A QUICK GUIDE TO MAKING A NATURE JOURNAL.
Winter is not in the mood to budge today. It’s so cold outdoors that we’re stuck inside together. So rather than get fed up and start arguing with each-other we’ve decided to begin the year with A Nature Journal.
We decided this on the 4th of January, when we saw the first set of geese returning to our shores from their Winter retreat.
We always record the 1st and last day we see the geese fly each year. One of my quirks. We always say ‘welcome back’ or ‘have a nice holiday too’
SPRING IS ON THE WAY
We LOVE Spring. The buds swelling on the trees, tiny snow drops appearing, birds flapping around in the hedge rows and tiny daffodil shoots appearing out of the soil.
There is so much to see once you get into the rhythm of the seasons that you will wonder how you missed it all before.
So, next time you go out. Pay attention to the little things..
- The way to light levels change
- Does the air smell different?
- Do the birds sing more?
- What can you feel?
- What else can you hear?
Here are some other Signs of Spring to keep a watch out for.
- The shoots swelling on the trees.
- Frogs in a pond
- Some little groups of frogspawn
- Birds singing and pairing up
- Birds carrying nesting materials and building nests
- Baby Lambs appearing in the fields.
- Spring Flowers – Daffodils, Crocus, Snowdrops, Lesser Celandines, Wild Primroses, Tulips, Wallflowers, Hazel Catkins, Pussy Willow.
When we spot anything, we write down where we saw it and the date as well, then next year, we can compare it. Sometimes we even draw a little picture or take a photograph and add it to our Nature Journal.
When we go out to the garden we keep a look out, as well as, if we go for a walk in the woods or take a trip to the park. We’re always watching out for birds, bugs and wildlife.
Yesterday afternoon, we went for a lovely walk. In the space of an hour, we saw a heron standing tall and still in the pond we passed and 3 buzzards flew high overhead circling around in the bright morning sun.
At the weekend we also passed the River Forth outlet to the sea, we saw a pod of 3 whales just off our coastline which is a rare occurrence. AMAZING!!
Now, to make our journal.
We printed off a Spring Spotter sheet to start us off. We then used lots of A3 sheets of white paper and some coloured A4 paper. Feel free to download a FREE copy of the Spring Spotter Sheet for your own journals.
Also, you could add scavenger hunts, animal track guide, seasonal information, bark rubbings, pressed and dried flowers and leaves, and some spotter sheets too. The possibilities are endless. Here are some sheets to start you off. You can use them anyway you like.
We also used some A3 sheet folded in half for the blank sheets in our folder. Now with a hole punch (or a long thin skewer) make 2 holes along the centre of the paper like this. Fold the A3 pages first so everything is A4 size like below.
We then used cereal box card to make a cover by drawing around the paper we are using like this. Always make the cover slightly bigger than the inside paper. Use the hole punch to make holes in the cover too.
Lastly we wrapped the cardboard cover in brown paper. The kids drew animal pictures and flowers all over it and made it pretty and we filled in any gaps with some wildlife stickers we have.You could use left over wrapping paper or even left over wall paper for this. This is how we used to cover our school books to keep them in good condidtion.
Once complete we put it all together like this. We used a pipe cleaner to tie our bundle together, pipecleaners make it really easy when you want to add more sheets.
That all there is to it.
Now, any time we want to go out, we pop our journals in the bag and off we go. We can fill in one of the sheets or do a scavenger hunt, try track some footprints, try a spotter sheet or just draw a picture. There really is so much to see and do. What will you see today?
If nature isn’t your thing you could turn your book into a garden planning journal or even just a sketch book.
To attract nature to your garden why not try a winter buffet for the birds or creating a wildlife garden with kids– this even has a free printable of ideas you can try. If you can’t get out, why not bring nature indoors and this post is full of ideas to connect your kids with nature. File it all away in your nature journal!!