I wrote an article for Heart of the Matter Online last month about Nature Journaling for Little Ones. It was a wish list of things I wanted to do with Esmé. And here’s how it started:
I’ve wistfully contemplated nature journaling – beautiful, romantic, sweet, beyond my grasp. Life is too busy to just sit, relax, observe, be? Whenever I head outside, I grab my gardening tools. Or furtively check emails on my iPod while pushing my daughter’s swing.
And my little girl? She’s too young to enslave with a pencil and paper, I’ve thought. She needs to be free to run, roam, explore, discover.
No longer. I’m tired of coveting others’ journals. And I’ve been reading how nature journaling, rather than restricting freedom, can be an avenue for focused exploration, discovery, and expression. A way to be amazed by the littlest details of this world God has made.
Because we are official experts now, having a month of nature journaling under our belts as well as a posted article, I figured Nature Journaling would be the perfect topic as we join the illustrious group of 65 or so bloggers over at The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew on their 5 Days of Blogging Hop. So with that disclaimer and plea for grace, let’s dive right in with the first topic:
What Do I Need for Nature Journaling?
- Something to write on
- Something to write with
I know, I know. You were wanting a legitimate reason to peruse your favorite office supply store and tap into your education budget. Never fear, we’ll get to that later. I just wanted to remind you that there are no nature journal police out to get you if you don’t have all the requisite supplies. You can start today!
Something to Write On
Paper is the obvious choice, though don’t let that limit your creativity. Write on rocks if that works for ya – though I’d definitely recommend Sharpies for a writing instrument if you go that route.
For us, the first question was:
- Do we want pretty little notebooks? Something we can just pick up and grab as we’re heading outdoors? That in itself inspires us to creativity?
- Or do we want a binder? Something we can add to over time, using pre-printed journaling sheets, lined paper or plain, sheet protectors for actual plant samples, etc.
If you do go the binder route, by all means, make that binder cover as fancy as you wish. I’m still drooling over the twig binding on this journal. For us novices, here is a dried flower picture (covered with contact paper) from last summer that is perfect for slipping into the transparent front pocket of our 3-ring binder.
Something to Write With
All right - here's where you can go hog wild with shopping if you desire.
- Colorful pens, pencils – to get creative juices flowing
- Pastels, crayons – to make plant rubbings or just color things up
- Hair spray – to set the pastels if you choose to use them
- Camera – to “imprint” photos for photo journaling
- Printer (with ink) – to print photos, printable notebooking pages, poetry, quotes – anything you don’t want to write out yourself.
Actually, it’s a pretty basic list. Just pull out your favorite art or scrapbooking supplies and take ‘em outside with you – you’ll be good to go!
Still not sure how to get started? We’ll have a few specific newbie examples for you over the next few days. But if you want to go to the pros for ideas, check out Handbook of Nature Study for LOTS of journaling ideas.