I love free resources and digital resources are even better! I have been collecting free homeschool resources for awhile and love using free nature study resources. I think that many parents overlook the incredible value that nature study has to offer. If you take your children out in nature not only are they learning about nature but science, art, community, preservation, and their place in the world! That’s a lot of concepts that you cannot learn from a book!
Free Nature Study Audiobooks
Audiobooks are a great place to start your nature study because you can listen while you fold laundry, tidy a drawer, build with Lego or draw what you hear. Audiobooks are great for children and adults alike. These free nature study resources are public domain and available as pdf’s, epub, and Kindle along with Mp3 files.
Thornton Burgess Stories– 44 stories about various animals
The Burgess Animal Book for Children-Peter Rabbit goes to school, with Mother Nature as his teacher. In this zoology book for children, Thornton W. Burgess describes the mammals of North America in the form of an entertaining story, including plenty of detail but omitting long scientific names. There is an emphasis on conservation.
The Burgess Bird Book for Children– The Burgess Bird Book for Children is a zoology book written in the form of a story featuring Peter Rabbit. Peter learns from his friend Jenny Wren all about the birds of North America, and we meet many of them in the Old Orchard, the Green Meadow, and the Green Forest.
Free Nature Study Books
Plain old books are also a great way to learn and explore nature. You can also use books to research or learn more in depth information about a plant or animal that you encounter during your nature study time outdoors.
Handbook of Nature Study is a wonderful book to learn about nature and how to get your children to learn via time outdoors.
In the Child’s World – a fantastic resource for directed lessons tied to original stories
Nature Study: A Pupil’s Textbook – meant to be read by 8-11 year old students, this book offers information and leading discovery questions on many nature topics
Thornton Burgess Free Kindle Books are very fun filled books with stories about birds and animals that will be a gentle introduction to commonly found woodland and forest animals!
Science/Language Arts Kits for Thornton Burgess Books a great resource for ideas of preparing a box of items to go along with the books. If you live close enough to the center you can check out the boxes for free for 2 weeks!
Free Nature Study Printables
State Field Guides- check with your state’s Department of Natural Resources to see what free pdf files or printed field guides are available. For example Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources offering both pdf Field Guides AND Animal History Notes such as Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
Barbara McCoy offers a ton of free resources on her site Handbook of Nature Study and gives tons of items via the Outdoor Hour Challenge
Animal Classification Chart from Practical Pages
Nature Journaling for Kids–a free 28 page guide on how to create and keep a journal, with some sample pages and a couple of pages to colour
Notebooking Nook–free nature journal pages for recording the weather, clouds, bird observations and others.
Several Science Themed Pages from Homeschool Helper Online
Various Nature Journal Pages from Homeschool Share
Do you enjoy nature study time with your children? How do you go about planning for nature study?
Check out some of our other Nature Study posts: