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Welcome to the new nature journal calendar! Enjoy the month of December and print your December 2016 Nature Journal Calendar to help you record what’s going on in your own backyard and beyond.
How to Use the Nature Journal Calendar
There’s no right or wrong way to use the nature journal calendar. Here are a few tips:
- Download your printable calendar.
- Print the calendar.
- Use the prompts both on the calendar and below to explore some elements of nature in September.
- Draw or write your observations in the blank calendar squares. That’s why there are so many blank spaces- so you don’t feel pressured to do a million things and so that you have room to doodle it up right on the calendar.
- Put them together in a notebook or handmade book and wait for next month and a new calendar.
- Have fun!
December Nature Connections
Autumn is in its last days. In December in upstate NY the weather is cold and gray with a smattering of sunny and even more snowy days. We’ve already had a good dose of lake effect snow. What does December look like where you live? Enjoy these late fall and early winter nature connections and look at your calendar for more:
- Observe winter bird behavior– You will see them come to the feeder, but take a look at the chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. They remove insect from under the bark of trees as they move up and down. Other birds destroy weed seeds in the fields as they stick above the snow. Both of these actions help the plants in the growing season.
- Learn about evergreens– Check out the types of evergreens common in your area. If you have none, choose a few to research. How are they adopted for the cold and snow? Can you find out how many live Christmas trees are used in the U.S. and what is the most common?
- Keep track of temperatures– Record the temperature highs and lows for the month of December and find the average temperature. Is it cold enough to snow in December where you live?
- Observe the active animals– Which animals are wintering over and are out in the day? Which animals don’t you see anymore?
- Choose a winter tree– and draw its silhouette. Can you see how some trees are more round and some are tall and more oval?
- Draw snowflake shapes– Learn about the different shapes snowflakes take and make some sketches.
No need to feel limited by our ideas! If you see something you want to note, then go ahead and put it on your calendar. We’ve been walking, biking on the occasional warm day, and sledding for days straight when the snow falls abundantly!
Books for Nature Study in December
We love to share our most loved nature books and resources with you. This month we’re sharing:
- Nature Study through the Holidays– a mini book of nature study for Advent. We have enjoyed this title for years. It’s a lovely way to experience wonder as you prepare for Christmas.
- Winter Tree Finder– a dichotomous key for winter trees
- Winter Weed Finder– another dichotomous key, the time for weeds in winter
December Literature Connections
It’s time for a list of fun books to read while you enjoy early winter and the holidays. The book list includes titles for preschool through high school. Read them outside for extra fun!
- Stranger in the Woods– a photographic fantasy in nature
- Tea with Lady Sapphire– another bird photography fantasy
- Gingerbread Baby– an adaption of the folktale
- Little House in the Big Woods– The first of the Little House books which devotes a chapter to Christmas.
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe– a lovely book for this time of year. Always winter and never Christmas.
- Advent in Narnia– a delightful look at how the world of Narnia is like Advent. We have been enjoying this daily and we’ve had a wonderful time exploring wonder and the characters in C.S. Lewis’ books.
- The Call of the Wild– The story of a dog who goes to be trained as a sled dog and ends up returning to his ancestry of wolves.
More December Fun at Blog, She Wrote
These are some posts that you might enjoy as you make December plans. Enjoy what the month brings!
- Geography Quest Gingerbread Edition– Learn the history and origins of gingerbread
- Geography Quest Christmas Edition– Explore the weather and Christmas trees around the world along with other geographic points of interest related to Christmas.