Saturday, March 14, 2015

Starting ~Spring~ Nature Notebooks with Wax Paper Envelope Tutorial {Sponsored}

Thank you to Family Christian for sponsoring today's post. Stay in touch with all Family Christian has to offer by visiting them: FacebookTwitterPinteresttumblr, and Instagram.

Spring is the perfect time to start a nature notebook, everything is waking up and starting to come to  life. The first year I started a nature notebook, Li was a baby and I was just itching to get outside again. When Poppa came home from work one day with the smell of spring on him, I jumped up and down in excitement! 

I learned so much that first spring...about how buds are formed on trees, what those buds actually look like when they start to open...I was amazed. How had I gotten to be so old and never have known buds looked like that?

I learned about the killdeer and how they fake a wounded wing to protect their ground nest. I figured out how to hunt out that nest and watch until the little babies run out. 

And in the years since, spring has brought so much joy...watching birds hatch from their nests and robins feeding their babies. Waking one morning to find the baby colt was born and discovering a nest of baby bunnies. 

Have you wanted to start a nature notebook? Start this spring!

To begin, gather your supplies. 
You'll need some writing pencils to record your observations and information that you research. These are perfect with a spring design: Anna Griffin Green Collection Pencil Set.

Then a notebook is in order. You want pages that you can both sketch in and write in. The Anna Griffin Green Collection - Hardcover Journal & Josephine Kimberling Flutterby Kisses Collection - Hardcover Journal are lovely for spring.

Basic Colored Pencils or Prismacolor Premier Color Pencils are a must have. We also like using watercolor crayons and watercolor colored pencils in the field. Then when we are home, we use water to blend the sketches.

We will often take along our camera, observation boxes, a magnifying glass, and binoculars. When we are drawing, it helps to be able to see things close up. Generally we take collections of things home with us as well. We have a stereoscope at home and we love to slip objects under it to see all of the designs and patterns and then draw those in our notebooks. We also press flowers and leaves to keep in our notebooks.

A super easy project for holding your collections in your notebook is to create wax paper envelopes.

These are great for pressed leaves, plants, and flowers.

To make your own, you'll need wax paper, glue dots, and scissors.

Start by cutting out a rectangle shape (about 13 inches long by 7 inches)

Fold in a 1/2 inch on the long sides. Fold your paper 3 inches down on the long side, then fold again 5 inches from that. unfold and place 4 glue dots on the folded parts that come together (you should see the envelope shape taking form).

Cut the 3 inch section in a semi-circle shape and trim off the 1/2 inch pieces you made in the first step. When you fold it over, you will see the flap of your envelope. Do not glue this section down.

Use 6-8 glue dots on the edges and corners to affix to the inside of your notebook.

Some inspiration for you.
Our notebooks include scripture, sketches, watercolors, rubbings of leaves, tracings, collections, photographs, and poetry.

Here's a great scripture to get you started...

Psalm 19: 1-4
The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

If you have never kept a journal before, there are lots of things you can document in the spring...

You could study leaves as they start to unfold.

You could sketch garden flowers and label them. 

You could watch the birds that are arriving eating, building nests, feeding babies, sitting on eggs, and flying.

Go on a spring scavenger hunt.

See if you can find amphibians coming to life.

Visit a river and check out the wildlife flocking to it.

Learn about the sky, stars, and full moon of each month. 

Caterpillars are out and about. You may even find cocoons and chrysalis.

If you are putting a garden in, worms are really fun to study.

Find signs of green things blooming.

Mark off a square foot of yard or garden space and see what is there.

And, of course, press flowers and leaves.

So many things to do to document in your spring nature notebook!

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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Nature Study for Your Homeschool

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