Nature Journals

In your first weekly kit you will find a homemade nature journal. In case you need another one for siblings here is a super quick tutorial about how I made it.

You will need:

  • Sheet of cardboard
  • Box cutter
  • Hole Punch
  • Plain white paper
  • Yarn or string

I made nature journals out of box flaps but this led to very irregular and randomly sized journals which meant I couldn’t cut one size of paper and that I wasted a lot of paper trying to make it fit in the journals. Cardboard is free, paper is not. So…..I don’t recommend this.

What I do recommend is cutting or folding a piece of plain letter sized paper in half and using that as a size reference for your journal. You want to make the cardboard a little bit bigger than the journal so it is protected inside.

After you’ve cut two pieces of cardboard the same size you are going to punch holes in it with your hole punch. You can measure to do this if you want, I’ve got a pretty good eye for symmetry so I just wing it.

Punch both pieces of cardboard and several sheets of paper.

Make sure all the holes line up.

Thread the string through the holes. Tie some knots and you’re done!

It’s a super fun first activity to personalize your nature journal by cutting and gluing or drawing things on it.

Maybe you want to write your name. Glue some photos from a nature magazine. Sky is the limit.

Here is mine and some of our fellow Adventurers.

Raising Kids Who Care

Young children are increasingly engaged in structured activities such as dance, music, soccer and while these are good they are losing the opportunity for unstructured play and it’s hurting their development.

Playing in a playground where every tree is carefully planted has a different quality than play that takes place in a natural environment. Think back to a camping trip where your children played for hours barely supervised and imagine spending even an hour at the park that way.

Children’s emotional and affective values of nature develop earlier than their abstract, logical and rational perspectives
(Kellert 2002).

The natural world offers sensory stimulation and physical diversity which is critical for childhood experiences; it impacts their morals, values and actions. Children who live and play in close relationship to nature form a bond that lasts a lifetime.

Research shows that kids who are involved in nature have increased academic performance, attention spans, language and social skills. Nature also gives kids the opportunity to be more creative, imaginative, to problem-solve, and to self-regulate, which increases self-confidence and reduces stress.

Children need unstructured play time in order to learn about themselves and the world. Playing in a natural environment allows children to take risks, discover limitations and make judgements to a greater degree than playing in a soccer field. A child who has roamed the hills of their community is more likely to care about what goes on in that community.

From the shores of the Thompson River to the hills of Kenna Cartwright and Peterson Creek Kamloops is full of natural exploration opportunities. Best of all none of it will cost you a dime.

This article was published in the Natural Nurturing Guide in Spring 2014