Nature Journaling: How to Get Started with Your Kids

Nature journaling is a creative way to encourage your child's love of nature, as well as practicing artistic skills. Children and parents can and should have a nature journal, and you want to have the right supplies to get started. 

What is a Nature Journal?

A nature journal is a place where parents and kids can draw what they find in nature. If you head out to the lake, journal the new leaves you find or draw a detailed picture of the fish your child caught. 

Use the journal as a jumping place to encourage your child's curiosity. Purchase books for your kids to look through to help identify the leaves, mushrooms, and wildlife he spots on the walks. 

Getting the Right Supplies

Nature journaling is more comfortable with the right supplies. The key is to have research books available, as well as quality art supplies. Here are some things to purchase. 

  • Watercolor Pencils: These are great for on-the-go drawing and to add more details to your pictures.

  • Watercolor Paint: Kids love watercolor painting! They can mix colors to try to match the right shade of the leaves they find or the blue of the lake. Go for quality watercolor brands for the best results. 

  • Watercolor Brushes: You need the right brushes. For on-the-go art, try water brushes that hold the water in the handle. They're convenient. 

  • Journals: To journal, you need journals that can handle watercolor paints. Look for thick paper in your journal because you don't want the water to seep through the pages. 

  • Pencils and Pens: To first sketch the object, you want pencils and pens. Charcoal pencils are fantastic for shading! 

Buy Reference Books

Now that you have some art supplies, you need reference books for your kids. These books will help them journal successfully by giving them tips and tricks, as well as assisting them to identify their nature discoveries. 

Here are some of the best reference books for nature journaling. 

  •  The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws

  • Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You by Clare Walker Leslie 

  • Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman

  • The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds by John Muir Laws 

  • The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World around You by Nathaniel T. Wheelwright and Bernd Heinrich 

  • The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms by Clare Walker Leslie 

Tips for Getting Started Nature Journaling 

You're almost ready! Here are some excellent tips for getting started for the best success.

  • Carry your journal and a pencil or pen with you at all times. You never know when you'll see something brand new! 
  • Note the date, time, weather, and location where you found the new object. You might be able to identify a pattern! 
  • Don't let the different weather stop you. Go out when it is chilly and hot, raining or dry, etc. You never know what you will see on a rainy day.
  • Check out new botanical gardens, zoos, and aviaries. 

Nature journaling is a fantastic way to get your child excited about nature. Discoveries will ignite your child's interest and curiosity about the world about him. Start nature journaling now, so your child can start understand his local environment.

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