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  • Abigail Castriotta

Nature Journaling Activities

Don't worry, you do not need to be artistic or a great writing for this week's activities! We will focus on learning how to become a better observer of the world around us.


How Many Sounds Can You Hear?

ages 3 - 8

Take a moment to close your eyes and let your ears do the work. There are so many different sounds happening around us all the time - some are natural and some are man-made. How many can you hear at your spot?


Directions:

  1. Choose a spot to sit or stand for a few minutes

  2. Close your eyes and listen

  3. Hold up one finger for each new sound your hear

  4. How long does it take to hold up all ten fingers? How many sounds do you hear in one minute?

  5. Optional: repeat at a few spots and think about which spot had the most sounds and why this may be.


Leaf Rubbings

ages 5-12


You can make beautiful art directly from nature using only leaves, crayons, and paper. You can even turn these creations into greeting cards!


Materials:

  • leaves

  • crayon

  • paper

Directions:

  1. Go outside and collect some leaves that you like the shape and texture of.

  2. Once inside, peel the paper off of a crayon and grab a piece of paper.

  3. Lay the leaf (or leaves) on a flat surface with the underside facing up (the underside will have more texture).

  4. Lay the paper over the leaf.

  5. Use the side of the crayon to grub gently over the surface of the leaf.

  6. Remove the leaf.


Pressed Flower Note Cards

ages 10 - adult


Pressed flowers are a great way to preserve the beauty of summer.

Materials:

  • 2 paper towels

  • flowers

  • soft paintbrush

  • small cup or bowl

  • white glue mixed half and half with water or mod podge

  • scissors

  • a white piece of paper

Directions:

  1. Find flowers outside that will be able to be pressed flat (flowers such as Black-eyed Susans with large centers will be more difficult to press).

  2. Lay the flowers between two pieces of paper towel and place a heavy book on top.

  3. Leave for several days or a week.

  4. Fold a piece of paper in half like a card. Lay the folded piece of paper on the table and arrange your pressed flowers in the arrangement you'd like.

  5. Carefully paint over flowers and paper with mod podge or the water/glue mixture.

  6. Let this dry overnight.

  7. Write a message on the inside and send to a friend!


Make a Mini Nature Book

ages 12 - adult


This will be a nice way make a collection of some of you observations. You can use this little book for drawing, writing, or a bit of both. You book may have a theme or none at all. As I explained in my introduction video yesterday, I chose to make a mini book about the bugs I've been collecting, preserving, and identifying as part of my capstone. This ended up being a great way to look more closely at the insects than I otherwise would have. Many of them are truly beautiful! Follow the directions in the video below to make your own mini book with no staples or binding!

Directions for making a mini book without staples or binding:



Sit, Observe, Write

ages 6 - adult


Writing isn't just for school! It can actually be quite fun with some freedom and creativity. Feel free to add illustrations to your art!

Forms of writing you can try:

  • poetry

  • creative fictional writing

  • observational essay

  • personal reflection

First, sit in one spot and use all of your senses to observe for a few minutes, then consider these prompts:

  • What do you see?

  • What do you hear?

  • What do you smell?

  • How does the air feel?

  • Does your time outside remind you of anything?

  • Can you notice anything changing in the seasons?

  • Is the weather today different than yesterday?

  • What signs of life do you see around you?

  • How do you feel when you sit in this spot?


Make a Drawing Series

ages 8 - adult


I think sometimes it's best to draw on a smaller scale. This way, drawing becomes less overwhelming and you can focus on what you see, not the end product. Making a series of small thumbnail drawings is a great way to showcase changes or to draw different perspectives of the same subject multiple times.

Materials:

  • paper

  • drawing or painting medium (pencil, pen, crayon, colored pencil, watercolor, marker, etc)


Up-Close Nature Photographs

ages 6 - adult

Use a phone or camera to take close-up photos of things you find in nature. Take some time to really observe the intricate details? Are there any patterns? Are there any colors you hadn't noticed before?


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