Fun with Kids and Nature: Creating a Nature Journal
Are you looking for an easy activity that gets kids engaged with learning, discovery and nature? Creating a nature journal is simple and fun for kids (and parents too!)
You can purchase a blank journal online, or, use any notebook you already have on hand. Using scrap paper that gets stapled or taped together is a very ecologically and economically friendly way to create your journal.
Once you have the journal in hand, the options for content and entries are nearly endless.
Here are some suggestions for drawing or writing in your nature journal that you only need to look out the window or be in the backyard to see:
Weather – What is the weather today?
Trees – What do the leaves on the trees look like? Are they changing colors? Growing? Falling? Gone?
Flowers – What flowers are blooming today?
Insects – What insects are buzzing, flying or crawling around today?
Birds -What birds do you see? What birds do you hear?
Mammals – What mammals do you see? Squirrels or chipmunks? How about a dog or kitty cat? What about YOU?
Reptiles & Amphibians – What reptiles or amphibians might you see? You might spy a frog or toad in the garden or maybe a garter snake or five lined skink in the backyard.
Rocks – What cool rocks are in your yard or neighborhood? What color are they? How do they feel when you touch them?
Books – What new and exciting information have you learned from reading a book about nature?
This is just a small list of ideas to help get you started. You don’t have to stick to objective observations. Include a funny thing that happened, your feelings or your thoughts, maybe even write a poem or a song. In addition to writing and drawing, you can also include small printed pictures that are glued or taped into the journal. The most interesting reading later on tends to be what we were thinking and feeling at the time of the writing.
The best part of a nature journal is you can make it anything you want! Looking back at the journals I kept when I was a young child is a treasure that I hope many of your kids will get to experience as well.