Keeping A Nature Journal

Every day I walk in the river bottoms, across the road and down the country lane from my house. It is so breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful there. I am all alone, and very rarely see another person in the 45 minutes that I am wandering through cornfields and along the banks of the river. What I do see, however, is wildlife! As I come home and describe what I have seen to my children, they take great interest in each day’s discovery. I have even taken them along, one by one, in hopes that they might happen upon the red fox and her 2 babies frolicking in the morning sunshine, as I once did.

One way to record nature’s wonders is to keep a “Nature Journal”. You don’t have to take a walk in the countryside to see evidences of God’s handiwork every single day. Having your children keep a nature journal helps them be alert to nature’s changing display and aware and more interested in animal life, as well as providing the best possible science lessons.

All seasons hold interesting potential entries. You may want to sketch and describe an electric storm and its eventual rainbow, autumn’s changing leaves, the praying mantis on the front porch, or the wild sunflowers in bright bloom.

To create a Nature Journal, fill a 3 ring binder with heavy white paper, or buy a spiral bound artist’s sketch book. Each time you or your child sees something interesting to enter, sketch the creature or plant and then describe it briefly. Later, go to the internet, encyclopedia or field guides to make sure you are identifying it correctly. If you keep a Nature Journal yourself, it will be an inspiration to your children in keeping their own. This book can become a source of joy and education for your family.

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