Outdoor Hour Challenge – Signs of Spring 2019


“A simple spring nature study starts as soon as you start to notice the changes around you.”

In my part of the world, we’re not even close to seeing any signs of spring. But, last week I was in California and I greatly enjoyed the landscape turning green, the early spring bulbs starting to blossom, and the warm sunshine as I walked to the river.

You can complete this challenge at any time you note the first signs of spring in your neighborhood. It’s actually quite a life lesson for children to be aware of the changing of the seasons and what to look for when you’re taking your Outdoor Hour time.



Use the suggestions in the challenge linked below along with the free printables available to create a record of your family’s signs of spring.

Signs of Spring Nature Study

Make sure to click the link above to read the entire Outdoor Hour Challenge with helpful links, nature study ideas, and suggested follow-up activities.

Daffodil nature journal with flowers and watercolors

This challenge is not found in an ebook but if you’re interested in an ebook of spring related challenges, you can check out the selections on the spring page in the Handbook of Nature Study linked below.

Spring Ebooks Graphic button

Are you just joining the Outdoor Hour Challenge? You can find the complete plan for the rest of the year by clicking the link below.

OHC Plan 18 to 19 Join Us

If you are already a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you can download a detailed schedule of nature topics and ebooks from your membership.

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy

Using Printables from the Handbook of Nature Study Newsletters


 Using Printables from the Handbook of Nature STudy  newsletters button

Using Nature Study Grids

One of the most common stumbling blocks to creating a nature journal page is the curse of the blank page. I have felt it myself. As you open your nature journal and gather your art supplies, suddenly you face the blank page and your mind also goes blank. You can’t think of what to do or where to get started.

This is the perfect time to use a tool from the Handbook of Nature Study newsletter!

Many issues of the newsletter have a printable nature study grid that can help get you over the hump of starting with a blank page. Print the grid and cut it out, then adhere it right on the page. Choose one or more of the prompts to do while you’re outside and then come back in to record your results.

Nature Study Newsletter grid example pages (2)

You can check the boxes off.

Nature Study Newsletter grid example pages (4)

Make notes about what you accomplished.

Nature Study Newsletter grid example pages (3)

Sketch something that was inspired during your outdoor time.

Nature Study Newsletter grid example pages (1)

Use the grid in a way that makes sense to you and your family!


Additional Idea

Weather Grid Nature Journal (1)(1)

Cut Your Grid Apart: You can use the Weather Study Big Grid in the December 2012 newsletter for this project by printing it out and then cutting the desired squares to adhere into your nature journal. This will allow you to create a completely customized nature journal page that fits your local weather and your child’s interests.

Add photos, doodles, lettering, and captions to complete your page.

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter January 2014 Cover

Download a sample copy of the January 2014 Newsletter:

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter – Nature Table (with the Winter Nature Grid printable).

Newsletter Index download

Download the Newsletter Index – includes lists of articles and printables

Did you know that the complete archive of 76 newsletters is available for immediate download in ALL LEVELS of membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study?

That means that for just $20 you can download, save, and use as many times as you want each of the newsletters in the archive!

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy


Here is the Amazon affiliate link to the sketchbook I use for my nature journal.


Outdoor Hour Challenge -Looking for Spring Birds Challenge

Here’s the link to the challenge in the archives: Spring Bird Nature Study.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Spring Bird Observations @handbookofnaturestudyYou’re going to find all kinds of helpful suggestions in this entry along with a printable notebook page, a complete coloring book, and links to learn more about identifying birds by their song.

Don’t miss this week’s nature study suggestion to take time to learn about a new spring bird in your neighborhood. If you’re really up to a challenge, your family can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count which is this weekend!!!  You only need to commit to a few minutes of observation time to make this citizen science project a part of your nature study this week.

 Great Backyard Bird Count poster

Find all the details here: Great Backyard Bird Count.



Learning About Birds 3D cover

This is the perfect time to download the Learning About Birds ebook available in Ultimate and Journey level memberships. This ebook steps you through the study of birds by color and topic. Included in the ebook are notebooking pages, images, and links to help you study some of the most common birds here in North America.

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudy

Look for this ebook in your library if you’re a member or join now using the discount code below for $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

Discount Code: BIRDLOVER5