Nature Journaling #36: 4-Day Challenge | Day 1

Nature journals are a fun way to pass the time. To many Great Parks nature interpreters, they are a tool that fosters meaningful connections with the natural world.

Want to create a nature journal with your child? Grab some paper and a pencil, step out the front door and use the prompt below. We’ll publish a new prompt daily, so be sure to check back here for more!

Today’s Prompt: 4-Day Challenge | Day 1

Pick a tree that you really like in your yard or neighborhood. Observe it and look for specific things the next four days. Today, describe your tree – how tall is it? What shape is it? What shape are its leaves? 

Do a bark rubbing and a leaf rubbing. Place a clean piece of paper on the bark. Follow along with these steps: 

  • Take a crayon that has the paper wrapper removed, and using the side of the crayon, lightly rub over the paper.
  • The image of the bark will start to appear. 
  • Keep rubbing until you have areas that are darker and lighter shades of the crayon.
  • Next, take a leaf from the tree that you find on the ground. If there are none, then pick one – and only one – leaf from the tree.
  • Put that leaf on a smooth surface and place a piece of paper over it.
  • Using the side of the crayon again, lightly rub over the leaf until the image of it appears.

A Few Tips for Success:

  • Work with your child’s attention span. If they aren’t enjoying an activity, allow them to choose a new one. If they are highly focused, give them plenty of time to continue the observations.
  • Allow creativity. Children often have interests that go beyond the questions we pose. Create a safe environment so they can create and explore on their terms.
  • Journal along with your child. You never know what you may discover and it’s a great way to spend some quality time together.
  • Try activities at different times of day. Observations may change with time and temperature.

Want to try your hand at different nature journaling topics? Click here for more prompts.

Amy Roell
Director of Education & Events