Nature Journaling #208: Tracking Ohio Wildlife

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!

A mountain lion track in the snow.
A mountain lion track in the snow. (Photo by Carmen Luna/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Today’s Prompt: Tracking Ohio Wildlife

During a walk today, look closely on the ground for animal tracks. If you know of a muddy spot, or if we have snow, you should be able to find some. Dog and cat prints are probably the most common, depending on where you live.

Sketch what you find and then when you get back, research mammals of Ohio and see what matches what you found. Think about where you found them. What do you think the animal was doing in the area?

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.