Fun with Nature Notebooks

Would you like to include a little bit of fun “school” during the summer months? Summer is the perfect time to start your children (and yourself!) on a nature notebook.  In the summer, your family will probably  spend a good amount of time outdoors – so why not take advantage of it and use the time to observe and draw nature.

Drawing notebooks can be readily found at just about any discount or variety store (including many large grocery stores). They come in various sizes, but I found that a 6” X 9” spiral bound sketch diary works best.

Start your nature notebook project by taking a little time to decorate the cover. Cut a piece of white paper the size of the cover. Have the kids cut out pictures from magazines of their favorite animals, plants, flowers, tress etc. and glue them on to the paper. Leave room at the top to label the book with permanent marker or a computer print out i.e. “Anne’s Nature Notebook”. Once the paper is decorated to the child’s liking, glue it to the book cover then cover both front and back with clear contact paper.  This will help keep the book in better condition when you get it outdoors and into some “natural” situations.

What to put in the nature notebook? Start by taking a little walk around the yard. Ask the child to simply look for something they find unusual or interesting. Then, date the first page and ask them to draw it in their notebook. You can use carbon pencils, colored pencils or both.  Later, as everyone becomes more comfortable with the notebooks, you can look up the item in a field guide and perhaps label the parts or write a little bit about it.

Be sure to take your nature notebooks with you when you:

  • Go to the Zoo
  • Visit a city or county park
  • Go hiking
  • On vacation

Visit for more ideas on nature notebooks.

Nature notebooks are a fun and easy way to encourage close observation of  the beauty that surrounds us everyday.  As your children add to their notebooks over the years, they will be creating a keepsake of not only what they’ve observed but of many good times together as a family.

Charmaine Wistad has successfully homeschooled her own two children from pre-school through high school.  Now she is turning her attention toward helping other homeschool moms. Through personal coaching, Charmaine helps homeschooling moms thrive… not just survive! Visit her website to try a complimentary no-obligation telephone coaching session.

avatar Charmaine Wistad (12 Posts)

Charmaine Wistad has successfully homeschooled her two children from pre-school through high school. Now she is turning her attention toward helping other homeschooling moms. Through regularly scheduled telephone coaching sessions, Charmaine helps homeschool moms identify and define their ideal homeschooling lifestyle, then create the plan and set the goals to achieve it. She also provides the mentoring and accountability to carry through and have true victory. Be sure to visit her website where you can find information to schedule a free no-obligation sample coaching session.

One Response to Fun with Nature Notebooks

  • avatar
    Karen Newell says:

    You have offered some additional ideas to spruce up the nature notebook; a favorite with homeschoolers since the homeschool movement started several decades ago. Actually, it is goes back to Beatrix Potter in the 1800′s and before.

    Interesting, the new science standards include expanded use of science notebooks. The old nature notebook had the new standards beat by more than 100 years!

    I like the idea of covering the notebook with contact paper. That will help!
    Karen Newell´s last blog post ..Aug 8- Amps Volts Watts

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