Saturday, May 26, 2012

Starting a Nature Journal

Yesterday we went on our first 'official' nature walk of the season.  Of course we have been outside many times already and have observed many things, but this time we went equipped with our two new fun resources...our nature journal and our Fun With Nature field guide!


I can never get a great picture, but I promise BOTH of them were really excited!

We met  with a few other homeschool families and walked a trail for a little while and then ended up at a little river.  It was fun watching all the kids kneeling on the ground looking at ants, leaves, tracks, etc.  Being that the majority of the kids were age 5 or under, we were not focused for very long, but it was a fun activity.  I'm hoping to go on at least one 'official' nature walk (with journal and guide in hand!) per week.

I think they are looking at a deer track they found in some mud.
The kids were able to get really close to a squirrel and some ducks near the river.


Above is what one of Trevor's pages looked like in his nature journal (keep in mind he is 3 years old!)  He drew (very small) and labeled a flower, a stick, a leaf, and a rolly poly.  He also tried to make a leaf rubbing on the bottom, but that doesn't work so well with a pencil.

I thought Trevor did a great job for his first experience with a nature journal, but I would love to try to encourage a little more order next time around.  I have visions of ONE item per page and hopefully some color.  I thought it would be neat to find a picture online to print off of the actual item when we get home.  I also want to encourage more writing, for the purpose of better records and also for writing practice.

Here are some questions to keep in mind when helping your young child create their nature journal:

  • What color is the _____________?
  • How many inches long is the _____________?
  • Where did you find the ______________?
  • Does the ______________ make any sound?
  • Can you think of anything else based on what you see around the ____________?

If you're looking for a page to help you on your nature walks, try the page I made below!  There is a large rectangle on the bottom for your child to draw in.  A smaller one on top to put a picture you print off from the internet, or a picture you take with your camera.  Then there are many lines on the side for your child to write his observations or facts about the object they drew.

download

Happy Journaling!

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16 comments:

  1. LOVE this! I am just about to start a journal with my almost three year old! Thanks for the inspiration for ideas to do in it! We'd love for you to join the party at Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! I know my readers will like your ideas as well! :)
    Have a great weekend!
    Mackenzie
    http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com/saturday-show-tell-12-summer-series-preview/

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    1. Thanks for the invite, I just linked up =)

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  2. That printable would be great to use for lots of different drawing activities. Stopping by from Show and share. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Oh, you're right! I wanted to keep it generic so that the child could be creative, but I didn't think past nature walks =) Good idea!

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  3. Hello from the Homeschool Power Moms FB page! Nice to meet you. I saw your classical link up and plan to join soon. Adding you to my Google Reader!

    This is a great post too. I am thinking about adding some posts about Nature Study soon.

    Have a great weekend,
    Amy @ Missional Mama
    http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/

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    1. Well thanks for stopping by! I think that FB page is a great idea =) I'll head over and check out your blog right now!

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  4. Amy,
    We have a science journal, but I love the idea of making one strictly for nature exploration. I'm here from Power Moms and have pinned your idea on my Pinterest Board. Can't wait to see what else you share!

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    1. Jamie, thanks for visiting and pinning! My son is young and only beginning to journal, so I don't know what we will do in the future, but for this summer 'nature' is the only science he's going to be getting =)

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  5. What a great job he did with his first Nature Journal!!

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    1. Thanks, Kristi! We went out (alone) again yesterday and got a much better page done and actually learned a bit about what we saw.

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  6. What a great idea! My oldest is starting to become interested in bugs and stuff in nature. This would be a great tool to use, plus my husband loves to catch bugs with him. Thank you for sharing this on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you'll be back this week.
    -Mackenzie
    http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com

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  7. Oh, how fun!! We did nature walks looking for colors and then came in and drew with the colors we saw in our journal. My daughter is 3 as well and is not much of a drawer yet. Also another good book to check out for your nature walks is Let Nature Be the Teacher and you can see it as a pdf here: http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED391698.pdf

    Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!! I hope you are having an amazing week!

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    1. That looks like a really neat resource! Thanks for sharing it with me.

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  8. fantastic idea!! my kids will love this!!!
    Cant wait to see what you link up later today on Serenity Saturday

    Natasha xxx

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  9. I love this! I am going top do Nature Walks/Journaling with my kids this year and this was super fun to see how you guys do it. Thanks for the freebie too - love the spot for the picture of the real animal =-) I am featuring you at TGIF this week - http://www.livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/2012/06/tgif-linky-party-33.html! Thanks for linking up and I look forward to seeing you again this week =-)
    Beth

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