Do you find it a struggle to get your kids outside daily in cold weather? You’re in luck. Depending on where you live, spring is either here or on its way!
Warmer weather makes it easier to get outdoors. And all of nature’s spring changes make this a good opportunity for a guided spring forest walk – a fun family outing for children of all ages.
What to Watch for on a Spring Forest Walk
Spending time together outdoors as a family is an important part of our lives as we homeschool off the grid. We live in Canada’s boreal forest where winter sometimes seems to last almost the entire year!
And many January and February days bring us temperatures of -40 C or colder — too cold for outdoor adventures. So when spring rolls around, this homeschool mama and her cubs are ready to head out the door.
Spring offers us a chance to take our lessons outdoors, observe, discuss and record all that happens in our rapidly changing environment. Some of the things we watch for include:
- buds on trees
- new leaves
- nests, dens
- signs of animals emerging from hibernation (we keep an eye out for bears)
- signs of new babies
- changing ice and water patterns
Find Your Closest Forest
Now I realize not everyone lives in the middle of a forest as we do. Yet many homeschoolers can get to a forest or a forest-like area within a couple of hours.
If you live in a city, head to your nearest park or wooded area. Or plan a day trip to a nearby state or national park. In fact, some of these parks may offer guided spring forest walks with a naturalist.
5 Things to Do on a Spring Forest Walk
No matter the season, my kids seem to enjoy their nature walks more when they have a few tasks to complete. Some of the other things we like to do on our spring walks include
- listen and watch for spring birds, like robins and blue jays
- sketch spring wildflowers
- gather petals and leaves to use in wildcrafting
- splash in puddles!
- watch for woodland animals in their natural habitats
- forage for spring herbs and wild edibles
- complete a spring forest walk scavenger hunt (part of our printable pack!)
Keep a Nature Walk Journal
It’s so easy to turn a forest walk into a fun homeschool lesson. My kids love to journal and doodle – that’s why I create so many themed journal printables for them to enjoy.
Recently I make this Spring Forest Walk Printable Pack they can record what they see on their walks in a simple and fun journal. It includes spaces for drawings and guided questions to answer.
And since we had so much fun with our Seed Catalog Scavenger Hunt, I added a simple Forest Walk Scavenger Hunt too -and I’m happy to share it all with you.
Sarita Harbour is a busy mom/step-mom, and grandmother blessed with seven kids ranging from age 32 down to seven. She lives off the grid with her family in a lakefront chalet in the beautiful wilderness of Canada’s far north. She spends her days teaching, writing, and learning the ropes of homesteading off the grid. Visit her site, Off Grid Life, for free printables and resources on homesteading, homeschooling, and self-reliance for the whole family.