My aunt — in addition to being a corporate real estate lawyer — is a very talented artist.  When I saw her last month at my sister’s wedding, she pulled me aside conspiratorially at one point to show me her painting journal, a little watercolor pad she has been adding to on her travels for the past several years.  She also surprised me with a little starter kit: a small watercolor pad, watercolor pencils, good brushes, Prismacolor pencils, etc.  Her intention was for me to start recording impressions in it when my boys and I travel to Olympic National Park this summer.

However, I decided I’d better start practicing sooner rather than later.  I’ve been considering starting a nature journal for some time now as I’ve been following several Charlotte Mason home schoolers on their adventures.  My son loves having his own pair of binoculars and has been really interested in bird-watching recently, so I’ve started using my new art journal to record some of the interesting birds we’ve seen.  This is partly to keep a record as we learn about the local birds in our area, but it is also a way for me to remember these sweet moments we are spending together enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

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A nature journal is a fantastic project for children of any age because it can be used so many different ways.  Our next step will be to choose some flowers or leaves we can press and save.

Do you or your kids keep nature journals?  When did you start?  How often do you use them?

My family of artists has a firm belief in giving kids high quality art materials, and I just adore Prismacolor pencils.  This 72 pencil set is a steal on Amazon for $34, and they have smaller sets available as well.  Click photo for link.

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