September Nature Study: Forest Floor

September is settling in nicely around here. We find ourselves wearing long sleeves and pants all of a sudden. 

Our September Nature Study is perfect for the cooler days and slower family rhythms. 

We have been using these gorgeous materials from Tanglewood Hollow to compliment our study. They are perfect with just enough information as well as being portable so we can actually take them out on hikes with us. 


Our time is the rainforest has proven to be exactly what we need. Giving us some time to energize ourselves after the first busy weeks back at school. Looking for different types of ferns, lichen and mushrooms has been a fascinating treasure hunt. 

A note of caution: We have poisonous mushrooms here and therefore we never touch them unless with a trained guide. We would recommend you do the same. 


We have also been talking about the importance of rotting logs. There are some beautiful examples of this where we live. New life growing from old and the continuation of the biome. 


There is so much see in the forest in Autumn. If you have yet to start a Nature Study, why not try a walk in the woods. 

May Nature Study: Butterflies and other Insects 

The warmer weather has finally arrived and so we spent the majority of our May Nature Study outside. 

Studying insects is one of the easiest topics to do because they are accessible on almost every continent, there is a large variety and children are most often fascinated by them. 


We began our study by exploring different species of butterfly with the help of these beautiful cards from Alice Cantrell of Twig and Moth. We use so many of her materials because they are well priced, printable at home and above all beautiful. 


We enjoyed some old favourites on the topic. This book is fantastic. The art style and amount of information are perfectly paired. 


We also enjoy this book and we recommend all of this series. It is our favourite nature series for the 3-6 age group. 


Lastly we decided to take a field trip to our local butterfly sanctuary. It is so beautiful there with so many different species of butterflies and moths. At just turned 5 Quentin now does really well on learning outings. This will serve him well as he progresses into the Second Plane of Development. 


Montessori asks us to “Follow the Child” and this simply couldn’t be more applicable than when out and about. We travel at his pace, and stop when he wants to. This gives him an opportunity to really take in what he is seeing, to ask questions or to return to something he wants to know more about. 


We both agreed that a butterfly sanctuary is a gorgeous spot to take photos. 
If you have been looking to start a nature study, insects is a great place to start. Books from the library, and simply stepping outside are all you need.  

Montessori Nature Study: Rocks, Minerals & Fossils

November has seen our Nature Study really take off. It took us a few months to find our rhythm. I wanted to be sure it was not forced and that if flowed holistically into what we were already doing. We are often exploring nature anyway, but this has given us a better direction and given me an overview to prepare materials from. 

Here’s a glimpse into our November study of rocks, minerals and fossils.


We travelled to one of the local lighthouses to get up close to some big rocks. We brought a picnic and made a day of it. It was windy but we were well bundled. 


We spent the day at our local museum getting up close and personal with a mummified baby mammoth, looking at ammonite fossils and adding to our gemstone collection. By the way, he’s holding cookies here. His newly acquired quartz and amethyst crystals are safely in my bag. 


We went on a field strip to a gem and rock shop in search of treasures to add to our newly formed gemstone collection. This was an unexpected pleasant surprise. The staff there were incredibly kind to us (you can read about our experience here). 

I hadn’t expected Quentin to be as engaged as he was there and I highly recommend looking into your own local rock and gem store for interesting materials to add to your home or school environment. 


Last week we added geodes to our Nature Tray. Quentin loved smashing them to find the sparkly centre. This took a bit of help from me. Mostly to guide the hammer. It made me think of how to make a meaningful hammering Practical Life work for him.


We took out many different books from the library over the month, but this one has always been our favourite. Quentin loved matching is own specimens to the end pages. 


Today we finished our study by bundling up, packing some snacks and heading to our local beach. Quentin observed that the rocks were most likely granite but he was also cautious and curious of the waves. As winter approaches so does the storm surge in the Pacific. 

It has been such an amazing month. As we pasted some mementos into our nature journal and slowly filled the page with watercolour, we looked back on a really wonder filled month. And that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Tending to the fire of awe and wonder burning within the child. 

If nature study and nature journalling are new to you, go slowly. Take your time, pick a topic that is easily doable in your area and as always, follow the child

Sunday Book Club: Nature Journalling


We love being submersed in nature. There are so many beautiful experiences to offer to a child, by simply being out in nature. 

Collecting treasures from our trips as well as memories came naturally and with that came the need for a place to store everything. 


Nature journalling can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. We chose the simpler side and I enlisted some help. 



This book came highly recommended and I’m so glad we got it. It is gorgeous, takes us through every stage and sets the bar high for our future journalling to strive to. 
The pages are beautiful enough for both Quentin and I to just flip through and discuss. From flowers to animals to landscapes we have poured over its pages. 

My hope is that Quentin may decide to use this independently as he gets older and it will certainly hold out for him if he does.  

A Child in the Wild 

We are reviewing a child’s adventure club. I’ll do a full review shortly when we are farther along, but I thought I’d share our travels of today. 

  
A Montessori child in the forest. There really just isn’t anything more awe inspiring. The soft foot falls, the quite concentration as he carefully steps over a mushroom.

  
  
Here, the rainforest meets the Pacific, and fresh water meets salt. Moving at the child’s pace, made us more mindful of our surroundings. 

 

 
Do you use a nature journal with your child? It is an easy and fun way of collecting memories. 

In the end he carried his pack the entire 80 minute round trip. We took our time, talked along the way, and made it all about him. We picnicked on a soft blanket, while the almost deafening crash of the Pacific loomed ever closer. When its reach was only an arms length away, we decided we’d better go.

The final destination was worth just as much as the journey.