Preschool Nature Journaling and Mapping from the Start

person on paddleboard paddling out to sea
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Today, we strolled down to our neighborhood dock to admire the view and work on our nature journaling/mapping.  We arrived at the perfect time!  It was quiet, the clouds were breaking up, and the sun was shining down on the river.  

Nature Journaling and Mapping

I had the composition book, and my 2.5-year-old daughter had her travel notepad with crayons.  Together, we worked on describing what was going on.  What do we see/hear/smell/feel?  Ok, well let’s draw it.  Since preschoolers don’t process spatial information the same way as adults, we focus on what is happening in front of us for now, as opposed to sketching out any aerial drawings you would see with traditional mapping.  I also make additional notes for planning and record keeping over time.
Today, we talked about everything, mostly in relation to colors.  The sun, sky, and clouds.  The birds. That one wasp that kept reappearing.  The trees and the concrete.  However, we talked most about the water.  How it appears green in some spots, brown in others, and shiny overall.  The sounds of the current.  We talked and jotted it down on paper for about ten minutes, while my 1-year-old son watched curiously.  In addition to our walk, it was a great way to spend this warm Friday afternoon. On the days my daughter wants to use her travel notepad, her work is pasted into the composition book to complete the journal entry.
We hope you enjoyed our nature journaling and mapping experience.  We really didn’t need many materials to get started.  Whether we are exploring new locations or revisiting familiar ones, it will be exciting to see how our journal grows and changes with our children and the seasons.  

More Montessori Nature

Thanks for stopping by!

– Kristin