A Walk in the Woods with Annie.


I am really enjoying the changes in Annie as she grows from a toddler to a preschooler. Her pretend play has become so developed and she loves to be the director. She is beginning to write and think more abstractly. One of the things we have been working on this spring is a field journal. We are focusing on signs of spring and recording our observations. Some of these are things we are doing at home; growing bean seeds and planting lettuce, others are signs of spring from nature walks and trips about town.

The journal is providing us with many opportunities to explore. It gets me in the mind to take more walks and hikes so we have something to journal. It encourages Annie to use her observation skills and then to reflect on what we have seen. I try to pull out field guides or print pictures of plants and animals we see so she has something to look at. Annie is just beginning to write and this has been a great opportunity for her to work on not only writing words, but also forming her thoughts. We often do our journaling after dinner or before rest time, when Annie needs to calm down and focus on a task. I started the project on a whim (looking to redirect some evening energy) and it has really been enjoyable for both of us.

Here are a few pictures from the journal. (looking at the pictures it looks a bit like a jumbled mess, but she really is taking the time to draw the pictures and write the words. I am looking forward to keeping this up so that I can see the development in her drawing and writing.)

These are drawings of pole bean seeds we are growing in a jar. We have been recording the changes in the plants and Annie is choosing labels for them. We usually journal when she observes a change and brings it to my attention.

This is an image of a flower we saw out on a nature walk at the park. We came home and I printed a picture of it for annie to use as a reference.

We saw the crocus at the library and then used a field journal as a reference. I love how she drew both the open and closed version, such the little botonist.

Today was a beautiful day; a bit chilly, and we had a great picnic by the river.We played at the park for about and hour and then had a picnic lunch by the river. After that we walked to the same area where we saw the snowdrops to look for new flowers. Annie remembered where they were and spotted 1 new flower, spring beauty, and some garlic mustard. We also saw and heard a kingfisher. We will journal these tonight or tomorrow.

Here and here are a couple of links to books about exploring nature with your kids and some nice field guides. Happy exploring and journaling.