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Recording a Love for Nature

Recording a Love for Nature

My daughter just bought her first diary at a book fair. I remember how big a deal it was to buy a special book with a little lock. She knows anyone can open it with the little key dangling from the ribbon, but her words must seem more important and meaningful when they warrant a lock.

Nature isn’t private, though. It’s something she sees, records, and shares with anyone who will listen. Nature doesn’t belong in her locked diary. It’s for sharing. She keeps it accessible in her nature journal. I love to watch her observe. She records wildlife and her environment as she experiences it.

I gave the kids journals  a few years ago because they asked for them. I didn’t have a big master plan about where we should go and how they should fill out their entries. Here’s their response when I asked why they like to write in their journals:

-“You get to set down what you’ve seen; you don’t have to rely on memory.”

-“We get to draw what’s out there. Then we can look up the name of the plant when we get home.”

In this photo, she drew a footprint and a lizard:

Nature needn’t be confined to the pages of the journal, although it’s handy for travel. Any canvas can record your child’s outdoor observations. Try:

  • -artwork,
  • -pressed flowers,
  • -crayon rubbings of natural textures,
  • -construction paper cut-outs,
  • -chalk on sidewalk,
  • -or photographs.

All you need to provide is: the idea and some outdoor play time in nature.


Wednesday 26th of October 2011

A beautiful reminder for all to slow down, observe and record the glimpses of wonder we see. Nicely done here. I just shared this loveliness on Twitter.


Monday 14th of February 2011


Tweets that mention Recording a Love for Nature --

Monday 14th of February 2011

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jacquie fisher, Debi Huang. Debi Huang said: Recording a love of nature (via @ocplayparks) <- We think nature journals are gr8 for kids! [...]

Jacquie F

Monday 14th of February 2011

My kids and I did nature journals last summer, along with reading about Rachel Carson & other naturalists. My daughter loved drawing/writing about the changes she saw over the summer - and she still reaches for it months later when she sees something she finds unique. It's also a fun way as a parent to see how they view nature. Nice idea!

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