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How to Do a Science Nature Walk: Outdoor Science Lab!

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Whether it’s summer or spring, or any other season, you’ll always find us doing spring STEM activities and science experiments for kids. 

Behind our house in the middle of the city is a ravine. If you walk down the running trail behind our house, you are transported from urban life to a forest environment that is both surprising and refreshing.

When it rains, the ravine fills with water and creates a trickling brook.  

With our last rain, the ravine was quite full. The girls begged me to go down and let them play in the water, so finally, we took a little science nature walk.

What is a Science Nature Walk?

A science nature walk is a nature walk you can take with a scientific mindset! Young kids can explore nature and investigate the science going on around them during the walk.

This helps young kids strengthen observation skills and helps them see another part of the world right before theri eyes.

We like doing our nature walks during the spring because there is a lot going on then, but you can take a nature walk any time of year!

Tips for a Successful Science Nature Walk

  • Bring a magnifying glass, bug catcher, digging tools, small plastic bottles for collecting specimens, binoculars, and a camera.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the scene.
  • Bring bug spray and sunscreen.
  • Know where you are at all times.

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Where to Buy a Nature Field Guide

A Walk in the Woods: Into the Field Guide

Pond Life (A Golden Guide)

Smithsonian Handbooks: Insects

Print this science nature walk printable to record your observations for further study.

If you use our printable observation chart, let me know! I’d love to see other kids making use of our resources!

What to Look for in Your Outdoor Science Lab

The goal of our nature walk and outdoor science lab was to explore the world around us and see an ecosystem up close.

While we were on our walk in the creek, I had the girls search for bugs, tadpoles, and fish. We didn’t see any tadpoles or fish (the water was probably running too fast), but we got to watch some bugs skate across the top of the water.

We also ran across cottonwood seeds, saw a spiky vine, and learned how to watch out for signs of poison ivy (there was none) and cottonmouth snakes (also none).

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  This adventure trip not only improved Monkey’s life science skills, but it also increased her wilderness skills as well!  

Monkey wanted to know where the ravine ended up, and if I had let her, she probably would have followed it until it ended. I wonder how far it went?  

Bo was most interested in throwing rocks into the water.  

On our journey, we also found many plants along the way. Bo was most interested in shaking the leaves to make the water droplets fall.

Monkey searched for honeysuckle so she could drink the nectar.

Sadly, the bees beat her to most of the flowers, but she was able to find nectar in a couple of blooms.


How do you make nature walks educational?

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