If you are stuck at home and want to do science, how about a nature journal? Kids of all ages can record outdoor observations, sharpening their science math, artistic, and literacy skills. I created these printable nature journals for PK-12 students. Kids can write on loose papers, or stick their journals into a notebook where they can write calculations and draw plants and animals. The youngest learners start out by circling the weather they see on their walk.

For kindergarteners through second graders, there are spaces to write the temperature and to draw the sky conditions. Kids can also check a box identifying wind conditions.

In third grade, students get to practice converting temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius. The formula might be too advanced for younger kids; an online calculator is linked in the journal, along with sites explaining more scientific terms for describing sky and wind conditions. Third- through fifth-graders also have space for noting signs of life – tree buds, squirrels’ nests, dandelion sprouts, and birdsong are just a few of the exciting signs of spring coming soon.

Middle schoolers are ready to differentiate between sky conditions (sunny, partly sunny, etc.) and precipitation conditions. They also have the opportunity to explore phenology, or the seasonal cycles of living things. A link to the Minnesota Phenology Network’s introduction to phenology videos is provided. My two favorite phenology apps are iNaturalist and Nature's Notebook. iNaturalist especially helps with identifying the interesting plants and creatures kids encounter on nature walks. The Internet abounds with opportunities for citizen science, where kids report their observations to global databases tracking the impact of climate change on the living world.

High school students add CO2 and air quality data, investigating seasonal fluctuations in our atmosphere. COVID-19 has already significantly impacted NO2 emissions over China, and it will be interesting to track future changes in air pollutants this year.

With the right clothing, you can feel comfortable outside in almost any spring weather. Kids of all ages can have fun while expanding their STEAM skills and knowledge. Download all 5 journals - or the full set in one PDF - for free.

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