Nature Journaling #271: The Soils of Gardening

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. This is your journal – something to help you connect to the natural world around you and make discoveries along the way.

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.

A child digs through the dirt and mud.

Today’s Prompt: The Soils of Gardening

Let’s play in the mud today! How long has it been since you dug your fingers into the dirt? Find a spot in a garden that doesn’t have plants starting to grow yet. Start turning the soil over with your hands. (This will be good to start to loosen the soil if you want to plant some flowers or vegetables in the next couple of months.) How does the dirt or mud feel between your fingers? As you turn the soil over, did you find any beetles, worm, pill bugs or other creatures?

Write in your journal about your experience. Even if it felt gross, do it again tomorrow and the next day just to make that connection with that little piece of earth.

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.