Nothing beats having a good ol' piece of paper and a pencil to draw and write. The ideal space to record not only what's on your mind, how you’re feeling, but also memories that are brought back into the forefront of your mind, there is something incredibly special about that.
The benefits of journaling with children are actually quite unique to this age group and can be modified to the needs and abilities of each child and family.
Nature journaling can provide:
Quality time Whether you decide to journal alone or in your own journals at a distance, quality time with nature and with the ones closest to you is something that is often never regretted.
Exercise personal expression through poetry, drawing, and painting. A song maybe? There is no limit to how one can express themselves within the pages of their nature journal.
Strengthens observation skills - There is new evidence that suggests children who spend more time outside exposed to daylight may reduce their risk of developing nearsightedness. Many ophthalmologists suggest one to three extra hours per day should be spent outside. Dopamine, a known inhibitor of eye growth whose release is stimulated by light, prevents elongation of the eye. Lack of dopamine results in the eye becoming more elongated, resulting in nearsightedness.
Serves as an opportunity to practice writing skills - even if our child is not quite at the level to do so allowing your child to narrate to you what they see and feel shows them the importance of their voice and how words are written. “Dictation provides a chance for an adult to model many writing behaviors including handwriting, matching sounds-to-letters to spell words, and sentence formation." Reading Rockets
Learn about local wildlife and ecosystems - nature is an ever-changing phenomenon! Life cycles and migrations are fascinating to observe. Whether you’re home or on the road, jotting down your sightings allows you to record the changes and differences from region to season.
Give it a try!
Grab an empty notebook that has been collecting dust or purchase a nature journal online!
The go-to publication and media source highlighting diverse children and families in the natural world in a visually beautiful, playful, accessible, and empowering way. By blending inclusivity & culturally rich stories into your next outdoor adventure. www.GoodNaturedRoots.com