Why Keep A Nature Journal?


A blog post about getting started nature journaling with children.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

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Why keep a nature journal?

Keeping a nature journal, is a way for your child to record their observations of nature. It allows them to develop their sense of wonder, and get a closer look at the amazing world around us. It can be unstructured or structured, child centric or guided, or a mix of all. Your child can record through writing, drawing, photographing, and/or glueing/taping.

When our family goes out on a nature hike, I often like to start out with a “journaling lens” that I will encourage my children to view nature through. Sometimes, I will set up a journal page for my son based on the lens. I also however, encourage my children to observe anything that grabs their attention. My son is 5, and I expect that after a while of practicing guided observations, he’ll be confident in creating journal pages on his own.

Sample Nature Journal page: Signs of Spring
Sample Nature Journal page

You do not have to journal while you are on the hike, but it’s a good idea to write a note, take a picture, or bring a found object (if possible) from the hike, back home.


Ideas for journaling:

-Art Work-sketch, water color, pastel, chalk, markers

-Photographs

-Found objects

-Pressed flowers

-Written observations

Child writing in nature journal

-Animal sightings

-Weather

-Plants

-Seasonal changes

-Animal tracks

-Smells

-Seeds

-Tree/Plant Identification


Children's Supplies for Getting Started Nature Journaling
Supplies for Getting Started Nature Journaling

Nature Journal Supplies:

-Plain sketch book-portable and hard covered

-Outdoor Exploring Kit

-Pencils

-Color Pencils

-Markers

-Post Its

-Children’s or Adult Binoculars

-Travel Pocket Watercolor Set

-On The Nature Trail

-Tracks, Scats, and Signs



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