It’s no secret that our family is BIG into exploring nature. In the summer, we beat the Vegas heat by camping at least once a month. And our backyard is a living nature exhibit with all the action going on in the garden. My children are always digging in the dirt, bringing bugs in the house, and generally becoming “one” with nature. It seemed only natural for us to expand on this curiosity and make all this learning a more structured, educational experience. Here is how we have incorporated a kindergarten nature notebook into our homeschooling.

Books with text

Kindergarten Nature Notebook

I read the book A Pocketful of Pinecones last year, and decided that I loved the way in which the children in this story were exposed to various aspects of their natural surroundings. The kids in the book were encouraged to keep nature notebooks where they drew pictures of things they found in nature, and recorded thoughts or details about each discovery. With Addison’s love of drawing, I thought this would be a perfect way for us to include some nature study in our homeschooling, and for her to start making observations about the cool things she finds. We take our notebook with us on every camping trip, field trip, and even on ordinary walks to the park. If we see something that catches an eye, then the notebook is there to record the discovery. Here are some of the drawings Addison has recorded in her notebook so far.

Nature Notebook Drawings

I’m hoping that as her reading and handwriting skills improve, she will begin writing her own descriptions of the pictures.

If you are interested in creating a kindergarten nature notebook for your homeschooler, here’s what you need:

K-2 Primary Journal (these are great because they have a place at the top of each page for a picture, and large-ruled, primary paper underneath.

Markers or colored pencils (we like these pip-squeak markers because they are tiny and easy to store/transport)

A Field Guide (this is not necessary, but it’s definitely helpful in identifying various flowers, insects, and plants that you may be unfamiliar with. I also love that Addison is learning how to use a reference book to find out answers to her questions.) On one of our recent camping trips, she was able to identify Silvery Lupine all by herself!

This is one of the simplest and most effective “school” things we’ve incorporated into our homeschool. We don’t add to the notebook every day or even every week. But the entries we do have are all attached to a great memory. If you have any questions about our kindergarten nature notebook, please ask away!

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