Nature Journaling with Little Ones

Dear Reader,

As I was sorting through some things lately, I came across the family nature journal we kept when my kids were littler. I almost threw it out but then decided to show it to the kids again first. I was surprised to find that they were still enthusiastic about it. Only the older two remember doing it, but my daughter could remember specific events and finds that were recorded there and seemed excited to do so. Since there were little and barely writing, we kept a family nature journal rather than individual ones. I made a nature journaling page which we would put in a 3-ring binder. We often printed out images of what we had seen since their drawing skills were not very refined yet. I remember having to spell out all the words for them as they recorded where and when we found the items. Below are some samples so you can see how it all worked. I don’t know how Charlotte Mason would feel about this approach, but I think it worked well. Clearly they have fond memories of it and at that age I don’t think they could have done more than illegible scribbles if they had been left to do it on their own without preprinted images. As it is, they have something they can look back at and decipher and not just a book of scribbles.

Nebby

The cover  . . our journal was just a 3-ring binder. You can see we began it in 2006 which means my oldest two were 6 and 4.

The cover . . our journal was just a 3-ring binder. You can see we began it in 2006 which means my oldest two were 6 and 4.

A sample page. The picture is off the internet. The bird was a pretty cool find though -- a dowitcher in our own backyard.

A sample page. The picture is off the internet. The bird was a pretty cool find though — a dowitcher in our own backyard.

A close up of the information we recorded-- it's pretty much what, who, when and where. Notice that most of the numbers are written backwards.

A close up of the information we recorded– it’s pretty much what, who, when and where. Notice that most of the numbers are written backwards.

This printed picture is from Enchanted Learning. They ahve lots of cool resources.

This printed picture is from Enchanted Learning. They ahve lots of cool resources.

Sometimes we drew our own pictures. Can you tell this is a chipmunk?

Sometimes we drew our own pictures. Can you tell this is a chipmunk?

A feather we found

A feather we found

I made special pages for trees where we could describe or draw their leaves, bark, etc.

I made special pages for trees where we could describe or draw their leaves, bark, etc.

Last one ... this is a picture we took. It's actually not nature because it's a pet. Someone's racing pigeon got injured and was hanging around our backyard till we managed to track them down and return it.

Last one … this is a picture we took. It’s actually not nature because it’s a pet. Someone’s racing pigeon got injured and was hanging around our backyard till we managed to track them down and return it.

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