About Nature Journaling

There is no right or wrong way to nature journal

You can customize your nature journaling to create the experience you enjoy the most.

From sketching to writing to collecting data, there is room for all forms of documenting your observations.

Choose any media, any time, any place, and strengthen your connection to nature by noticing its beautiful details.


What is the goal of nature journaling?

The goal of nature journaling is typically to spend time observing details, patterns, and phenomena in nature around you to activate your curiosity and strengthen your connection to a place. However, there is no right or wrong way to nature journal, and your personal goal can be completely different, or can change day-to-day!

Who is nature journaling for?

I write nature journals for kids ages 5-8, but nature journaling is beneficial for every age! Nature journaling is a lifelong hobby that can be picked up at any point in life, combining art and science for every experience level.

What skills are needed for nature journaling?

The most basic skill needed for nature journaling is the ability to write and/or draw on paper, even if still learning. Some other skills that are helpful or can be practiced using nature journaling include:

  • Sitting quietly
  • Noticing features
  • Describing observations
  • Counting

What are some common nature journaling techniques?

The three nature journaling "languages" as coined by John Muir Laws are:

  • Pictures (drawings, photos, maps, paint, etc.)
  • Words (descriptions, paragraphs, bullets, poems, quotes, etc.)
  • Numbers (counting, tallying, data collecting, graphs, etc.)

Prompts that I use in my nature journals for children include:

  • Important information (date, location, weather, etc.)
  • List of animals and plants observed
  • Sensory information (what you see, smell, hear, and feel)
  • I wonder (questions)

Where can you bring your nature journal?

Nature journals can be used virtually anywhere! Here are some ideas.


  • Beaches & tide pools
  • Gardens & parks
  • Zoos & aquariums
  • Natural history museums


  • Classroom (bringing specimens inside)
  • Window observations

Virtual observations:

  • YouTube videos
  • Live cams (Monterey Bay Aq., explore.org)
  • Interactive virtual tours & field trips
  • Video games (Minecraft, etc.)

When can nature journaling be used?

In the field:
Bringing your journal with you while you explore is the most common way to nature journal! Be careful not to get your journal wet or damaged, but enjoy creating pages surrounded by nature. Taking a quick photo can help in case the animal you're observing decides to move away while you're journaling.

At home after exploring:
If you want more time to document your observations, be sure to take a photo so you can sit down at home and spend as much time as you need to create a nature journal page you're happy with. This is also the best time for introducing messier supplies into your journaling, like watercolors.

Why is nature journaling considered beneficial?

Some of my favorite benefits of nature journaling are:

  1. Strengthens your connection to nature through observation
  2. Helps you gain familiarity with your surroundings in a variety of possible places
  3. Activates your curiosity about the natural world we are a part of
  4. Develops or deepens your empathy for other species
  5. Can be accommodating for age, physical differences, and learning differences

How is nature journaling different for kids vs. adults?

Nature journaling for adults is often done on blank pages with very little guidance, allowing for unlimited creativity.

This approach, however, can be intimidating for some children who are being introduced to nature journaling, so I have found it is best to use prompts and labeled pages to guide them.

As they grow more comfortable with the concept of nature journaling, more and more freedom can be introduced until they reach for the blank page as well.

Where should I start?

You can start by downloading and printing out my free nature journaling page with guided prompts! You can print this as many times as you'd like to see if nature journaling is something you enjoy.

I also have nature journals with much more guidance and mini science lessons available in my shop.