Nature notebook specific question

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  • amama5

    When trying to study CM methods, I have read before that a nature notebook should be the child’s own creation, but well done with nice colored drawings, but my son balks at anything past the sketch. (He is 6.5)  He is a great artist and loves to draw, but isn’t into the coloring or writing more than a few words about the animal/insect/tree, etc.  Should I push to have it done with colors/paints/etc. or just let him have his own creation in this area?   Hope that made sense, thanks!


    Let him do it with scetches.


    I pushed too hard and my kids did not enjoy their nature journals last year. This year I have loosened up and encouraged them more no matter what they draw, write or tape in their books. Let it be his book and let him enjoy it.

    One thing that turned my son around this year was a day that he found a bird feather in our yard. I suggested that he put it in his nature journal. Now he has 3 or 4 pages of feathers labeled in his journal. He enjoys our nature walks more because it is more like a treasure hunt to him.

    I encouraged my daughter to make her book “fancy” and that motivated her. She loves drawing and painting so I used what I know she likes to encourage her.

    The bottom line is just make it fun. 🙂


    I have one dd8 who likes to draw and include color and detail.  I have one dd5 who would rather glue in dried flower petals, grass clippings, and feathers.  I do see improvements from last year and neither of them are big on writing more than the date and names as of yet.  I would expect things to improve as they are given more ownership of their books as long as I expect their work to be well done and well thought out.  I also see things improving with age.  Would he be more into cutting and pasting from nature magazines at this point?  What about drawing as much as he is interested in and you writing in his comments for him?  We are working more this year on accuracy in the pictures being important as “scientists” but my youngest thinks everything should be pink so I have to pick my battles so she doesn’t balk at the entire book.  I am okay with her including a bit of “fake” nature as long as she is trying new ideas as I suggest them as well.  Finding a bit of balance would be my suggestion for you both!  Oh, this week we pulled an icicle off the house and brought it in for them to draw (simple color and shape!) and I told them they could eat it if they did their best work.


    Thanks lgeurink!  My daughter sounds like yours, not pink but rainbow, EVERYTHING is colored in rainbow colors:)  But she does it neatly and carefully and has fun.  I switched to CM to allow them to love to learn and I think I was about to squelch that again!  Thanks for all the tips, sounds like I need to relax on my expectations.


    I love the suggestion from the book “Wild Days” for getting started…. (in the book they do watercolours… a medium I have no experience with…)

    The mom just announced one day that she needed a change and was going to go wild, and anyone who wanted to come could, but they would need hiking boots and water….

    They went to a nearby canyon, and the kids ran around for a while, while she and her mom started painting.  Then she got out cookies – which got the kids attention.  “Mom, may I have a cookie?”  “The cookies are for people who are painting nature”  “May I Paint?” – and mom gets out a notebook and stuff for the child…. soon they are all eating a cookie and painting things.  Then mom gives them a cookie for adding the date, and another cookie for writing something about what the day or what they painted.

    I love this – and am tempted to try it!  

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