One of the reasons that I love nature is that it’s not complicated to get started exploring nature and summer is such a fun and interesting time to get out there. What’s more, the kids can do this independently and they will love it I promise you. Nature study helps to kids to explore world around them, learn about the changing seasons and connect to the environment. Combined with simple nature activities just observing and looking at what is going on, recording and examining further what they find and recording their observations you can help instill a love of the natural world in them. This DIY nature kit is easy to put together and will provide a simple foundation for you and your kids to start exploring wonders around them.

Put together your own Nature Study kit for the kids this summer and watch as they go screen free and explore the world around them.

Putting together your Nature Study Kit for Kids

basic equipment for a nature study kit, plastic bag, box with lid, binoculars, mini camera, journal, pencil, watercolour paints, magnifying glass and tweezers on the grass

1 – Bag to store everything in

As I said I’m going to be making a bag for the kids but at the moment, we use just an ordinary waterproof backpack they can put it down on the ground and no matter how wet it is the stuff inside stays dry.

2 – Camera

girl using a digital camera to take pictures of the flowers and plants that she finds on her nature walks

We don’t have a big nature display at home – just a window sill and if we brought home everything that they wanted it would need to be the size of a museum instead we use a camera – first it was a camera on an old smartphone of mine and last birthday we brought the kids little point and shoot digital cameras. We take pictures of anything that we find that they want to after we get home we sort them out and then use them for our digital journalling or print to add to the nature display at home.

3 – Binoculars

girl using binoculars to view birds in the tree above her.

This maybe one of the things that you don’t have – but there are some really good kids binoculars that you can get like these ones from Learning Resources – from Amazon.com (USA) and Amazon.co.uk (UK)

4 – Sketch Pad

A sketch pad is really good – it’s not just for drawing but believe me the kids will love drawing what they find but also you can add leaves, petals that you find, feathers etc.. and then encourage the children to write about what they are. If this is something that the kids enjoy and do regularly – I know mine do then I started a list for them so that they could write what they see

5 – Materials for colouring and drawing

When we started out the kids just had felt tip pens and pencils in a little bag within the nature kit but now that they are a little older we have a pencil, a watercolour palette, small bottle of water and a little pot, pencils and paint brushes. Felt tip pens are great for little kids but they are not great for nature pictures and the kids will spend much longer laying on the grass painting the things that they see than they will  when colouring with felt tip pens.

6 – Magnifying Glass

boy using a magnifying glass to examining the flowers on a lilac in bloom

Bugs are small and kids do like bugs – a magnifying glass is a perfect addition to your nature whether they use it for looking for bugs in the leaves or looking more closely at the hooks on a feather and if you get a combined tweezer and magnifying set then you cover item 7 on our essential nature kit as well. Learning resources have a great set for primary aged kids – Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

7 – Tweezers

Kids want to pick up what they find and some things are fine to pick up but others aren’t so I try and encourage my kids to use tweezers – you could use a set like the ones in the picture above or for older children a set from your nail kit will work just as well. Very young children that want to play nature explorers may find tweezers difficult so you could use a pair of kitchen tongs with them.

8 – Plastic Bags

Whether it’s a trip to the beach or to the woods there is always something to collect and we never have enough pockets to collect everything in so I put some Ziplock Bags into our nature study bag and every single time I end up digging out my reusable bag from the car to carry more stuff as well.

9 – Small Plastic Box

We slip in a small plastic box – something like a resealable takeaway container than if we find something alive that the kids want to bring home like a snail or bug we can easily put it in the box bring it home and then release it in the most suitable habitat for them in our garden.

10 – Pocket Nature Guide

To help me and the kids identify what we are looking at it’s always a good idea to put in a pocket nature guide – depending on where you live you will need different ones so I’m not going to make a specific recommendation but pop along to your local bookshop, have a search on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk to find the one most relevant to your area.

collage of a simple nature explorers kit you can put together at home plus kids using the equipment to explore the natural world in the summer

Ideas for Nature Study this summer

Top 10 ways to learn at the beach this summer preventing the summer slide
Strandline Exploration - learning outside of the classroom all about natural history, human impact on the world and ocean currents with a walk at the local beach
Pinterest image for a DIY Nature Study Kit with images of the kids using the basic equipment to record the nature finds around them.
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for this! Great idea- my kids are getting to the age when they need a bit more motivation to play outside for longer periods and this kit idea would be perfect! Going to put one together for school holidays!

  2. Great ideas! Thank you! I have another item that we love to add to our nature study kit – jewelers loupes in varying sizes, allowing you to use both hands while getting up close. If you haven’t yet discovered The Private Eye by Kerry Ruef, I highly recommend it!

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