There is something that teachers have known for a long time – journaling is a great way to get kids engaged in learning. It forces them to think critically about what they’re seeing, dealing with, and feeling. That skill sounds pretty handy right about now, doesn’t it? We hope you’re doing well and are able to stay safe at home. And if you’re at home with kids, we hope you’re able to get them outdoors (safely distanced), engaging with what nature has to teach them.
It’s only a half step beyond what teachers know to see the value in putting a notebook in your children’s hands and have them log entries into a nature journal. The journal doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a place for your kids to record what they’re seeing around them, when outside. A nature journal or nature log becomes immediately valuable to children because it’s made up of their own artwork. It’s their own record of their world. And it’s their own personally made keepsake when things go back to normal and they do finally get to go beyond the backyard.
Keeping a nature log isn’t just a writing exercise. A good nature log book will include factoids, trivia questions, games to play, and a place to doodle. It helps to get your kids looking at their world from all kinds of different angles and using different ways to express what they’re seeing. It’s all about getting kids engaged with the world as they’re experiencing it. Plus, they’ll enjoy showing off their artwork and recounting what they saw to family members.
Nature Log for Kids
One good example of the above ideas is the Nature Log Kids book by Adventure Publications. It’s a kid’s journal with space to record nature experiences. It includes nature facts, games, experiments, crafts, and ways to help the Earth. So the experience can go beyond just a writing exercise to help guard against boredom and encourage kids to take a deeper look into nature.
And once everything opens back up, think about keeping a notebook, journal, or one of the Nature Log Kids books in the car or your child’s bag, so that it’s always at hand.
We hope you and your family are well and able to get outside safely.