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.
Join us in keeping a nature journal throughout 2021. This is your journal – something to help you connect to the natural world around you and make discoveries along the way.
You can make note of certain things every day, like the temperature and weather conditions, and then work on the prompt we’ve given you. Or you can draw what you find during your nature observation time. Or a mixture of all of those things!
If the weather is too awful to go outside for your nature observation, take a peak out a window from the comfort of inside your home! If you do venture outside, you may want to take a small pocket notebook to make notes or quick sketches to work further with them when you get back inside. Also, use a pencil – ink in a pen could freeze if it is too cold! Any notebook will work for your journal.
Today’s Prompt: Make Your Own Bird Feeder
Today we’re showing you how to make your own natural bird feeder using pine cones.
Materials you will need:
- Pine cone(s)
- Twine, string or yarn
- Peanut butter (Almond butter or vegetable shortening can also be used for people with peanut allergies)
- Bird seed
- Clear a work space and set out some old newspaper or paper towels to contain the mess as much as possible
- Find some twine or yarn to tie around one end of the pine cone
- Take a large dollop of regular peanut butter and put it on a plate (Do not use reduced fat or artificially sweetened peanut butter as sugar substitutes can be dangerous for birds to consume)
- Rub the pine cone (or pine cones) in the peanut butter
- Roll the whole pine cone in bird seed
- Hang outside on a tree branch or from a branch in a shrub
- Enjoy watching birds visit!
If at all possible, make sure your pine cone bird feeder is in a spot where you can see it from inside your home.
After cleaning up, watch your new bird feeder. What animals are coming to your feeder? Are more animals than just birds visiting?
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.