There is no learning environment better than nature itself. One of the most wonderful memories I have is walking in my grandmother’s garden. For further enjoyment and learning after school, kids can keep a nature journal.
A nature journal provides a way for children to learn to draw what they see and to capture details they may not have noticed at first, developing sharp observation skills.
To get started, just go out into nature and expose your child to the sights, sounds and smells of nature, even out in the urban jungle if that’s all that is available.
Set the tone by pointing out the colors, textures, shapes of the things around you. For example, notice the shapes of leaves on different plants, how tall certain plants are, how the light of different times of day change the way things look.Other fun things to do in the nature journal are leaf rubbings, pictures of things found under rocks and pressing flowers.
My son chose the theme of “what eats what?” for his journal. Since so much of nature is about eating and being eaten, there was lots to find in nature’s “food web.”
Have patience and let it happen naturally since not all kids will take to drawing or observing instantly. Do not assign drawings or anything else. Creating a nature journal should be fun. Create your own nature journal to inspire your child. My son was not into it at first, but I think it probably helped that I’m not the best sketcher in the world and he saw I was willing to try.
For more on nature journals, visit Kid’s Planet at www.kidsplanet.org/defendit/new/journal.html.
Article By Nuria Almeida
Photo By wot nxt