Nature Study Helps and Hints

Here are some of my most popular nature study blog entries. They answer many of the most frequently asked questions about nature study that I receive from readers.

Outdoor Hour Challenge: Fitting the Challenges to Your Family.
Nature Study With Very Young Children
Nature Study the Gentle Way
Nature Study for Young People
Nature Study – How To Do It Naturally
How to Use Questions in Nature Study
In Expectation – Finding Joy in Your Own Neighborhood
Nature Study is NOT Drill
Nature Study for Teens
Nature Study and Toddlers
Nature Study in Ripples
Nature Journal or Nature Notebook
Birdwatching 101 – Attracting Birds to Your Yard
Top Picks for Field Guides

Winter Nature Study – Taking it Inside
Nature Study When It Is Hot Outside
Nature Study in the City

Getting Started FAQ Button


  1. Cherie Moore says:

    I downloaded the Getting Started e-book with the 10 OHC but in reading it, it says to read pages 1-8 of the Handbook of Nature Study. I can’t find The Handbook of Nature Study in order to read pages 1-8. Was I supposed to receive it via email when I signed up or is there a link to a download? I’m not sure. Thanks!

  2. So glad to find your website, I’m very new to nature study, but also am a bit baffled when I received the Handbook of Nature Study, the pictures in the book are all quite dark and blurry, like it was photocopied multiple times – is that the case for everyone else? Or did I not get the right edition? I bought it on Amazon in China, but it looked the same as the one on Amazon in the States. I read some of the reviews on Amazon and some people had the same comment. Please advise! Thanks so much!!

  3. I’m just beginning with my 5- and 6-year-old children, but I feel a bit lost because we live in a city in northeast China and so I’d like to know how relevant the Handbook of Nature Study would be to us. We have purchased a guide to birds in China and a guide to wildlife in China, though we haven’t yet found anything in English about plants or insects, and I’d like to know from people familiar with the Handbook of Nature Study if it would be useful to someone who doesn’t live in North America, as we have the same types of animals, but not the same specific species. Any ideas?

    • Barb McCoy says:

      You probably would do better with more general nature study. You can click the tabs at the top of the blog to find things like Summer Bird Study, Summer Weather, etc. As far as the HNS, you can view it online free here:
      I would suggest subscribing to my blog in order to receive my monthly newsletter to glean any help that you can find that would apply. I know that there have been families from China participate in the OHC in the past so it is not impossible to follow along with us each week. I try to give you alternate ideas if you don’t find the specific subject in your area.

  4. I have signed up a long time ago and now it says there is no registered user with my email address. I updated when you changed websites. I have not been on for a bit but wanted the free tree and flower notebooking pages. I can’t find where to download them. Please help. Your site is a bit hard to navigate. Thanks

    • Barb McCoy says:

      If you are talking about free pages, then you just need to look at the green and red navigation bars at the top of the website. There are listed all of the challenges with any free notebook pages that are available to readers who have not purchased a membership to the Ultimate Naturalist Library. There dozens of free things available for you to download and print. PLUS if you sign up for my email newsletter, you will receive my free monthly newsletter that includes many ideas and printables.

  5. Patsy George says:

    Hi! I’m very intrigued with your site and materials. However, something I haven’t been able to determine from the faqs or other areas of the site is this: How long is each challenge designed to last? I realize families are free to customize and go deeper where there is particular interest, but in general, how are the challenges designed to be used? Thanks so much!

    • Barb McCoy says:

      There are 3 parts to every challenge: indoor preperation, outdoor time, and then follow up. The outdoor time is meant to be about 15 minutes but the other parts are really up to your individual family. The follow up can be as short or as long as there is interest. I suggest using the first five challenges (which you can find free on the site) and see how they work for your family. After that, pick up where you have interest or follow along with us on Fridays.

  6. Mark O'Nefler says:

    We have been able to start some interesting conversations with our kids on ecosystems by growing algae using these kits: They are almost all under $20 and you can call them for help and questions.


  1. […] started with nature studies? Handbook of Nature Study has awesome ideas and a whole section called Nature Study 101 to get you […]

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