As school jumps back into session, children are itching to do something fun on the weekends. The season of fall brings many new ideas and projects for you and your young child to try at home together, particularly ones that keep their learning momentum going! Capitalize on this fun learning opportunity by adding some nature-based science activities for grades K–3 to your weekend routine!
Free Leaf Art Activity Grade 1
Start your nature projects off strong with a fun leaf art project! This life science unit is from Evan-Moor’s Skill Sharpeners: Science (grade 1) activity book, a great resource for fine-tuning those science skills in a fun way! The unit teaches about how leaves grow and live and includes reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing, and art activities! We’re giving you a free download of the leaf art activity!
Click here for a free download of the leaf project.
Garden Activity Grades K–6
For a fun nature activity that lasts all year round, start a garden with your child! Teach your child about plant life, the life cycle, and how plants eat and grow, all in your backyard. The scale of your garden is up to you; you can invest in a planter box outside, or even just grow some smaller plants in your kitchen window. Either activity opens up a world of nature science for your child to explore. Incorporate art into your science by having your child paint the pots or name the plants! You can even have your child take pictures at different stages of growth and make a mini-photo album of your garden!
Pumpkin Life Cycle Lesson Grade 2
Keep your life science theme and engage your child in learning about the growth and life cycle of a pumpkin! This unit, from Skill Sharpeners: Science (grade 2) teaches children all about the life cycle of plants with reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing activities. This pumpkin growth activity asks children to match the sentence describing the growth stage to the picture. Have your children point out the growth stages of pumpkins when you go to the patch to pick out your own!
Download this free pumpkin life cycle page here.
Make Watercolor Paint from Flowers Grades K–3
To combine your science and art activities, you can make natural watercolor paint with some flowers!! For this activity, you’ll need:
- Brightly colored flowers (or if you don’t have any wild ones available, you can buy some from the store)
- Ziploc bags
- A rolling pin
- Small bowls or cups
- Painting supplies
Steps to create your flower paint
- Separate your flowers by color.
- Pick the petals off each flower and place them in separate Ziploc bags.
- Note: If you do the same process with all the stems from the flowers, you can get a lovely green color!
- Heat up some water (not boiling hot, but warm to hot).
- Add hot water to each of the bags and close them (you don’t need too much water in each bag; your amount of paint will match the amount of water you put in).
- Use the rolling pin the squish the petals into the water.
- Let the water and petals sit for a few hours.
- Pour your new natural watercolor paints into cups or bowls!
- If colors still aren’t vibrant enough, try adding more flowers and hot water.
- Paint away! You can paint with leftover flowers, brushes, or finger paint!
Don’t forget to mention to your child about how color pigments work, and how stems get their green color from photosynthesis and chlorophyll!
Ecosystem Lesson and Activity Grade 3
Evan-Moor’s Skill Sharpeners: Science (grade 3) activity book features a whole unit on ecosystems! The unit covers the life science of ecosystems, including how living and nonliving things interact to create habitats and ecosystems. The unit presents new vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing activities. It also includes hands-on ecosystem art activities and an answer key!
Bring science home this fall with some fun nature activities! The fall season is a perfect opportunity to get outside and observe the natural science around you! Just the simplest of nature activities can engage your child in science and give them some good stories to bring back to school!
Christine Wooler has experience working with children as a youth soccer coach and summer camp counselor. She is currently studying English Literature and journalism in college. She enjoys exploring educational topics that help students have fun while learning.