Henry David Thoreau once said, “You only need sit still long enough in some attractive spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns.” And while Walden was surely a lovely spot to do some writing, you don’t need to relocate your family to the wilderness in order to appreciate the wonders of the outdoors. Getting in touch with nature can be as simple as heading out into your own backyard.
Scientists use journals to record events and observations in the field. These records, when compared over the course of several years, help reveal patterns in nature. Researchers use this information to make predictions about natural occurrences such as when to expect a certain species of butterfly migration or a particular flower to bloom.
Unlike personal journals, which focus internally, field journals focus on the external world and provide a great opportunity to engage your child in translating sensory observations into written words and images.