What you need:
- Recycled cardboard (cereal or cracker boxes work best)
- Paper (binder, brown paper sacks, typing paper, or newsprint)
- Ribbon, string, yarn, note card ring
- Colored pencils/crayons/markers
- Hole punch (if you don't have one, a grownup can use a hammer and nails to punch a hole)
- Other art materials to use for decorating your book
- Make front and back covers using cardboard material.
- Cut and fold paper the same size, or a little smaller, than your front and back covers to make the inside pages of your book.
- We recommend putting 10-20 blank pages in your book.
- Line up the covers and inside pages, then punch two or three holes on the edge of your book.
- Use ribbon or other materials to bring your book together and create the binding.
- Name and decorate your book!
Ways to Expand It
- A nature journal is a place to grow your thoughts, feelings, ideas, observations and experiences with nature. Whenever you head outside, take your nature notebook with you!
- Write, paint, draw. Nature always has secrets to share. Use magazines to create nature inspired collages of things you see while out exploring.
What Kids Learn
- Fine motor skills. Kids practice using the small muscles in their hands later used for writing.
- Hand eye coordination. Young children need activities like cutting or tearing paper, using glue sticks, or aligning pages.
- Journals teach real-life science through hands-on outdoor exploration.
- Keeping a journal supports wonder and independent thinking. Sketching an idea captures life that might otherwise pass by unnoticed and helps you relive moments of growth.
- Reinforce scientific language, discussion, shared ideas, descriptive language, general vocabulary, spelling, and pre-writing practice.
- Journaling offers creativity and the ability to choose what to draw, which tools to use, and shares different perspectives.
- Naturally grows art skills.
- Provides documentation of learning and the pretty paper trail of your amazing time together!
- Promotes real-life writing. Sketches become letters. Letters become words, words become sentences, thoughts, ideas, poems, prayers, stories and more.
- Encourages research based learning. When you stumble upon something you didn't know about on a nature walk, it’s “natural” to want to discover more! What it is...what it does...where it lives…
- Develops graphing and mapping skills.
- Helps us to care for nature and to connect with the world around us.