What you’ll need

  • A4 paper (e.g., waste, drawing or printing paper)
  • Two A4-sized pieces of cardboard
  • Hole punch
  • String or ribbon
  • Felt-tip pens and colored pencils
  • Adhesive tape
  • Envelopes for storing the objects you find

How to do it

1. Place the A4 paper in a pile and punch a hole through the middle at one side (either the short or long side, depending on how you want to align your nature journal).

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2. Punch the pieces of cardboard in the same place and place the sheets of paper between them.

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3. Pull the string or ribbon through each of the holes and tie it in a loose knot so that you can still open your journal.

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4. Decorate your nature journal however you like – you could use stamps, paint, drawings, photos or magazine cutouts.

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5. Paste the envelopes into your journal to store your outdoor treasures.

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6. Head outdoors throughout the year and observe the plants and animals you see. When do the flowers bloom? Can you find a bird's nest? What insects can you spot? Record everything in your nature journal!

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Topsy’s tip

  • Take your nature journal with you on vacation
  • Collect materials in your book and press them flat (e.g., leaves)
  • Collect and draw feathers, snail shells, etc.
  • Find a spot to sit in the park, garden or forest and paint what you see.
  • Go to the same place again during different seasons to observe how the plants and animals change throughout the year.

Learn with Topsy

Explore nature with all your senses:

  • Do you know all the senses that we humans have? We can smell, touch, see, taste and hear. Take your family on a walk through nature with your nature journal.
  • Go exploring together – find something outdoors, pick it up and examine it using all your senses. It can be a flower, a piece of fruit, a tree branch or even a snail! Try to find words to describe it. How does it smell? Sweet, fresh, woody, moist, musty, flowery, pungent or maybe it has no smell? How does it feel to the touch? Delicate, leathery, smooth, rough, velvety, cool, warm, slimy, dry, wet, heavy, light? How does it look? What color is it? How big is it? Is it thick, thin, narrow, wide, round, jagged? Does it make a noise if you blow into it? Or does it make a sound by itself? Does it make a noise when you rub it or tap it against the ground? What do these noises sound like? Are they muffled, bright, rustling, squeaky, loud, soft, high or low-pitched? At the end, do a small quiz: one person describes an object that you can experience with all your senses and the others have to guess what it could be. Can you describe it so well that everyone can figure it out?