It’s Nature Week here on the blog! Spring has sprung, we have about a month and a half of school, and I’m feeling the pull to spend more time outdoors. Also, I’ve noticed that the (good-natured) shrieking and bellowing that goes on around here sounds quieter outdoors (bonus: it also alerts mountain lions and bears, who — I’m assuming — run away in fear of whatever horrible creature sounds like that.)
One of our favorite supplies over the last few years has been the nature journal. It’s served several purposes — the kids don’t hike far before wanting a break anyway, so this gives them something to do. They observe things around them they might not have noticed (and often, that I didn’t notice, either. I love that part). It helps with writing, drawing, observation, and other creative skills. It keeps everyone occupied on the car ride home. And — as with most journals — we have fun looking through them years later.
I tend to keep our journals simple — I know my limits and if I had to do a lot of work getting this together, I’d give up and go read a magazine. So at the beginning of each summer, I buy four cheap notebooks, 1-2 sets of colored pencils (because they don’t melt in the car like crayons), and a small pencil sharpener. And since we have to drive to most of our hiking places, we keep our supplies in the car, ready for our adventures.
Now — what to write about? Well, anything you see, or hear, or experience. Animals. Plants. A new trail you tried out. I’m pretty sure one kid wrote about how bored he was and that his mom was making him write in his journal. I’m fine with that (besides, those entries are hilarious to read when the kids are older). You can also start with a few prompt questions, if the kids are stuck:
-where are you right now?
-what is the weather like?
-name one new thing you saw. Draw it.
-what did you eat on this hike?
-who came with you?
-what sorts of animals might live here?
For more inspiration, check out a few journal ideas from other adventurous parent-bloggers:
–Nature Journals for Beginners — from Go Explore Nature
–Make a Neighborhood Tree Guide from Kid World Citizen
–The Awe Journal from The House of Hendrix
–Observation Journals from Kitchen Floor Crafts
–First Journals from Bambini Travel
Happy Trails, everyone!
Thank you for visiting Peace but Not Quiet! I’d love it if you’d take a minute to like me on facebook and follow me on twitter.
(This is Day One of Nature Week. Links to the rest of the series will be added below.)
Day 1: Nature Journals
Day 2: What to Bring Hiking With Kids
Day 3: Nature Books for Kids
Day 4: It’s About the Journey
Nancy W says
Nature Journals are wonderful. I still have one from hen I was a kid! Thanks for sharing your post on the HomeAcre Hop, hope to see you again tomorrow! – Nancy The Home Acre Hop
We have a simple science notebook like this, but I’ll admit we need to get out in nature more with it!
Sometimes just a change of scenery gets kids excited to read or write more, too! Bonus!
Dawndee Roberts says
A fun idea, I will have to remember that for my granddaughter! She is 1y/o but we are learning!!!!
That’s such a fun age! They’re just starting to figure everything out…she’ll be writing before you know it!
This is a great idea for keeping kids interested in nature and preserving memories.
Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!
Samantha @ Stir the Wonder says
Love this! Good idea to keep them in the car too! Thanks for linking up at the Hands-On Play Party! I hope you come by next week and link up!
If I didn’t keep them in the car, we’d never remember to bring them!
Carrie @ Crafty Moms Share says
What a wonderful idea!! We always love writing and drawing what we see. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!
Natasha In Oz says
Thank you so much for joining in with the Say G’Day Saturday linky party! I’ve just shared this on Google+ and Pinterest.
Hope to see you again this Saturday!
Natasha in Oz
Thank you! I’ll be there!
Brandi @ penguinsinpink.com says
Oh I can not wait until my girls are old enough to do this! Looks like fun!
It is! And it’s great to go back later and look through them and reminisce…