This resource was created by Abigail Schmid.
If you’ve been keeping up to date with our activities, you might already have started a nature journal. In that case, great! If not, now is a good time to get one started. It’s good to have all of your nature entries in one journal. To start yours off, you can respond to the prompts below.
What should my nature journal have in it?
To start, it’s always good to take note of the date, time, weather, and location. A nature journal can have drawings, observations, poems, reflections, questions, ideas, pressed leaves or flowers, and anything else inspired by nature.
I want to start journaling, but how do I start?
It’s easy! All you need is a notebook, something to write with, and a view or memory of nature. After that, you can let your creative mind go with drawings and poems or stay more direct with nature observations and reflections.
Why should I use a nature journal?
Journaling is a good outlet for creativity. One journal entry can inspire another, along with different journaling techniques. Journaling helps sharpen observation skills, which can improve your ability to identify different flora and fauna that you see. Taking the time to sit, look, listen, feel, smell, and in some cases, taste the parts of nature around you, gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn from that. Journaling is also important because it gives you a chance to stop and appreciate what is around you.
Prompt 1: A Monochromatic World
Pretend everything in the world was all different shades of just one color. What color would you want the world to be? Why?
If you could be any color you wanted in this monochromatic world, what color would you want to be? Why? Did you pick a color that will blend into the surroundings or one that makes you stand out?
Draw and color in a picture of this world with you in it. What elements did you have in your drawing? Did you draw a place you have been to before or did you draw a completely new place?
Prompt 2: A Conversation with Earth
If you could say anything to the Earth what would it be? How do you think the Earth would respond?
What do you think the Earth would want to say to the humans that live on it?
Prompt 3: Your Favorite Places
Divide a page or 2 of your journal into 4 sections. Close your eyes. Think about your favorite place in nature.
In section 1, scribble some colors that remind you of that place.
In section 2, write down some adjectives that describe that place.
In section 3, use onomatopoeia to recreate some of the sounds you would hear in that place.
In section 4, draw some textures or items you would typically see while at that place.
You can also do this exercise with a partner and compare! For example, if your family goes to the beach often, or you could choose a specific park or travel location, decide together on the spot you’ve both been to. Then, in silence, take a few minutes to fill out the boxes with the same prompts and compare notes. Are there answers that one person had but the other didn’t? Did you remember an aspect of that place that your partner forgot about?
Prompt 4: Create a Fairy Home
Trees are often used to create little fairy homes. Small openings and holes in the tree create for a perfect little opening for a fairy. Some build tiny ladders; some have beautiful fuzzy green moss growing on rocks that can be used as a sitting area.
What would your fairy house look like? If you have a tree in your yard, you can make one! Or you can craft one inside with crafting or natural materials.
What would your fairy look like? Draw your fairy or fairy family.
Fairy Homes on South Mountain Fairy Trail in Millburn, NJ
Prompt 5: Changing Your Surroundings
Find a quiet spot. Sit and close your eyes. How are you feeling? Write a poem about your emotions and thoughts.
Find a noisier spot. Sit and close your eyes. What kinds of noises are you hearing? Are they calming noises or distracting noises? Write a poem about your emotions and thoughts.
Which poem was easier to write? The one with background noise, or the one where you had silence? Which poem do you like better?