Looking for a great activity to get your kids outdoors and encourage learning about the natural world? Try nature journaling.
With school out of session, parents like me are looking for creative and easy ways to entertain and teach our kids. One of my favorite activities doesn't require a fancy app or new craft materials: nature journaling.
Nature journals help kids develop awareness and appreciation for the earth while practicing science, art, writing, and research skills.
Don't have a beautiful journal on hand? No worries. Notecards, looseleaf paper, or construction paper on a clipboard work well for this activity. You can create your book or journal after you've gotten several pages.
1) Observe your natural world.
Go on a slow walk through your backyard or garden. Look for interesting colors, textures, animal and plant life. Notice elements of nature you may not often pay attention to: the jagged edges of leaves or the patterns of a tree's bark.
2) Choose something to observe more closely.
Once you've had a good romp outside, choose something to investigate more closely. Get close, touch and smell what you're observing. Use as many senses as possible.
3) Make art.
Draw your object in detail. Try to capture everything you've observed about the object. Not into drawing? Glue your item onto your paper.
3) Label your artwork.
What elements on your drawing can you label? Is it an insect with wings, legs, and eyes? What else can you write down about how the object looks, smells, feels?
4) Additional Research.
Go online or dig into your books to find out more about the object you found. Can you find 5 additional facts to include with your drawing?
5) Repeat and repeat.
Can you fill an entire journal with your drawings and observations, facts and artwork?
This blog is part of Piedmont Environmental Alliance's Virtual Piedmont Earth Day Fair. Learn more and sign up today for updates on our latest videos, activities, and more.