A couple of weeks ago, my daughter Lillie came running in from playing outside.
“Mommy! Mommy!” she shouted. “It’s spring! It’s spring! I saw one of those yellow flowers in the front yard!”
It was still pretty chilly outside, but she was right — the daffodils were starting to bloom. It was a good reminder to pull out our nature journals.
We started working in our nature journals again last fall, then with the busyness of the holidays we tucked them away for a while. But new life in the spring presents the perfect opportunity for a fresh start.
Fridays are our least busy day, so that’s when we set aside some time to go outside. If you’d like to start a nature journal, here are a few tips for getting started.
SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:
Paper: An ordinary tablet, sketchbook, homemade journal, composition book, or spiral notebook
Pencils and erasers
Colored pencils or watercolors
Field guides of birds, snakes, lizards, mammals, rocks, trees, etc.
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR NATURE JOURNAL:
The date, time, place, and weather conditions
What you see, hear, or smell. You can try to identify the objects, plants, and animals and write about what you find.
Drawings in pencil, pen, colored pencils, or watercolors.
YOU MIGHT ALSO INCLUDE:
The scientific names and common names of specimens
Interesting facts about the specimens you find
Special poems, scriptures, or hymns
A brief description or story about what you’ve found
Pressed leaves or flowers
There aren’t any set rules to nature journaling — one child may want to include only butterflies, while another is interested in trees. Or, a child may want to include everything he finds. As you head outside with your child, though, be sure to take a notebook and pencil for yourself. You never know what you might find!