One nice thing about Pooh taking art on his own, is that I have one on one time with Tigger. Forty-five minutes of activity. Tigger wouldn't have it any other way.
When we first started taking Pooh to art, I would take Tigger to a used book store or maybe Target to look around. I still do that every once in a while, but lately have been taking him to a nearby Botanical Gardens park. It has a really nice walkway that's mostly in the shade. It's very windy, so Tigger never knows which route we'll take from time to time but he does recognize certain areas. There's also a foresty type section complete with forest floor full of dropped seed pods and pinecones. Tigger has started a 'collection'. Every time we go he brings home about 5-6 new little things.
On our walks I'll identify a plant here and there, have him smell a flower or herb, watch the bird antics, name the birds, see how close we can get to a bird, rabbit, squirrel or chipmunk and watch Tigger walk the stone walkways for some serious sensory input. (he needs it) None of this is planned. We just go, walk and see what's interesting that day. We even discovered a garden area with a copper music stand and who's music happened to be engraved on it???? That's right, Beethoven! Moonlight Sonata. Tigger got a stick and pretended to be a conductor.
I think for us a combination of a scheduled nature study and casual study works well. I do, sometimes, need the structure of saying "Okay, today we'll study Robins." But what cements those structured studies is the unstructered time of just enjoying what we see. That's what brings it all together.
As we're back in the van, I'm about to turn left to leave the park and I hear Tigger's little voice pipe up from the back, "Nature stuff is cool, Mommy"
Yes, Tigger, Nature stuff is very cool!