Nature Journaling: Children love being outdoors, and with our ever-changing seasons, there is always something new to see and do, whether in your own garden or in a local park. We are delighted to share some fabulous activities you and your little ones can try next time you venture out, courtesy of Sarah Watkins.
Sarah was a teacher and Head of School and is now part-time Associate Lecturer at University of Worcester as well as running an outdoor learning company called Dandy Lions. Sarah is the author of two books, both published by Routledge, and loves being outdoors!
Nature Journaling features in Sarah’s book 99 Eco-Activities for Your Primary School
Outside, you all will notice different things and you can choose to record your thoughts in different ways. A nature journal is a beautiful way to capture your feelings and responses.
What you need
- A large notebook or sketchpad. (See the ‘make a notebook’ activity).
- Pens and pencils. (You might want to use watercolours too).
- Glue and tape.
What you need to do
- Spend some time in a natural space, looking and listening, touching (and, if possible, tasting!). What has caught your eye? What has captured your attention? Why?
- Think about how you want to record your thoughts. You could write about what you’ve seen and find out the scientific names of the plants and animals you’ve seen. I love the Latin name for the bumble bee: Bombus! Maybe record the weather – how windy is it? What do the clouds look like?
- You might want to attach beautiful leaves and petals from the ground and draw and colour some of the wonderful plants you see. You could also make rubbings from trees and leaves. You could squash plants into the page (see the ‘make paint from plants’ activity).
- It’s good to go back to the same spot through the different seasons and record the changes you see.
Create a map of the natural area with your own key. This could be a map representing that day, showing where sticks and leaves are lying at that time.
We hope you and your little ones enjoy nature journaling!
Competition! You can win a copy of 99 Eco-Activities for Your Primary School by Sarah Watkins for your primary school or nursery in our competition. This competition ends on 15th September 2023. Click here for details and to enter. Good luck!