How to: Create your own Nature Journal

Green Lifestyle

Keeping a nature journal fosters scientific inquiry and aesthetic observation, and can also encourage a sense of wellbeing and personal healing for both kids and adults alike!


Katrina Lezaic's 5-year old son made this gorgeous Nature Journal recently. A budding young heirloom seed saver!


Katrina Lezaic's 5-year old son made this gorgeous Nature Journal recently. A budding young heirloom seed saver!

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In an age where we spend considerable amounts of time hooked-up to screens, or viewing the world through a camera lens, recording your discoveries by hand using pen and paper is a way to reconnect with your own voice again.

With school holidays coming up, it’s also an excellent way to encourage children to fully engage with the natural environment. It can be used as a way to stay engaged with the outdoors while travelling to holiday destinations as well as when you arrive, or simply at home in your own backyard.

In Sandra Morris’s book A New Zealand Nature Journal – How to keep a nature journal to record your amazing discoveries, she says the best thing about a nature journal is that you can create it any way you want.

She suggests focusing on the different colours that dominate throughout each of the four seasons, documenting food chains found in the garden, creating a garden map, incorporating pressed leaves and flowers, creating moon and cloud logs and taking trips to different habitat-rich environments to record the wildlife.

You will need:

1. A plain leafed book.

2. Different art materials - drawing pencils, crayons, watercolours, fine-tipped pens, and colour pencils.

3. Specimen jars.

4. Large sheet of paper.

Optional extras: Binoculars, magnifying glass, and tape measure.

How to:

1. Collect objects like shells, seed pods and leaves using your specimen jars and lay them out on a large sheet of paper before drawing them with a felt-tip pen.

2. Shade the drawing to make them 3D.

3. Use different colours and your own lettering and designs to reflect a variety of moods to match the seasons and environment.

4. As you draw each object note your observations in words. Include measurements and the correct names for the parts of flowers and plants.

A nature journal is a valuable way to record a habitat or seasonal events, while sitting, observing and drawing helps you to see things in more detail, and you really don’t need to venture far to begin!