Now, what do I mean by a nature journal?
Well, for this particular post, we are not talking about writing down when you plant your garden, trees, or anything outdoors, we are discussing what you see outdoors—a scientific journal of sorts.
Creating a nature journal is for all ages, as I believe there are multiple health benefits to seeing the beauty of life no matter your age.
My only rule is DO NOT make this nature journal complicated. It’s meant to relax, relate, and enjoy what’s all around you.
Supplies You Will Need:
- The three things you truly need are a notebook,
- writing utensils,
- and your imagination.
- Beyond that, you can use paints,
- colored pencils,
- and or dried plants.
- To begin, pick out a notebook, one that you really, really love. If this is for a child, then you let them pick it out. The point is for the notebook to bring joy to the person who is using it.
- Next step. When you go out into nature, think of God as your teacher and the world as your classroom.
- With your notebook along, find something in nature, whether it be a leaf, a horse, the sky, seashells, anything. You draw a picture of it, and then you write about it.
Helpful Tips on Writing According to Age
If this project is for a kindergartner or someone a little younger, I would suggest having them draw a picture and then saying something like this, “Here is a bird. His name is Mr. Robin.” keep it short and non-stressful.
As you get higher up in age, I would encourage the person to write something a little more in-depth. For instance, you could have them draw a picture of whatever they’re looking at, I’m going to choose a hummingbird, and then they write a story about it. The story may say something like this:
“There was a mother hummingbird who was frantically flying from house to house looking for nectar. Her little birds were hungry. Stopping at the first house, she noticed a cat sitting on the wall. ‘Oh, this is not a good place to stop,’ she announced, so she flew to the next house. Up and down the Sunny Valley, she went, looking for nectar from the various plants and flowers.”
You get the idea of how you could make it a little more difficult for someone who likes to write or is a little older. For children who don’t find writing enjoyable, you could have them merely draw the picture or write a simple description. Like:
“The hummingbird has blue and green wings, and its beak is very long, pointy, and black.”
I have found that even the children that don’t like to write, like writing about nature. Remember, parents, do not correct spelling errors unless you’re using this for a school project. Nothing is so devastating to a child as a parent who corrects their work when they are proud of their accomplishment and merely trying to show you. Yes, there is a time for that, and age comes into play, but as a parent, I would strongly suggest keeping a project like this enjoyable.
Moving on. Since you’re writing this nature journal, there is a set of DVDs that I am going to recommend. Click Here to view. These DVDs talk all about nature/animals and how they have everything they need from the very beginning of life to equip themselves for our world. If you have amazon prime, you can view them for free.
I am recommending the DVD’s as they are a great way to see some of what you are writing and learning. You write in a journal for a week, and then you watch one of the three DVDs, a complimentary way of reinforcing what you learn. I guarantee children and adults will learn something from these.
How can Science Improve Your Outlook?
Appreciating your surroundings takes your mind and that of your children off their limitations. The limitations of being quarantined, sick, unable to provide, and anything else that comes along in life that debilitates us in some way.
Having an appreciation for nature and your surroundings gives you a positive outlook on life, which is very much needed, no matter where you live.
I love keeping and creating a nature journal as it’s something you can always continue and look back on. Remembering happy times with your children, family, or when you were on your own is a treasure you can save.
My children have even suggested it when visiting cousins. They all share notes at the end before heading home and feel connected even though we live many hours away.
Adding Special Touches to Your Nature Journal
I like to press flowers in my journal, along with drawing and writing. If you are an artist or painter and want to create a masterpiece, what a better canvas then the outdoors?!
There is no wrong or right way to write what you see, and that’s what I love the most about a nature journal. Each one is unique, formed of that person and their abilities.
Notebooks don’t need to be expensive. They can be from the Family Dollar store, Barnes & Noble, or your child could even make their own. Again the point is to have a notebook that the person can relate with.
Please take the time and look at what your child, tween, or teen has created. If you’re asking them to do something, then acknowledge that they’ve done it and show excitement. This will encourage them to continue in their journey to find the beauty of science/nature that’s all around.