Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kids' Nature Journals

One of my summer goals is to keep both my kids engaged in learning without the trappings of a classroom. Luckily, both are avid readers, but I'm always on the lookout for fun, educational activities. About a week ago, I came across an article about nature journaling and immediately added it to my summer must-do list.

Here's what we did. I found these blank drawing/painting pads today at Halfprice Books for $1 each (thank you, clearance). Now I'm thinking I should have grabbed a couple spares!

To transform the cutesy books into more rustic looking nature journals, we started with a couple paper lunch bags from my stash. I crumpled them to make them more interesting, reflattened and traced a cover, and then glued them onto the fronts. Then I set the kids loose with the two leaf stamps we had and some green and gold paint.

After labeling them (my daughter still confuses the d for a b in her name), I decided to reinforce the binding with some sort of tie to help make them sturdy enough to withstand our outings. We used some jute twine that we already had, and as an added bonus, we created loops the kids could slip over their wrists for easy carrying.

The kids can't wait to take these on a nature walk, and I can't wait to see all the brilliant observations and illustrations sure to come. On Friday, I'll pass along some good sites and tips for nature journaling for anyone interested in trying it.

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