancy. Grab some potting soil and recycle some yogurt cups or egg cartons and start planting! It feels so good to get your hands covered in dirt this time of year! (sneak some math in by having the kids figure out how many containers you will need, the budget for seeds and soil, how much soil will you need to fill all your containers? How many seeds in each? How deep do they need to be planted? Keep track of a plants growth with a graph of its height daily or in a journal! Sneak in some writing by making them write some observations every few days!)

(No he did not paint the bird:))

2. Nature Journaling! Nature journaling can be done inside or out! Practice your observation skills by sketching a natural object you have picked up on your explorations. Get your watercolors out and paint the sky at different times of the day (a great science and math activity!) I am really loving the books Drawn to Nature, Law's Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling and Keeping a Nature Journal (my favorite so far!). We got our watercolors at Joanns.

3. Play a nature themed game like Wildcraft!, Bird match or Insect Bingo, Flower Go Fish, Photosynthsis, Evolution, Camp or Hit the Habitat Trail.

4. Bring in some natural loose parts! Loose parts are open ended materials that children can use in all kinds of ways. They spark creativity and loads of imagination! Dig out some shells from that trip to the beach, gather some pinecones, find some stones or get some cool polished rocks, sticks, wood cookies etc. Put them out in some baskets and see what happens! (They also work great with wood blocks or playdoh!) More about loose parts here http://www.aneverydaystory.com/2013/03/05/the-theory-of-loose-parts/ and http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2015/loose-parts and


5. House plants! After some home improvements we were able to have a lot more light in our house! House plants have made a huge difference in our indoor space this winter! We have lots of easy to grow plants like spider plants and snake plants.

6. Books about Spring! You can never have too many books around! We love getting piles from the library! We hit the library last week before a storm to make sure we had plenty of reading material! Some titles we have been enjoying lately are The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, Botanicium, 1000 Things in Nature, and a oldie Taro picked out A Nest Full of Eggs.

7. Order caterpillars and raise a butterflies! We did this last year and it was so fun!

8. Put up some nature posters! We love these we printed out from Playful Learning. There is the Smokey Bear nature posters that are really affordable set as well set of 15 posters for $15!

The Smokey Bear Nature Posters

9. Plan and reserve a camping trip! Now is the time to reserve a campsite or plan other trips for spring and summer! We just planned a group trip in June with our home school nature club!

I hope this gives you a few ideas to beat cabin fever!

For more great math ideas check out the Wild Math curriculum guides in the shop! Grades Kindergarten through 3!