We hope you enjoy this collection of the best nature study supplies for kids. Studying nature is a great way to learn about the world we live in. When children are surrounded by nature they can’t help but apply the scientific method. They begin to ask questions, observe, experiment, and learn – naturally.
Make sure you have these nature study supplies around for your kids to use on their explorations into nature!
Related: Nature Crafts for Kids and Teens
The Best Nature Study Supplies for Kids
1. Field Guides
I can remember pouring over field guides when I was a small child even before I learned to read. I can recall looking at all of the pictures of birds, insects, plants, and all of the other beautiful pictures and diagrams with keen interest.
There are so many amazing field guides available for kids of all ages these days. I recommend going to your local library and/or bookstore to look at the ones that will work best for your needs. Below you will find a few options to consider.
Bird Field Guides for Kids
- Kids Bird Guide of North America
- Backyard Birds Field Guide for Young Naturalists
- Birds, Nests, and Eggs
Insect Field Guides for Kids
Rock and Mineral Field Guides for Kids
Wildflower Field Guides for Kids
- A Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern and North-central North America
- Wildflowers, Blooms & Blossoms
Tree Field Guides for Kids
- The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown-Ups
- Tree Field Guides
- Book of Tree’s | Pacific Northwest Edition
- Book of Tree’s | Pacific Southwest Edition
2. Magnifying Glass
A magnifying glass is essential for taking a closer look at things of interest such as rocks, flowers, and insects.
My daughter loves this magnifying glass. It has an oversized 5-inch acrylic lens that really works!
Binoculars are great for observing the world around you and getting a closer look at things at a distance.
As professional ocean lifeguards, my husband and I know an excellent pair of bino’s when we see them. We got the waterproof durable pair listed below for our daughter. She loves them and takes them with her everywhere.
- Compact Waterproof Binocular for Kids
Learning how to read and use a compass is a necessary skill for budding nature explorers. As parents, we want to know that they will always be able to find their way home. This is a simple and inexpensive compass perfect for kids.
5. Nature Journal
A Nature Journal is a place for you and your children to grow your thoughts, feelings, ideas, observations, experiences, and relationship with the natural world.
You can also use it to record outdoor activities that you complete each week. For more information check out the article below.
6. Measuring Tape
A measuring tape is a necessary piece of equipment for any explorer. I can’t tell you how many times we have pulled ours out to measure something and then note it in our nature journals. We have found that soft sewing tape measures are the easiest to use in nature.
7. Quality Art Supplies
There is nothing more intimate than sitting down to sketch something of interest in your nature journal. This is especially true for young explorers that have not yet learned to read and write. They can color their experience instead.
Nature journals become works of art to cherish for years to come when quality art supplies are included.
- Stockmar Beeswax Stick Crayons – You have never used a crayon until you have experienced the smooth vibrant quality of these 100% beeswax crayons. We keep these in our field bag ready to go. They are also available in block form and in smaller and larger sets.
- Triangular Giant Colored Pencils – These are the colored pencils we use.
- Assorted Water Colors Field Sketch Set with Brush – A fantastic portable set of watercolors.
A camera is essential for both taking photos of interesting discoveries, and capturing memories along the way. I recommend giving your child an older digital camera that you no longer use. If you don’t have one, consider one of the camera’s found below.
- Children’s Camera – This inexpensive camera is perfect for young explorers.
- Tough Waterproof Digital Camera – This is a more expensive camera but it is both waterproof and shock resistant. It is perfect for older explorers and can take quite a beating. My husband and I had one for years that we could not believe still worked after all we put it through. It is our daughters now. 🙂
9. Bags, baskets and/or other containers to carry specimens
We are big fans of using a bead organizer for collecting specimens. It’s re-useable and works great because it keeps items from getting smashed.
We also carry around a few bags of various kinds for all of those things that just don’t fit or otherwise won’t work. We have also used pencil cases of various kinds with great success.
- Buy – Bead Organizer
- Buy – Pencil Case
- DIY – Nature Collection Bag Craft with Printable | In the Playroom
10. Field Bag or Backpack
Having a bag or backpack to put all of your nature study supplies, water and food is essential. Below I provide a few options to buy or DIY
- Buy – Children’s hydration backpack for hiking and camping
- Buy – Durable packable lightweight backpack daypack
- DIY – Nature Explorer Bag from The Crafty Kitty
A few More Nature Study Materials to Consider
Below you will find a few other nature study materials to consider throwing in your field bag or backpack for the next time you head out into the great outdoors on an adventure into the wilderness.
- Flashlight and/or headlamp
- Folding Scissors
- Hat – Pink or blue or neutral
- Basic first aid kit
- Swiss army knife (for older explores trusted to handle carefully)
And of course, please don’t forget water and a snack if you plan to go further than your own backyard.
Young explorers will need these nature study materials to begin their explorations. Don’t leave home without them… you never know when you might run into something to explore and learn about.
If you liked Nature Study Materials, You May Also Like
- Get Outside and Connect
- Go on a Nature Hunt
- Backyard Birdwatching
- DIY Nature Memory Game
- Nature Scavenger Hunt
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