Thank you for checking out these instructional videos! This is a very challenging time, especially for those that need to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children. Nature journaling is a therapeutic activity that encourages time outside while solo or in small groups. I hope that amidst the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak and isolation, nature can help us focus our attention elsewhere, even if just for short periods of time. Winter is turning into spring, and nature will soon deliver its plethora of small joys.
Kids love to draw, so keeping a journal is a great way to engage kids and to foster curiosity and a creative mindset while outside. You can use these exercises to provide a framework, but remember that a journal is a tool to encourage inquiry and observation. Let kids choose where to go and what to draw, how to explore, test the boundaries of physics, manipulate the elements, and take calculated risks.
You can set an example by demonstrating wonder, inquisitiveness, and most importantly by also keeping your own journal! Most adults prefer not to draw, probably because they find their drawings to be unsatisfactory. The truth is, kids will find them remarkable! Show them that you can enjoy drawing just for the process and the things that it can teach you. Before long, you will be pleased with what you can do.
Make sure that you have what you need to be comfortable while outside. Drawing requires sitting still, and can cause your hands to go cold fast. Move around and change positions regularly, bring gloves, hot tea, and consider a foam pad to sit on or chemical hand warmers. Find a cozy place to settle in, like a driftwood log that blocks the wind. Follow up by adding finishing touches back at home, or bring back something to draw while inside.
There are wonderful free online resources and books that can help you along, but I wanted to make these videos specifically to help my community through this tough time. These videos are geared to Alaska in general, and Homer specifically, but can be used anywhere.
I would love to see the work that you and your kids come up with! Please send me your photos and stories andI would be happy to provide personal assistance, feedback, and additional lessons if you desire!
Art wont save you from the virus, but it could save you from some of the associated challenges that have been forced on us because of it. Stay safe. Stay in nature.