Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nature journals for the 5 and under set

Following my last post, my friend Elizabeth Joy wrote about nature journals in the comments section. I thought it would be great to open up this topic to others.

What books do you recommend about nature journals?

What kind of success have any of you had with doing nature journals with children age 5 and under?

How do you make them work with pre-writing/pre-drawing kids?

I would love to hear from any readers that have some tips. Thanks so much!


Elizabeth Joy said...

I don't know if I have any great words on this, but I think modeling journaling is really important. Take a book yourself, and stop to draw things quickly as your boys look on. I think quick would be important, so they don't wander off too soon. Have some paper tucked in the back so if they want eventually draw some thing themselves, you are ready. But I do think there are going to be some personalities that won't draw much. But maybe starting early would help them draw more then they would normally. Have them scribble something on the page, then tell you about what they were drawing, and you make the written notations for them. Journaling is really just a way of learning to see more clearly what you are looking at. It makes you stop longer and be a still a little more. There are other ways to do this. But it really can be fun, especially when you have such a nice place to go walking. I have several books about journaling in nature. I like each of them in a different way. I really like it when my family gives me enough time to sit and carefully draw something of beauty along the way. It makes me all happy and peaceful inside.

Hope things with baby are progressing well.

Kim said...

I have heard of people taking photos of what they see instead of drawing it. It seams to work well for some.
Or maybe finding a coloring page based on what they saw. That might work well for very little children.

Amanda said...

We have made a bird calendar after spending many hours looking at the birds in our bird feeders. We take lots of pictures, or find pics in bird journals. Then we paste them onto card stock and my son will draw his own rendition of each bird. You could try this with lots of different things. Having a simple field guide for trees or wild life really helps. Also, bringing the outside in is inspirational too. We have a nature table that we change every month - my son is in charge of keeping it well stocked. :) Drawing takes lots of practice and white space is intimidating - maybe have them paint or trace items first?