Spring has sprung! Hopefully the weather is on its way to getting a little warmer so there can be many more outdoor adventures and its nearly bluebell time here in our local woods and so we’ve been heading out to do a few woodsy walks and start our Nature Journals! I absolutely love this time of year. I was thinking today (as I saw our sprouting daffodils from my Nanny’s bulbs, that she buys us every year, and tulip spears pop out) how much I love this time of year — the time before things begin. The time when it’s still a little chilly but spring is ready and waiting. As we love all things woodland, we’ve partnered with Arla Big Milk who love to fuel BIG adventures for little ones. They know how important it is to get your little explorers out in the world around them, so they’ve partnered with Magic Light and the Gruffalo to bring you yearlong BIG Adventures through a monthly prize draw to win some gorgeous Gruffalo goodies and BIG family adventures. Check out their Parenting Hub – they’ve got some great ideas for fuelling your child’s adventurous natures. It’s full of great ideas to get kids outdoors and exploring the world around them. We will be stealing some ideas for our own outdoor adventures to add to our Nature Journals during the upcoming Easter holidays. I also love their recycled instrument ideas here for a rainy day!
Our kids have been very excited to start their own nature journal as a special book where they can record all the interesting things they see, smell, hear, feel, eat and wonder about, through the year. So, we packed a little bag of watercolour paints, pencils, their scrapbooks and an envelope to collect ‘interesting nature bits and bobs’ and headed out to our local woods for a mini adventure.
We spent some time wandering, collecting, trying to find a suitable spot to sit and draw. I think that I could happily sit amongst the bluebells forever, the scent and the colour are just so beautiful and I love the way that they transform the woods…..but it was a tad tricky trying to balance the energetic, frantic exploring of a two year old and the older ones who wanted to sit and paint and draw. In the end we had to agree that a quick sketch would have to suffice and that we could head home and take our time over the painting to finish off. Orla took great delight in trying to write down the names of things she could sound out and Finlay loved discovering that flowers also had crazy Latin names that sound ‘like something out of Harry Potter’! Archie, however, spent the vast majority of his time pretending to be The Gruffalo and hiding in the woods!
How to Start a Nature Journal with Kids
It was our first foray into nature journaling but here are some fun tips you might find useful if you’re also thinking of starting a nature journal with kiddos.
For younger children, books like ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ make a great way in to exploring outdoors. You can act out your own ‘Bear Hunt’ or find somewhere cosy in the woods to read your story.
You could try collecting leaves or petals off the floor and taping them into your journal. Photos are a great option too. Take them and then use them as collage items in your journal. Try asking kids to record what the weather looks like or to stand still and see what they can smell, see and hear on your walks.
More Nature Journal Ideas
Here are a few other ideas to help get your creative juices flowing:
- Leaf or tree rubbings
- Measurements/charts for weather, symmetry in nature or for recording birds, insects or flowers you find.
- Try writing a poem about your walks
- Take photos and then write a little story about them in your journal
- Visit different places with your journal like parks, woods, nature reserves, rivers etc….
- For older children, you can cut out quotes about nature and decorate them in your books
- Nature stamps (collect objects and paint them and press into your journal)
- Smear some juice from a berry or fruit you are drawing.
- Notice the different seasons – sit in the same spot at least once during each season. Record how it is different
- Record animal tracks – ask questions like: where are they going? Who do they belong to?
- Use different art materials to draw nature – paints, chalk pastels, crayons, charcoal are some good ones to try.
- Draw seeds (either from a plant you are observing or taken from a packet you plan to plant – record how it is growing)
- Use Nature Books to help draw and label your journal.
After our walk was finished, we headed home to flesh out our drawings and tuck into some yummy cookies with a glass of Arla Big Milk.
If you’d like to start Nature Journalling with your kids – try my Nature Adventure Journal for kids printable. This Nature journal contains everything you need to have magical outdoor adventures with your little explorers. If you’re looking to get your kids to play outside more – there are lots of easy nature journal activities here to inspire kids to explore nature’s wonderland from cloud watching and scavenger hunts to designing their own garden and rock pooling.
This simple and easy to use kid’s nature journal was designed with children ages 5-12 in mind (but my three year old also loves it and it can be used by children of any age!). This is a fun and easy nature workbook with beautiful watercolour drawings encourages kids to look a little closer at nature and gently develop the lifelong habit of nature observation. Buy it here.
If you start a nature journal with your kids, we’d love to see how it turns out! Happy adventuring!
Here’s some other ideas you could try on a with nature on a Woodland Walk with Kids and if you collect lots of Nature bits and bobs for your journal – here’s some ideas for Nature Crafts you could make. And, even if the sun don’t shine – you could have lots of fun on a Muddy Puddle Walk instead!
If you liked these ideas you’ll LOVE our Holiday Outdoor Activity Kit for Kids! It contains 3 weeks of fully planned outdoor activities including….
- Science Experiments
- Nature Crafts
- Codes to Crack
Each week has an eco friendly theme where kids can learn about topical issues such as ‘saving the bees’ and ‘plastic pollution’. All the activities are suitable for kids aged 4-11 and it even includes ideas for family adventures! It’s like your own printable DIY Eco friendly Summer Camp for Kids! And for our lovely readers – we’re offering 20% DISCOUNT on all items in our ETSY Store – including the Summer Holiday Activity Camp. The Activity Kit gives you the perfect starting point to begin a Nature Journal with ideas for Nature Crafts and mini adventures – perfect for taking your Nature Journal with you! Find out more here….