I have been waiting for spring to start a nature journal with Jacob. I know we could have started one in the winter but I am not a huge fan of being outside in the cold and thought it would be much easier in the spring. I got the book, Keeping a Nature Journal, out of the library and that has been a great help in inspiring me to begin and giving me ideas on directions we could go in. We are keeping it simple right now and Jacob has been drawing pictures of flowers, birds, worms, bugs, etc. that we have seen in our yard. I have Jacob write the name of the plant or animal and the date he drew the picture. We have looked up more information about some of the things we have found in our yard on-line and also in our copy of The Handbook of Nature Study. You can go here to download a free copy of the book to view on your computer. It is a wonderful book and Jacob has enjoyed having me read sections from it.
Jacob has been more enthusiastic then I thought he would be regarding keeping a nature journal. We have been going on nature hikes since he was little and sharing our love of nature with him which he seems to have caught. He has also developed an interest in drawing this last year since I started him with the Usborne I Can Draw Animals book. We then moved on to Draw Really Cool Stuff which has helped him learn how to draw bugs, birds, and animals. I think this year was a really good year to start a nature journal because Jacob is now able to draw things quite well without getting frustrated. I give him simple drawing technique suggestions every once in a while but I mostly just provide him with drawing books, paper, and drawing pencils and let him do his own thing. I have included a couple examples from Jacob's nature journal and some other helpful websites below.
I highly recommend visiting The Handbook of Nature Study Blog for inspiration and ideas. If you want to learn more about starting a nature journal then head over to Home-Made School.
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