26 February 2012

Looking at Nature

Last week we made a Nature Study kit and although we haven't yet had a chance to take it with us on a nature walk, this week we went to an illustrated talk at our local Natural History Society on the flora and fauna of the cemetery which is one of our favourite places to go for walks. We've also been looking at nature books. We have a large collection of secondhand children's books including lots of unusual and vintage books and among them we found this wonderful book published in 1963, Looking At Nature: Book 3. Working With Nature by Elsie Proctor.

We really enjoyed looking through it and reading some of the pages together.

Natural Science is a scientific study and now that you are older you should try out scientific methods of working.
You are learning to look at, or observe, Nature and, to work scientifically, you must also learn to record what you see, and to experiment and investigate in order to find out more about Nature's mysteries. There are many interesting ways of recording your discoveries as you will find out.
The basic materials of Nature are earth, air and water. Plants cannot live without these. We cannot live without them either, nor can we live without plants, so we should try to find out all we can about them. You will learn much about them from this book and you will find many experiments described for you to try.
Weather studies form part of our work. In autumn and in spring, weather conditions are changing quickly and there are interesting happenings to study...
If you want to become a Natural Scientist, there is much work to be done.

We also enjoyed looking at the beautiful illustrations of plants, animals and landscapes.

Our favourite page is about preparing a Nature Study kit.

This boy has a small haversack with him. You will find a haversack very useful. Some of the things you may need to carry in your haversack are a sandwich tin for your lunch, a bottle of fruit juice (you can get very thirsty when out collecting), a torch, a knife, some string, some polythene bags, a pocket compass, a hand lens, some little tubes, bottles and matchboxes, your field notebook and pencil, and a trowel. If you can get it in, a long tin box is useful, but your polythene bags will be a good alternative.
Now why do you want these things?
Remember that you may be searching beneath undergrowth or looking into holes or caves, so you will need a torch.
You may have to dig for ferns or insects, so you will need a trowel.
You need to keep your plant specimens fresh, and a tin would be very useful for this. You could use your sandwich tin after lunch, or you could put your specimens in the polythene bags.
For small specimens of any kind, you will find that your specimen tubes and matchboxes are very useful.
You need a compass to check upon your direction, for you can easily get lost in a wood. It is a good plan to have a map with you too.
If the boy in the picture is going into very damp places, he should be wearing wellingtons instead of his strong shoes. He is carrying a fishing net so it looks as though he might be, although this could be a butterfly net.

On the book's advice we've added a trowel to our own Nature Study kit and will remember to wear wellingtons in very damp places!

This week we've also been reading more spring books, continued working on our spring project book, and started chitting our potatoes.

If you have a post about a spring book, spring nature walk or any post with a spring theme, we'd love you to link up at our All Year Round Blog Carnival: Spring, which is open for new links until May.


We're also having a spring giveaway for a copy of a little vintage book, I-Spy Wild Flowers. If you'd like to enter the giveaway please leave a comment on my A homemade Nature Study Kit and an I-Spy Wild Flowers giveaway post before 3rd March.

You may also like:

Looking for spring (a nature walk)

Nature books and nature journal

Nature Study kit

Nature walk finds

10 Nature Study ideas for spring

Spring Nature Hunt free printable

Click here to see the play, crafts and learning ideas blog link-ups we share at.

NATURE STUDY on Sunny Days Pinterest.
BOOKS on Sunny Days Pinterest.



  1. What a lovely book! I love the flower illustrations.

  2. What a neat book to come across. It looks like you guys are all set for some fun adventures. Thanks for sharing at AfterSchool.

  3. Sounds like you have a fun way to bring in spring! Today it actually felt like spring, even though it snowed a few days ago.

  4. Thanks for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  5. This looks limke a great book! Thanks so much for linking up your blog to my homeschool blog list. Great to find your blog!

  6. Thanks for linking up for our Afterschool party! I will most definately be creating a Nature Study Kit now!

  7. I love these link ups because I find so many great blogs! Love it!

  8. I love vintage children's books. They have such lovely ideas to do. Your books looks a handy one to have.

  9. It certainly looks a cool book, cheers Marie

  10. What a lovely traditional old style book. It reminds me of notes of an Edwardian Lady. A lovely book to share. Thanks for linking to Family Frolics.

  11. This looks like a fabulous book and the illustrations are beautiful! Thank you for sharing in Science Spark. We do love nature!

  12. I love the look of an "antique/vintage" book. And this book looks great for spring/nature unit. Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Sharing Saturday. Hope to see you again next week.


  13. Such a great book!
    Sometimes the oldies are best. Often lots of fun.
    I love second hand store shopping ~ the vintage treasures we find ღ

  14. What a great find. thanks for linking up at the weekly kids co-op.

    Scribble Doodle and Draw