Nature Journaling for Kids

Nature Journaling for Kids is a fantastic way to help children explore the natural world, indulge their curiosity, and learn tons of valuable things.

Incorporating nature study in your homeschool lessons with preschool, kindergarten, and even early elementary students is a fun way to teach science and encourage healthy physical activity. Plus, it’s a great way to ensure your little learners are spending lots of time outside.

toddler girl exploring grass in the backyard
So, I’ve put together a complete set of free printable nature study pages for kids to help you. Today I’m excited to share a few of our favorite ideas for exploring nature with kids. You’re definitely not going to want to miss them! 

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Keep reading to learn how you can use these pages to explore nature with children and get your own nature journaling pages today.

Tips for Exploring Nature with Kids

Recently, we began implementing nature walks with our kids. Spending time outdoors in nature has been beneficial for all of us in so many ways. Beyond the physical benefits, time spent exploring nature with children is filled with curiosity, wonder, and opportunities to learn about the natural world in a concrete way.

It can certainly be a daunting task to bring nature study to your little learners on a regular basis. However, there are lots of great tips to help make it enjoyable for everyone. Here are our favorite tips and tricks for exploring nature with children:

Timing is Everything

Pick a nature study time that fits your schedule and your child’s natural schedule. Don’t go at mealtime or nap time and don’t go when you’re in a hurry. Exploring nature with children requires time to slow down and nurture their natural curiosity.

Bring Snacks

Bring an easy snack to share while you’re exploring nature. Having something on hand for the inevitable “I’m hungry!” moments will ensure no one gets cranky. You’ll be able to spend more time on nature study if you don’t need to leave in a hurry for sustenance. Plus, who doesn’t love a picnic? 

Dress Appropriately

Nature study can happen at any time. You can get outdoors and explore nature with kids rain or shine. Be sure that you and your children have dressed in weather-appropriate clothing. That way, you’ll be able to really enjoy your nature study without feeling cold, hot, or wet.

Some of our most fun exploring nature has happened exploring puddles and mud on rainy days, frost in the cold, and watching fireflies at night. There is no wrong time for a homeschool nature study.

Let the Kids Lead

As you explore nature, let the kids set the pace. Give them space to experience the natural world around them. During nature study, allow them the freedom to go slowly or race ahead when their excitement demands it.

Let them tell you what they notice rather than pointing out things you see. Instead of drawing their attention to the birds in the trees, wait and watch. 

Set Ground Rules

Since you’re going to let the kids lead this nature study, you’ll need to set ground rules to ensure success. We have a few safety rules like being within sight of an adult and not sticking our hands or heads into holes, hollow logs, or “caves” we might find.

Set your own ground rules for safety with your children before you begin your nature study. That way, everyone can stay safe while exploring nature together.

Preschool and Kindergarten Nature Study Ideas

There are so many ways to incorporate nature study and learning with your preschool and kindergarten learners! Nature study ideas for these early learners can be simple and a whole lot of fun. Here are some of our favorites:

Nature Journaling for Kids

I’ve Put together some awesome nature journal printables for introducing nature study to your preschool, kindergarten, or early elementary classroom.

These printables encourage your little learners to explore and record their observations in nature this year. There’s a free printable nature study page for every season:

You can use these nature study printables to explore nature journaling with your little learners. Have kids take their pages along on your nature walks or set them loose in the backyard with this printable nature journaling page.

Encourage kids to draw, color, and write about the things they see. For added fun, give each child a small bag to collect any natural “treasures” they might find during their independent nature study. 

Sensory Bins for Nature Study

When you can’t explore outdoors, bring nature study inside with a fun sensory bin exploration station for your little learners. Here are some ideas for sensory bins for nature study:

Using Printable Nature Journals in Your Lessons

You can use these free printable nature journals for every season to help your little learners explore a wide variety of plants, animals, and weather.

Kids can explore nature, get curious, and practice their observation skills as they work to complete these nature study pages. In the end, combine all your nature journal printables to create a unique year-long nature journal for each child. 

Which nature study resources are your favorites? How will you incorporate nature in your classroom or homeschool lessons this year? Share your nature study plans in the comments and don’t forget to get your own nature journaling printables for all four seasons.