Thursday 12 July 2018

June Nature Study

If you have read about our homeschool curriculum or follow my instagram account, you will know we are following a nature curriculum this year called 'Exploring Nature With Children'. It is a wonderful curriculum that covers different topics each week of the year. For each week, there are activities to do, recommended reading, poetry and a piece of art to study. The curriculum incorporates science, English, art and nature studies so it is really varied. You can check out the curriculum here.

This month has been so fun. The first week of the month was a museum visit and we did not do this as went away to stay in a caravan by the beach that week. After that, we enjoyed learning about bees, blossoms and the summer solstice. The new book 'Midsummer and St John's Tide' gave us even more ideas of how to celebrate the summer solstice. Also, the weather has been amazing over the last month so we have been spending even more time outdoors than usual.

Here is what we got up to this month.

Week 2 - Honey Bees

We started off the month learning about honey bees. Bees are such amazing creatures that we could not live without. The children are fascinated by how they make honey for us to eat. 

We started off by reading this magic school bus book. I am a big fan of the magic school bus series, the books are so engaging for children and they teach so much great information in a fun way.

We then made some honey play dough by adding a few tablespoons to a normal play dough recipe. Then we made little bees out of pasta and pipe cleaners! All the children had fun playing with this play dough set up. They broke off pieces of play dough and pushed them into ice cube trays to resembe honeycomb. 

Another activity we tried using the ice cube trays was transferring nectar. I made the nectar by mixing some yellow liquid watercolour into water. Then the children used pipettes to transfer the liquid to the ice cube trays.

We learnt about how bees pollinate plants by using a Mystery Science lesson. The children had so much fun creating their own bees out of pipe cleaners and pollinating each others flowers.

That week we went on a trip to the Bath and West Show in Shepton Mallet. There was a bee and honey tent and the children found out a lot about bees through that.

 All the children were drawing bees to be displayed on a board in the ten so my children drew some for the display.

We had a lot of fun looking at all the animals at the Bath and West Show!

Week 3 - Blossoms

The third week of June was blossom week and we started off by learning about the different parts of a flower. The children created flowers out of paper, cupcake cases, pipe cleaners and cotton buds. Then they labelled the parts.  

Next, we went out to look for some blossom at our nature spot.

Finally, the children had a go at painting some blossom. They collected some blackberry blossoms and painted them in their nature journals.

Week 4 - The Summer Solstice 

The final week of June was summer solstice week. We talked about what the summer solstice is.

We recapped on our learning about the seasons and how they occur using an experiment we did during our December nature studies.

The curriculum lists some things to look out for in summer so I made a checklist with these for the children to look out for at our nature spot.

Then we had fun making some sun catchers. I helped K make a sun but R just wanted to make Pokeballs!

Finally, on June 21st, the summer solstice, I let the children stay up late and we had a little picnic in the garden. We made a delicious banana, oat and ginger cake and enjoyed it with cups of tea and milk whilst reading poetry.

We have had a lot of fun with nature studies this month and have enjoyed spending more time outdoors. I am really looking forward to the topics we will be covering in July. To take a look at the curriculum you can use the links below.

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