Making and keeping a nature journal or notebook is a fun way for kids (and adults) of all ages to study nature and record their experiences with the natural world. Below you will find several ideas and resources to get you started with nature journaling.
Related: Sorting and Classifying Rocks
What is a Nature Journal?
A nature journal is a place to grow your thoughts, feelings, ideas, observations, and experiences with nature.
Keeping a nature journal provides a rich opportunity to study the natural world and develop a deeper relationship with the earth. It can also be used to record outdoor learning activities that you complete each week.
How to Make a Nature Journal or Notebook
Making a nature journal or notebook is a fun and easy activity to do with the kids. You can either make one or choose to buy one that is ready made. Just gather the necessary supplies and you’re ready to go.
There are several ways to put one together and different types of notebooks you can use. Use any of the ideas below to assist each of your children in personalizing or making their own journal.
Don’t forget to make one for yourself!
2. Store-bought binder or notebook with blank paper
3. Make a homemade DIY nature journal
- Use 2 pieces of 10″ X 12″ cardboard for the cover and back of the nature journal.
- Cover both pieces of cardboard with fabric or contact paper.
- Make 3 holes in the front and back pieces of cardboard with a hole punch.
- Use ribbon, twine, or yarn to bind it together.
- Decorate with stickers or drawings.
4. Use Pre-made nature journal
Other Items to Consider Including with your Nature Journal or Nature Notebook:
- Lined paper for taking notes and recording entries.
- Cardstock, watercolor paper, or watercolor postcards to create nature art.
- Collection box, pockets and pouches for loose pages, pens, pencils, and nature specimens.
- File folders for collecting and pressing leaves and flowers.
- Mesh bug collection pop-up bag.
- Sun Paper for making sun prints.
- Nature journal templates (Check out the nature journal resources below).
- Basic Art Supplies; portable watercolors, water brushes, colored pencils and portable pencil case.
Check out Top 10 Nature Study Supplies for more fun ideas!
Related: Nature Memory Matching Game
How to Keep a Nature Journal or Notebook
- Take your nature journal with you whenever you head out on an adventure.
- Write, draw and/or paint in it to record experiences with nature. Don’t forget to date entries!
- Write thoughts, feelings, ideas, observations, experiences, and relationship with the natural world.
- Encourage your child to choose something to focus on and draw or paint: a flower, a tree, a bug, a bird, etc. If you child is too young to write, you can let them draw and then write down what they tell you – no editing – this is their journal.
- Add poetry or quotes that are meaningful to you and related to your experience with nature.
- Place, trace, or press the nature specimens you collect inside of it.
- Print out the free printable templates found below for specific observations and activities.
Nature Journal Page Templates & Resources:
- Bird Observation Notebooking Page from the Notebooking Fairy [She also has an animal observation page]
- What’s that bug? bird? animal? from The Crafty Classroom
- Bug Observation Freebie from Teachers Pay Teachers
- Leaf Collecting template from Kidzone
Recommended Reading for Keeping a Nature Journal:
- Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World
- Handbook of Nature Study
- The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms
- Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
- The Curious Nature Guide: Explore the Natural Wonders All Around You
- Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling
DIY Nature journals make it fun for kids and adults to study nature. Record observations, create art and write learning experiences in the natural world. Start one today!
This article is a part of the Get Outside & Connect series. To learn more about it click on the link.
You may also be interested in this awesome collection of Nature Study Supplies for kids.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE.
If You Liked How to Make a Nature Journal, You May Also Like
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- Flower Nature Crafts
- Nature Sensory Bottles
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