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Autumn Nature Study for Children and Families

Updated on August 21, 2015

Autumn Nature Study Ideas and Resources

Getting started with seasonal nature study is easy with these autumn themed challenges! Fifteen minutes a week is all it takes for your family to get outside and experiencing the joy of nature study together.

These ten challenges will help you include nature study as a part of your homeschooling day with just a little effort.

Keep this Squidoo Lens bookmarked because I will be adding each week's challenge here along with lots of additional ideas and resources for nature study as well as art and music appreciation ideas.

Handbook of Nature Study
Handbook of Nature Study

You will not be transporting it with you during your nature study but each challenge will give you a few pages to read in the book as a pre-study and then you will take your outdoor time. You will be using this reference for every challenge in this an every Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Notebook Page
Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Notebook Page

Set of Autumn Nature Study Notebook Pages

I have gathered all of my fall themed nature study notebook pages from 2009 into on pdf document. Follow this link over to Scribd and download your free set. Autumn 2009 Notebook Pages

Topics Include:



Seasonal Tree - Autumn

Oaks and Acorns



Autumn Bird Study


Natural History Calendar

2010 Autumn Nature Study Challenge Ebook! - New Challenges for Autumn Available

I have written 10 new Autumn Challenges to use along with the Handbook of Nature Study.

Autumn Series Challenge #1 Cattail Study

Cattails Seasonal Nature Study

For this first challenge we will be finding some cattails to observe as part of a year long study. Each season we will record how the cattails look and keep a record of the changes we observe using the provided notebook page.

Make sure to scroll down to the notebook pages listed below and follow the link to the Cattails Seasonal Nature Study page that you can download.

Also, listed below in the additional resources, you will find a book that I have found very helpful. Look for it at your library or you can order it from

Challenge #1 Cattail Seasonal Nature Study

Additional Cattail Photos on Flickr

Autumn Series Challenge #2 Autumn Tree Study

Seasonal Tree Study-Autumn

For this challenge we will be choosing a tree in our yard to observe as part of a year long study. Each season we will record how the tree looks and keep a record of the changes we observe using the provided notebook page.

Make sure to scroll down to the notebook pages listed below and follow the link to the Seasonal Tree Notebook Page- Autumn that you can download.

Also, listed below in the additional resources, you will find two field guides that I have found very helpful. Look for it at your library or you can order it from

Online Tree Identification Help

Autumn Series Challenge #3 Goldenrod (Rabbit Bush)

Goldenrod or Other Autumn Flowers

This challenge is spend some time learning about composite flowers using the goldenrod that should be blooming in many parts of North America during the autumn.

As an alternative you can study the aster or the chrysanthemum if you do not have a some goldenrod to observe in person.

Use the linked notebook page to record your goldenrod sketch.

You will need to click over to my Handbook of Nature Study blog to see the complete challenge and to download the free notebook page.

Click any link in the other challenges above and then click the tab at the top of my blog for Autumn nature study.

Autumn Series Challenge #4 Oaks and Acorns

Oaks and Acorns

This week we will be taking a look in our yards and neighborhoods for oaks and acorns. Make sure to check out the oaks and acorns notebook page linked below.

Autumn Series Challenge #5 Pumpkins


This week the challenge features pumpkins. See the link for more information.

Autumn Series Challenge #6 Seasonal Weather Study

Seasonal Weather Study

This challenge starts (or continues) a year-long study of the weather. Seasonally your family will be observing the weather conditions and recording the results as a way of comparing how your particular weather patterns change over the next twelve months. Make sure to scroll down to the notebook pages and find the link for the Seasonal Weather Notebook Page.

You can also find a printable Seasonal Weather Study notebook page to download.

Autumn Series Challenge #7 Squirrels

Squirrels (or any other mammal)

Using the Handbook of Nature Study, complete a nature study of the squirrel. You are welcome to chose a different mammal covered in the Handbook if you do not have squirrels in your local area.

Make sure to scroll down to the list of notebook pages below for a simple notebook page to use in your nature journal.

Autumn Series Challenge #8 Woodpecker

Autumn Birds-Woodpecker (or other autumn bird)

This challenge is to get outdoors and look for some autumn birds. The challenge prepares you for a study of woodpeckers but you can record your observations of any bird in your own yard. Make sure to scroll down and find the accompanying notebook page.

Autumn Series Challenge #9 Mushroom

Mushroom Study

Read up on mushrooms in the Handbook of Nature Study. Either use this knowledge this week during your Outdoor Hour time or keep it handy for future reference. As always, remember that just getting outdoors is the main objective of any weekly challenge. Make sure to scroll down to the notebook page section on this lens to find a simple page to use in your nature journal.

Autumn Series Challenge #10 Field Notebook

Natural History Calendar

In preparation for those long cold days of winter where you cannot go outside, this week's challenge will encourage you to keep a list of nature study subjects you come across this week. You can investigate one subject this week and then tuck this list away for further study later on cold winter days where you need to stay indoors.

Autumn Activities To Download - Links to Printable Autumn Ideas

These links are wonderful printables that you can print and then use as part of your outdoor time this season.

Autumn Picture Study

Autumn at Argenteuil by Claude Monet

Use the link to print out a copy of this painting by Claude Monet for your picture study.

Autumn at Argenteuil

Autumn Picture Study

The Reaper by Vincent Van Gogh

Use this link to print out a copy of this painting for your picture study.

The Reaper by Vincent Van Gogh

Literature for the Autumn Series of Outdoor Hour Challenges - A Few Books for the Younger Crowd

Printable for Leaf Man HERE

Mini Unit on Leaves (including Leaf Man) at Homeschool Share

Carnival of the Animals-The Swam - by Camille Saint-Saens

Another favorite with an autumn melancholy mood.

The Trout by Franz Schubert - (Not specifically about autumn but it reminds me of autumn.)

Another selection for you to enjoy during your Autumn Series studies.

Leave me a comment....are you an autumn person?

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    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love the colors of Autumn, so many beautiful browns, yellows and oranges making study lots of fun. Wonderful Lens a pleasure to read.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      6 years ago from Kansas

      Great ideas for an autumn study. I do love autumn after a hot summer. The cooler temperatures and opportunities to wonder outside make for great learning experiences!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Enjoyable lens and great ideas for learning about autumn.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 

      6 years ago

      Fantastic nature study ideas! Enjoyed the photos, too.

    • EbooksFreeWeekl1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Absolute Autumn (and winter) person. Great lens thanks for sharing! :)

    • iijuan12 profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      Wonderful lens!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful lens!

    • marlies vaz nunes profile image

      Marlies Vaz Nunes 

      6 years ago from Amsterdam, the Netherlands

      Such an interesting lens! Blessed.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 

      6 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      How precious - loved the intro pic with the leaf art - very cool Fall craft ideas

    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      Gorgeous lens and great pics and poems. Now I know who Robert Frist is. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2. Hugs

    • mariaamoroso profile image


      6 years ago from Sweden

      The pictures you have chosen here are so nice! I love all the colors and all the suggestions for teaching through nature. Blessings!

    • designsbyharriet profile image


      6 years ago from Indiana

      Learned a great deal. Blessings.

    • bbsoulful2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Barb, your stuff is always top-notch. Blessed by a Squid Angel...

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from Albany New York

      Beautifully, well-done, educational lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very interesting way to put together an educational lens. Wonderful.

    • MelanieMurphyMyer profile image


      6 years ago

      I love this lens! It really makes me miss homeschooling my children!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Very interesting lens, great resource for home schooling study. May be I will go back to school, thanks for sharing.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image


      7 years ago

      A very picturesque and informative resource ... nicely done! Congratulations on having one of the top 35 homeschooling lenses.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 

      7 years ago

      Ah, the beauty of autumn. My little girl's first major composition was inspired by autumn leaves, raking autumn, tumbling in autumn, savoring all things autumn.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      terrific lens, very educational too! I love doing mushroom hunting, so much fun. Gave your lens a 'thumbs up' for sure.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What great ideas and Fall 2011 has just begun! I love how you included artwork and music that fit the theme! You might be interested in the books I have listed on my lens at Nature and Earth-Friendly Books for All Ages. Take care!

    • JanieceTobey profile image


      8 years ago

      These are wonderful ideas for enjoying and learning about nature in autumn! Blessed!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Quick 

      9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Fantastic! :-) I love fall about as much as I love spring!

    • EvaVarga profile image

      Eva Varga 

      9 years ago from NorCal

      This is great Barb! We're jumping back in and already - I know this lens will help me find what I'm looking for much quicker. 5* Can't wait to see what everyone does! :D

    • wayfarer lm profile image

      wayfarer lm 

      9 years ago

      Great series! There's so much more to fall then the beautiful colors. I see you mention mushrooms. It's a great time of year to find some interesting examples. 5 stars!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      It's great to be able to see all the challenges together like this. Thank you.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What a great way to organise yor HomeSchooling Projects.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow! Barb, this is awesome. Thanks so much for this! We are growing to love our nature study days more each week thanks to your guidance.


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