Friends, it’s here! The Pond Guided Nature Journal is in my Etsy shop and ready for your little explorer.
Inside are posters, flash cards, coloring pages and journaling prompts covering 5 different topics (frogs, dragonflies, turtles, aquatic plants, aquatic minibeasts), and I’ve also included ideas for activities, sensory play and a book list.
Here’s a little boredom buster that’s sure to keep the rock-lovers happy in your house. This is a FREE Rock and Mineral Properties Activity Sheet for immediate download. My boys loved testing the rocks from their collection – I hope your kids love it, too!
**Note: I’m an affiliate of Amazon, which means every purchase from product links helps keep this website going. I only write about things I’m truly passionate about, and products I actually recommend and use for our family.**
The Wild Child’s Nature Journal ~ The Forest is done and up in my Etsy shop.
This project feels a bit like my fourth child, and I hope it’s something that can be a blessing to you and your kiddos.
Inside The Forest, I’ve included 8.5×11 posters, flash cards, coloring pages and journaling prompts for eight fascinating organisms you can find in the forest:
Autumn Leaves Forest Beetles Fungi Conifer Trees Woodpeckers Ferns Forest Animals Moss and Lichen
This guided journal is a great option for those of you who have kids just getting started with nature study and nature journaling. It presents a variety of information on species, nature anatomy and life cycles, while keeping it simple and non-intimidating (is that a word???).
Use it alongside your favorite nature study curriculum, or bring it along on your nature walks.
“We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” -Charlotte Mason
We bound ours in a pocket folder (minus the flashcards – those hang above our nature table), and when it’s time for nature study we just pull out the folder and it’s all there.
Nature study is something that is really important to our family, and I believe it’s an essential piece of my children’s education.
Please let me know how you like it! And feel free to share your experience with the journal on Instagram by using #journalingthewild ~ I would love to see and share your photos.
Our favorite thing to do now that the weather is cooling off and the leaves are changing is to collect autumn “treasures” on our nature walks.
Pine cones, acorns, leaves and berries make wonderful loose parts to play with – but they make even better play dough stamps! (And, they’re freeeeeee)
This cinnamon scented play dough is velvety smooth and soft, and it smells DIVINE. Trust me, you will want to eat it. (But don’t, it tastes pretty terrible)
Cinnamon Play Dough Recipe
2 cups white flour 1 cup fine sea salt 3 Tbsp cream of tartar (it makes the playdough more smooth and elastic) 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1.5 Tbsp vegetable oil
Mix all ingredients above together in a large bowl
Slowly and CAREFULLY stir in 2 cups of boiling water
Optional: knead in 5-10 drops of cinnamon essential oil and several drops of orange (or red+yellow) food coloring
Keep kneading on a countertop or flat surface until it’s a smooth consistency (this should take a minute or two)
**Note – please be aware, if you add food coloring, some of the color may transfer to your hands and countertop during the mixing process. I was able to easily wipe it off my solid surface counters without it staining, but keep this in mind if you are working on a very porous surface.**
I hope you try this simple and fun autumn activity! And make sure you take time to slow down and join in on the fun, too. #notjustforkids
**I’m an affiliate of Amazon, which means every purchase from product links helps keep this website going. I only write about things I’m truly passionate about, and products I actually recommend and use for our family.**
I’ve been working on something super exciting (and a little nerve-wracking, truth be told) over the past few months and I am finally ready to share.
First — some background info.
If you follow me over on Instagram, you know how important nature study is to our family. My husband is a forester for goodness sake. 🙂
My oldest just turned six, and he’s at that great age of wanting to discover all nature has to offer, and learn the names of everything and how it all fits together. But nature journaling was daunting for him. The interest was there — but he just doesn’t have the skill set yet to express all of his wonderful thoughts on paper.
That’s why I started putting together these little nature journal guides. My hope is that they will help children journal through subjects within a specific habitat:
The Forest, The Pond, The Meadow, The Mountain, The Garden, The Night Sky.
Each habitat will cover 6-8 subjects, with an 8.5×11 poster and flashcards (hand-painted by yours truly), a coloring sheet and a nature journaling prompt.
(Side note: I love that younger siblings can do the coloring sheet and be included in the lesson)
Sometimes my boy likes drawing his observations right on the page and sometimes he’ll draw in his blank journal. Sometimes he’ll use the illustrations as a guide to sketch out what he’s observing. Sometimes I’ll print the coloring page on cardstock paper and he paints with watercolors.
We use these a lot of ways — I usually let his interest guide how we use them.
I very much hope these little nature journaling guides can be helpful for others getting started with nature study – and trust me – they have been kid tested!
(Fun Fact: when I presented my son with the first – very different – version, he said it was and I quote, “too boring.” Ouch!! Brutal honesty, folks.)
So – friends – I’d love for you to download this Moss + Lichen pack, use it with your kids and tell me what you think.
The boys and I needed a handcraft to make for the Wild + Free handicraft fair and this was the perfect little project. While I plan on teaching my boys practical handcrafts – like sewing and woodworking – this time I needed something simple enough that my three year old could participate in.
Salt-dough is such a neat medium to work with and very easy to mix up (my favorite recipe is below). We used cookie cutters to cut out the pendants and nature treasures from our nature collection to use as stamps.
Straws work perfectly to make holes for stringing the pendants into necklaces.
Once the pendants were all designed, we let them dry. Air drying is an option, but we were in a bit of a time crunch so we dried ours in the oven. We placed them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and dried them at 200 degrees for an hour on both sides. Then we left them on the counter overnight to completely dry out before painting.
Both of the boys got a paintbrush and some acrylic paint and painted the nature impressions, leaving the rest white. (You can also use watercolors or even crayons)
Once the paint was dry, I went ahead and brushed on a coat of clear polycrylic. Then, the boys strung some colorful beads onto a string and through the hole in the pendants. I tied them off and viola!
These would also make sweet little gifts for Christmas or birthdays.
2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
Thoroughly mix the first two ingredients together. Gradually stir in the water bit by bit, until you get a dough-like consistency. Form it into a ball and knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes. (If the dough gets too sticky, add some more flour.) Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness before cutting out the pendants with cookie cutters.