Relaxed Summer Nature Study

I'll start this post by saying that I am absolutely not an artist.  I've also never been the crafty mom.  I'm terrible at coming up with unique craft ideas and the mess of crafting usually overwhelms me.  As a mom my strengths have always been reading (I'll never turn down an opportunity to read to my kids) and taking my kids on adventures (in summers past we've spent about 5 days a week out at libraries, parks, beaches, zoos, museums, indoor play areas, berry picking, etc.)  However, with this being the summer of COVID-19 and many of our usual outings being unavailable to us (and with reading out loud only taking up so much time), I'm turning to art to fill the void.

That said, I've never considered myself good at drawing or painting.  Because I'm lacking in the art department I figured the easiest way to incorporate art into our summer would be to let nature be the teacher.  Enter nature studies.

My plan here is to read nature books and have the kids draw something inspired by the reading, go to parks and beaches and have the kids draw or paint something they see/hear/smell/feel/etc., and/or just have the kids draw or paint anything inspired by nature.

We have a few good nature, bug, bird, and animal books that I think will be fun to draw inspiration from and help guide our studies.  I also recently purchased the Burgess Bird Book for Children and am really impressed with it so far.  The stories are fairly short and are really engaging and cute.  I also added a few new supplies to our proverbial art closet -- watercolor colored pencils, new watercolor paints, alcohol based markers, and sketchbooks.  We've only busted out these supplies once so far but they occupied the kids for a solid hour and provided me with a nice break from their constant requests to watch a movie and/or have a popsicle.


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