Nature journaling is the practice of recording observations about the natural world in a journal. The record can be in the form of written descriptions, sketches, photographs, or a combination of all three. Many people who nature journal also include pressed leaves or flowers, feathers, and other natural objects in their journals as well.
Let’s dive into nature journaling with your kids and how it can benefit you both!
Why keep a nature journal with kids?
There are many reasons to introduce nature journaling to kids. Nature journaling can help kids connect with nature, learn about the natural world, and develop an appreciation for the natural world.
Journaling can also help kids develop important skills such as observation, writing, and drawing. In addition, nature journaling is a great way for parents and kids to spend time together outdoors.
How to introduce nature journaling with your kids
If you’re interested in introducing nature journaling to your kids, there are a few things you can do to get started. First, take some time to explore the natural world together. Go for walks in the park, visit a nature center, or simply spend time in your backyard.
As you explore, take time to point out interesting things and ask questions. Once you’ve had some time to explore together, start a nature journal with your kids. Help them record their observations in whatever way they are comfortable with.
Here are a few tips for introducing nature journaling to your kids
- Start simple – Just have them draw or write about what they see.
- Get them involved in the planning – Ask them what they would like to focus on observing.
- Make it fun – Nature journaling doesn’t have to be serious all the time. Encourage them to be creative and have fun with it.
- Take breaks – If they start to get restless, take a break and come back later.
- Invest in good quality art materials – As with any activity, the quality of the materials you use will make a difference in the outcome. If you’re going to be doing a lot of nature journaling with your kids, it’s worth investing in some good quality art supplies. Watercolor paints, colored pencils, and good-quality journals are all great choices.
Materials needed for nature journaling
All you really need to get started with nature journaling is a notebook and something to write with. However, there are many other materials that can be used to enhance the experience and the record of your observations. Some people like to use watercolors or other art supplies to sketch what they see. Others use binoculars to get a better view of birds and other animals. Magnifying glasses can also be helpful for getting a closer look at small insects and other creatures.
Art used in nature journaling
There are no rules when it comes to the type of art you use in your nature journal. Some people like to stick with pencil and paper, while others prefer to use watercolors or other painting techniques. It’s really up to you and what you’re most comfortable with.
Here are a few different types of art that can be used for nature journaling:
- Pencil and paper – This is the most basic and simplest way to record your observations. All you need is a pencil and a notebook or sketchpad.
- Watercolors – Watercolors are a great choice for nature journaling because they’re easy to use and they allow you to add a lot of detail to your sketches.
- Colored pencils – Colored pencils are another good option for nature journaling. They’re easy to use and they provide a lot of control when it comes to adding color to your drawings. We love these pencils.
- Ink – Ink can be used for drawing or for writing in your journal. It’s a good choice if you want to add a lot of detail to your journal entries.
- Photography – Photography can be a great way to capture the details of your observations. If you’re going to use photography, make sure you have a good quality camera and plenty of film or digital storage.
Nature journaling prompts to use with your kids
If you’re looking for some ideas to get your kids started with nature journaling, here are a few prompts to get you started:
- What did you see on your walk today?
- What was the most interesting thing you saw?
- What did you hear on your walk today?
- What did you smell on your walk today?
- What did you touch on your walk today?
- Draw a picture of what you saw today.
- Write a story about what you saw today.
- Make a list of all the different types of birds you see in your backyard.
- Draw a picture of a tree you saw today.
- Write down all the different types of leaves you can find.
Best books for nature journaling for kids
There are many great books about nature journaling, both for kids and adults. Here are a few of our favorites:
Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids: 50 Creative Projects to Spark Curiosity in the Outdoors by Kim Andrews.
This book gives your child 50 prompts to explore nature journaling and gives them some direction whilst still allowing them o explore their own ideas.
Nature Journal: A Nature Journal for Kids
This nature journal is simple to use and gives open ended prompts to help your child develop their nature journaling skills.
This Is My Father’s World: Christan Nature Study for Kids by Stockedify
This beautiful nature journalling book incorporates creation-based nature study, allowing you to explore nature whilst supporting Christian beliefs and philosophies.
The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws
This guide to nature journaling is more advanced and would suit older children and adults alike. It’s a how-to guide for becoming a better artist and nature enthusiast.
The time to start nature journaling with kids is now!
Nature journaling is a great way to get kids interested in the natural world around them. By using prompts and providing them with good-quality materials, you can help them create journals that they’ll be proud of. With a little bit of practice, your kids will be nature journaling like pros in no time!