Outdoor Hour Challenge: December World 2020

Outdoor Hour Challenge

December World 2020

snow landscape january 2020

“My whole impetus for starting this blog was to share how our family finally cracked the book open and started implementing the ideas that Anna Botsford Comstock wrote about so skillfully in this book. The entire Handbook of Nature Study is to help parents/teachers to be better nature study guides.”

The breath of fresh air, the moving about outside, the getting to know better our own backyard…these are the joys of the Outdoor Hour Challenge. The most successful families involved in the OHC are those that embrace the idea that getting outdoors as a family is important and worthy of our time. The OHC is the vehicle for getting us outside, hopefully giving us something interesting to learn about.”

I wrote those words just about ten years ago. They were heartfelt then and I still feel as passionate now about the importance of spending time outdoors with your children. What a gift you can give your children with a little effort and the suggestions found each week with the Outdoor Hour Challenge.

December World Nature Walk Outdoor Hour Challenge @handbookofnaturestudy

The original December World Mini-Challenge included the suggestion that moms read a few pages in the Handbook of Nature Study to refresh their memories about some of the key principles that Anna Botsford Comstock shared in the introductory pages of her renowned nature study guide.

Here are the pages I suggested reading:

Handbook of Nature Study Reading Suggestions
Challenge 1: Pages 1-8
Challenge 2: Pages 23-24
Challenge 3: 16-17
Challenge 4: 10-11 and 13-15

I broke the readings into four smaller sections that you can schedule to read a little each week this month. Use this time to energize your desire to include nature study as a regular part of your family’s weekly routine.


I created a printable for you to use as part of your December World Outdoor Hour Challenge. Simply take a walk outside with your children, either in your own yard or at a nearby park. Take the printable along and complete it as you go or use it as a follow up activity once you get back home.

Download a copy of the notebook page here: December World.

I have always encouraged parents to learn right alongside their children; so why not complete a page of your own? Talk a little about what you observed outside this week. Did you bring a nature treasure home with you? You can use that as the basis for your nature journal page if you wish. Keep it simple and enjoy your time together.

December Words

Also, there is a December Words notebook page in the Member’s Library if you wish to complete that instead of or in addition to the December World notebook page.

To purchase an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, click on over to the Join Us page at any time.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

PS: I know that many of us are experiencing wintry weather already. I hope you’ll consider bundling up and taking a walk even if you’re thinking it’s too cold. I know for myself that once I get outside, I can manage the cold just fine, especially if I know I can go back inside and get warmed up by the woodstove and drink a hot cup of coffee. I challenge you to give it a try!

New Printables and December Nature Study Plans

December Nature Study Plans – Outdoor Hour Challenge

We’ll be taking a break from our normal Outdoor Hour Challenges during the month of December. This will be a more relaxed month of nature study using ideas found in the archives. I invite you to join us for four simple nature study ideas that will feature a winter theme.


12/4/2020 – December World (follow up with a free printable)

12/11/2020 – December World Study Grid from the 12/2011 Newsletter

12/16/2020 – Winter Berry Hunt from the Autumn Nature Study Continues Ebook

12/18/2020 – First Day of Winter Nature Walk from the Members Library

Frozen Lake River and Pond notebook page

New Printables in the Members Library

1. Frozen Lake, Pond, and River Notebook Page: I was inspired to create this page on my last nature walk. We have a frozen pond and an icy river to explore. At first, it looks as if nothing is going on there but when you observe closely, you see lots of signs of activity. Use this page to follow up a visit to a local, frozen landscape.

2. Mammal Lapbook printable: You’re going to love this complete set of mammal themed printables for your nature journal or use them to create a separate lapbook project. Included in this printable are vocabulary cards, black line drawings of a variety of mammals, mammal trivia in a mini book, and another mini book that answers the question, “What is a mammal?” This lapbook was originally created by my daughter and shared on her Hearts and Trees blog many years ago. I hope you have some fun with it as part of a mammal nature study with your family.

Printables for Members Button

Click the graphic above to view the complete list of printables available as part of an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

December 2020 nature planner page

Members also have access to the Nature Planner pages in their library. Print out this month’s page and use it to stimulate your weekly nature study time.


Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

If you would like to have access to the member’s printables and the newsletter archive, I invite you to join with an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Your membership will be valid for one year and will include the benefits shown below.

Benefits by Level graphic  26 ebooks

There are lots of new things planned for the next year and you’ll have access to any new items added during your membership.

2020 to 2021 plan graphic with ebook covers2

You can join us anytime for the current series of nature study topics. Click the graphic above to see what we have planned.




Outdoor Hour Challenge – Autumn Turkey Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Turkey Nature Study

Wild turkeys are a funny bunch of birds. When we lived in California, many times we saw turkeys in the woods and sometimes trotting down the back roads. They make a funny sound as they move through the trees and poke around on the ground for tidbits to eat.  Then, if you get lucky, you’ll see the male turkey strutting his stuff and displaying his beautiful tail feathers!

If you have a wild turkey or even a domestic turkey to observe, you’ll enjoy the suggestions in the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study.  Another suggestion is to watch the videos in the original challenge to get a taste of what turkeys are all about and then read the Handbook of Nature Study lesson and finish with a nature journal page with your children.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Bird Study Turkeys @handbookofnaturestudy

View the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Turkey.  

Turkey notebook page 1

Turkey notebook page 2

If you have access to the ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.

Alternate study: The most important thing for any nature study challenge is to go outdoors for even just fifteen minutes. You may wish to complete the November World notebook page after your nature walk.  There’s also an autumn bird notebook page available in this download: Autumn Notebook Pages.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image

Sample to view: Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study 2015 Sample Pages

If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 26 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020


I can’t pass up the opportunity to share with you a product that I used with my family that is having a fantastic sale this weekend. Productive Homeschooling (formerly known as NotebookingPages.com) is one of my absolute favorite homeschooling products.
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I have written a lot of about how our family used the notebooking pages in our homeschooling days. There are LOADS of nature related pages that would be resource for many years to come. You can read one of my reviews here: Notebooking Pages – Nature Journals.

Membership Sale