You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a low-prep outdoor activity that will keep kids of all ages busy for hours. Your kids will have fun while they craft, color, and learn with nature! Perfect for fall, winter, spring, and summer, this journal will keep your kids away from the screen and enjoying all that nature has to offer. The cover is a paper bag so it doubles as a collection bag for nature treasures!
I created this activity a while ago and we love it soooo much that I figured it was about time to share it with you all!
This nature journal is perfect for children of all ages because you can pick and choose nature prompts that are suitable for your child’s needs and interests. And don’t forget, the cover is a paper bag so collecting nature for the prompts is easy and contained in one spot!
- Nature Collection Journal
- Lunch Bags– We bought ours from a store, but this looks like the same size.
- Crayons– We love beeswax crayons
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How to Make the Journal
Step 1: Assemble the journal pages
Choose the cover you would like to use and glue it on the lunch bag on the side without the flap. Cut out the journal pages you would like to use. There are 17 different nature prompts to choose from so there is something for everyone!
There are dashed lines to guide you. Try to put the nature craft prompt pages at the end of the journal, so the natural materials are available for the learning pages in the beginning of the journal.
Step 2: Make a back cover
I also used a paper bag for the back cover of the book, but stapled the top. I found having 2 bags available for collecting was too much for my boys to handle. I stapled the journal pages to my back cover.
Step 3: Staple the front cover
Staple the front cover to the rest of the journal. Lift open the side of the bag and ONLY staple the inside half. Only staple 2/3 of the way down so you don’t staple the bottom flap. This will allow the whole bag to open and fold back up!
Your bag should be able to open like this after you completed these steps!
Here’s What We Did
First, you need to head outdoors to collect nature! Find a wide variety of nature and aim to find most of the items on the ground. Yes, my boys usually pick a couple of flowers but we love to search for rocks, sticks, leaves, pinecones, acorns and more on the ground!
I used 7 pages in the nature journal for this particular day.
We made nature rubbings by putting leaves under the paper and coloring on the journal page to expose the leaf outline and veins.
We also made a nature print by painting leaves and stamping them on the journal. Make sure you give the paint enough time to dry before turning the page!
We also counted nature and documented our findings on the journal page. There is a section for writing tally marks and the numbers.
This nature person page is always a favorite and its fun to see how our nature person changes through the season. This is our fall nature person! The fading flowers and colorful leaves look sooo beautiful.
We love searching for symmetry in nature during our nature walks! Here is a simple hands-on way to learn about this interesting math topic. Find a leaf, cut it in half and invite your child to draw the other half. This also gives children the opportunity to look closely at the beautiful details in nature.
My boys LOVE tracing nature. It’s a fun way to work on those fine motor and writing skills!
Need an extension idea? Invite your kids to color in the outline when finished.
This prompt always invokes oohs and aahs from my boys! Take a leaf (of any color), flower, or experiment with other pieces of nature and rub it in the circle! What colors do you see? This might inspire you to color with nature in future art activities!
One thing that I love about this nature journal is that YOU get to assemble it, so you can decide which of the 17 nature prompt pages are best for your children!
When I first introduced this journal to my boys, I included one of every page to see which prompts they were most interested in. My boys were loving making nature people last spring, so I printed that page 10 times and made a journal with just that prompt! They loved it:) My first grader is currently loving the math activities, so last week I made a journal with just the math activities. Enjoy the process and have FUN!
Pin this activity to save it for later!
I hope you give this activity a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.
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