Back in the times of the beginning of Covid, my then kindergartener came home for Spring Break and never went back. We were scrambling. We were also hiking, like, a really lot.
Thanks to my girlfriend Bobbye, we picked up the hobby of nature journaling which scratched a learning itch without the kids even knowing that we were learning.
We’ve now gone through a few different nature journals, but my current favorite is this one created by My Mountain Wild that you can print at home.
I really like what she’s done because hers has different outdoor activities for every prompt. This has been great to loop all of the kids into the process, and bridging an activity from just one kid who can participate to all of my kids keeps my sanity in check.
When we nature journal, my youngest and middle (age 3 and 5) and I team up to ‘work together’ and they tell me what they would like to have me write, and then they draw their own drawings.
Another great part of this nature journal is that it is absolutely perfect for those families who are new to nature journaling and hiking. The first page is dedicated to making sure you have the needed supplies to have so much fun!
We did the entry that you see at one of our favorite family friendly trailheads, Airfield falls. If you’re local to this area, I cannot recommend this place enough. It is the only naturally occurring waterfall in the area, and it is stunning. My only complaint is that the main trails are paved, which isn’t my preference…. But we make provisions.
Can you even? It’s beautiful.
Final Pro-Tip: Get yourself Pocket naturalist guides that are tuned to your home state for your adventures. I love these babies, and they’re so easy to carry.
If you’re a public school or not year round school family this is the activity I would incorporate to combat the elusive “summer slide”. It’s a wonder how much accidental learning can happen when you hit the trails.