Nature journaling for kids is a fun and engaging way to get your little ones outdoors and explore the natural world around them. It can not only help build their scientific knowledge, but it also serves as an outlet for creativity and mindfulness. With simple supplies like paper, pencils, markers, or paints, you can easily set up nature journals.
What is Nature Journaling for Kids?
Nature journaling for kids is a way to document and explore the natural environment. It uses creative writing, drawing, and other forms of exploration to help children deepen their understanding and appreciation of nature.
By allowing them to record what they see and experience, it encourages them to use their senses in active observation.
This helps build skills such as nature study, nature crafts, classification, measurement, problem-solving, reflection, and communication.
Why is nature journaling good for kids?
Nature journaling promotes environmental awareness and respect for the natural world.
Writing and drawing in their own nature journal can help kids develop better observation skills.
Nature journaling helps and encourages kids to explore nature more deeply and with greater detail.
It helps them develop an appreciation for nature’s beauty and diversity.
It provides a way to connect with the outdoors, even in adverse weather conditions or urban environments.
Nature journaling can be used to identify patterns, trends, and changes in nature over time or from season to season.
Journals encourage kids to develop natural curiosity, and art skills, and offer a fun way for kids to engage with and learn about the world around them.
Having a record of past experiences can provide a reference point for future studies and activities, allowing kids to build on what they have already learned.
It serves as an outlet for creativity, helping kids express their ideas and feelings in new ways.
It can help children develop focus, self-discipline, problem-solving skills, and perseverance while working on projects outdoors.
Nature journaling encourages children to make meaningful connections with the people around them, as they share their experiences with family members or peers who have similar interests.
Writing helps to build self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment as kids master new skills and create something tangible from their observations.
Lastly, it’s just plain fun! Kids will love the opportunity to get out into nature and take part in a creative activity that connects them with the world around them.
How to start nature journaling for kids.
- Define the kind of nature you want your kid to journal about.
- Choose a nature journal that resonates with your kid. This could be a simple nature notebook.
- Set time aside for your kid to journal regularly.
- Start nature journaling.
- Use nature journal prompts or language arts to help you get started
- Review and reflect on your journal entries.
What should kids write in a nature journal?
Here are some prompts on how to start a nature journal for kids:
- Draw a plant or animal you saw today.
- Describe a sound you heard while exploring nature.
- Write about something that surprised you in the natural world.
- Make a list of the colors you observed outdoors today.
- Jot down ideas for how to make your outdoor space better for wildlife or plants.
- What do you think is the most interesting thing about nature?
- Name three things that make nature so special to you personally.
- Identify five features of your favorite outdoor spot and why they are important to you.
- Write a poem about something natural that inspires awe in you, such as a thunderstorm or a sunset.
- Draw and describe an animal you encountered or heard today.
- Describe how the weather affects different plants and animals in your area.
- Identify three things that need protecting and explain why they are important to preserve in nature.
- Use words, drawings, photographs, or other media to capture how it feels to be outdoors on a particular day.
- Describe the smells of nature in your area, from freshly cut grass to the scent of blooming flowers.
- Keep track of changes in wildlife activity over time by noting when species come back each year or go dormant for certain seasons.
- Make a list of simple ways you can help protect the environment, such as picking up trash in parks or planting native species.
- Record what you observe about a particular animal’s behavior and how it interacts with its surroundings.
- Write a reflection on how nature makes you feel; happy, peaceful, inspired, etc.
- Describe something that has gone extinct due to human activity and explain why it is important to conserve natural resources.
- Take note of changes to your favorite outdoor location over the seasons or years and think about why those changes occur.
Tips for Maintaining a Successful Nature Journal for Kids
Make it Fun
Make nature journaling a fun activity by allowing your kids to choose their own supplies and colors.
Use watercolor paints to illustrate different seasons, or ask them to glue in feathers and leaves they found on their nature walk.
Let them explore freely, with limited structure or boundaries. Take a nature hike with your kid, and allow your young kids to record animal tracks in your local park.
Use nature stamps to illustrate them, or let your older child take photos of interesting plants.
Try not to be too rigid about structure, making sure to leave room for creativity. Keeping a nature journal with your kid can provide them with a sense of freedom to explore nature and express themselves in creative ways. The key is to keep the process relaxed, open-ended, and enjoyable.
Encourage your kids to observe daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes, and document what they see during nature observations in their nature notebooks.
Ask questions like “What did you learn today?” or “What did you notice that was different from yesterday?”
Connect with Nature
Spend time enjoying nature without screens and gadgets by planning a fun family activity such as a nature walk or a nature activity in your own backyard.
Choose an Interesting Location
Go somewhere special each time and encourage them to explore all around them.
Encourage Writing & Drawing
Share what your kids have learned or drawn with family and friends. Doing so will help make the experience more meaningful to them and reinforce their knowledge of the natural world.
Encourage creativity by asking your children questions about what they observe or experience rather than telling them what to write or draw. You also can help kids with creating their own DIY nature journal.
Guide how to use the tools of observation such as sketching, writing, measuring, and researching, but ultimately let the children’s interests guide the direction of their exploration and discovery.
Model nature journaling yourself by describing and drawing the things you observe on your own outdoor adventures.
Set realistic expectations for how much time should be spent observing, sketching, writing, etc. each day.
Set rules about safety in advance of each outing so that everyone understands what is expected in terms of behavior when exploring outdoors then write nature journal entries.
Nature journaling for kids can be an incredible way to encourage awareness of nature while also providing children with creative outlets for self-expression.
By giving them the tools to explore their environment and record what they experience, kids can gain a deeper understanding of our natural world and develop skills that will last for years to come.
Now you know how to start nature journaling for kids so get out there with your little ones and start exploring!