Outdoor Hour Challenges – Getting Started With Nature Study

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Getting Started Challenges 1-10

#1 Let’s Get Started
#2 Using Your Words
#3 Now Is The Time To Draw
#4 It Is Coming Into Focus
#5 Keeping a List
#6 Collections
#7 Your Own Field Guide
#8 Magnifying Lens
#9 One Small Square
#10 Picnic

Tips for Getting Started with the Outdoor Hour Challenge:

  • I always suggest that families start with the first ten Outdoor Hour Challenges, making sure to read the pages in the introduction of the Handbook of Nature Study as suggested in each challenge. Anna Botsford Comstock’s words there are what created in me a better method of teaching “nature study”.
  • If you would like to try out some simple nature study ideas, you can access the first ten Outdoor Hour Challenges linked above. These challenges are also in the Getting Started ebook which is included in every level of membership. The ebook includes corresponding custom notebook pages to use in your nature journal for each challenge.
  • You can see and download a sample challenge and notebook pages: OHC Getting Started Ebook Sample.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library

Sign up for the free monthly newsletter here on the Handbook of Nature Study.

  • You will need to go to the Handbook of Nature Study, look to the top right corner for the box to type in your preferred email address, and then confirm the email that comes to your email inbox.
  • Once you subscribe, you will receive a thank you email from me with the download link. Each month you will receive an email with the current month’s download link.

Getting Started FAQ Button

What To Do After You Complete the First Ten Challenges

  • Subscribe and receive my monthly newsletter on the first of the month. Print out any of the month’s printable activities to use during your weekly nature study time.
  • In the newsletter, view the printable planning page to view the four topics for the up-coming month. Each of these topics is included with in the current ebook. The current ebook is included in the Journey and Ultimate membership levels.
  • If you own the current ebook, you can access the challenge and print the coordinating notebook pages to use during the month.
  • If you don’t have access to the current ebook, read my blog each Friday for suggested nature study ideas and links.

Please note that the challenges can be done at any time that is convenient for your family…even months later.

How To Access Nature Study Topics

  • Specific topics of nature study can be found by clicking the appropriate category on the navigation bars at the top of the website. Topics can be found either by category or by season, sometimes both.
  • For example: If you want to study a particular bird, click the “birds” tab. This will bring up every bird challenge and activity that we have studied here on the blog. Click the link you want and it will take you to the challenge with suggested activities, links, videos, and possibly a printable. If the challenge is part of an ebook series, it will be noted in parenthesis. If you have access to the ebook with your membership, you will also have the corresponding notebook page to print to use in your follow-up nature journal.
  • I am currently working on up-dating and cross referencing all of the challenges from the archives.

Planning a Year of Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Do you need some help planning your nature study for the year or even just a term? I invite you to click over and read my Planning Nature Study for the Year post for some ideas and tips.

Email me anytime with your questions or comments: [email protected]


  1. Kristin Reisch says:

    Oh my gosh! This is awesome! I just downloaded everything and am so excited! Nature Study does NOT come naturally to me at all, but I believe in its value and importance. I hope with all these fantastic plans, I can make nature study natural for my kids and maybe me too! Thank You!!!

    • Barb McCoy says:

      I am so glad you are excited to use the nature study plans in your family. I know you are going to not regret the time and effort to make it happen in your family. Enjoy!

  2. Thank you! Nature study is NOT my strong suite either and we are Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. I am just not a nature/outdoor person but I do wish to get my kiddos out more! Its just SO hot right now, with a heat advisory I’m not sure we should even be outdoors :(

    • Barb McCoy says:

      It gets hot here too so go out early or in the evening when the sun isn’t so intense. Or, do something that involves water like watering plants or a little creek walk. Be creative!

  3. Ame Trumbell says:

    So excited to finally have recieved our copy of the book from Amazon and signed up for the membership here!! This has been on our homie-wishlist for over a year. We are THRILLED to start following along immediately!!! Mother of Breydin, 10 and Emma, 5

  4. Clare Nugent says:

    Good morning, I just joined as an ultimate member and I am having trouble finding where to download e books. I’m trying to download the winter e books. Any help would be great!
    Clare Nugent
    Fern Top Nature Preschool


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