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Holiday Nature Journals

The summer is upon us. Time to embark on that holiday Nature Journal with the kids. I know it sounds like too much hard work doesn’t it? But I stitched together a few sheets of different types of paper, which got the kids involved - they love it when its been made especially for them. When I’d finished we each had our own six page journal to fill with whatever we wanted. 

We shared a morning by the pool drawing flowers or petal shapes. Sometimes just colouring in the graph squares. Often the special journals got forgotten about, which was fine as they had served their purpose and got us looking. We noticed the buds on the flowers open from one day to the next and picked up forgotten pine cones from the dusty paths.

While taking photos of the salamanders then drawing from the pictures, we found that the graph squares become similar to the pattern on the skin of the salamander. We scrunched seaweed and looked at shells up close under a mini microscope. Most of the time we were all just happy to collect natural objects to look at and not much drawing really got done.

These collections became their own nature journals, sometimes these are my favourite. Small Boxes as a place to save that seed pod from an unknown Mediterranean tree. Or a storybook with flowers pressed into the pages. Or maybe  a map with findings stuck on showing a journey as well as nature finds.

To add another dimension to our observation and to really connect the shapes and nature together (I’m always looking for an angle with shapes in natural forms), we cut geometric shaped holes in the pages to see the drawings through.

In The Smart Happy Project’s summer magazine  there is more on geometry in natural forms and how to see them. More schoolbooks and scheduled activities are prob not what anyone wants at this time of year but I know that these were special little books and will stay in their possession as a reminder that natural observation is easy and free to all.

This is an adapted article from Nature Journal for kids for The Smart Happy Project.

Lisa Lillywhite. 2016