The change in the colors of the trees is my favorite part of fall. It’s such a beautiful season and one enjoyable and kid-friendly way to embrace it is by creating a nature journal to serve as memorabilia of hikes with the family. Nature journals can be a great motivator to get outside any time of year, but when the vibrant, colorful leaves drop, they can be a particularly fun project to make.
To make a nature journal, you are only going to need a few simple materials that are easy to find around the house.
Here’s What You’ll Need!
A recycled paper bag
Sheets of 9.5” x 11” paper
How to Make a Nature Journal
Go on a nature hike and collect leaves of every shape, size, and color. Take them home in a ziplock bag, carefully, so they don’t get crumpled up.
Press the leaves overnight by laying them flat between newspaper pages and placing a few heavy books on top. Pressed leaves are easier to insert in your nature journal than freshly picked ones, and they also stay beautiful for a longer period of time!
Now it’s time to create your nature journal. Cut out a 9.5” x 11” rectangle of paper, to give ours a rustic look we used a recycled paper bag for the cover. Then fold the paper in half.
Insert a few folded sandwich bags in between the pages. These will serve as handy little pouches to store your leaves in!
You can also add texture to your journal by incorporating newspaper pages or sheets of patterned scrapbooking paper – your kids will love having different backgrounds to their pressed leaves and flowers.
Assemble your nature journal by arranging your sheets of paper and sandwich bags in between the covers. Use a hole puncher to create holes through all layers of the journal.
Use twine to tie your nature journal together – and you are done! Time for the most exciting part which is decorating and filling up the journal.
Nature Journals Ideas for Kids of All Ages
Nature journals for kids can be tailored to all age groups. Younger children can be encouraged to look for different color leaves, shapes like round or oval leaves, or textures like fuzzy or smooth edged leaves. Journal topics can be added for older kids to inspire them to write about what they saw, heard, and smelled on their walk.
You can also come up with nature journal ideas to match your child’s hobbies and interests – for example, they can spur budding artists to draw trees and leaves, or sketch flowers and sceneries. You can help your aspiring little biologist by looking up the scientific names of all the plants they collected so they can take notes and satisfy both their curiosity and creativity. Siblings might want to challenge one another to see who can find the most unique leaf during your hike! The ways to get the kids involved with and excited about nature are endless.
There are many different ways to structure nature journals, but however you choose, they’re guaranteed to encourage creativity, adventure, and getting outside during this special season.