Nature Journal

Clip art of a tree with gradient green leaves

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to develop increasing care for self, others, and the environment.

Materials Needed:

  • Inexpensive drawing pad or journal (or loose paper)
  • Pencils, colored pencils, or pens
  • Field guide or app

Participants: This activity is intended for independent play and adult/child interaction.


  1. Find a place to observe something in nature, such as a bird, a flower, or a twig. Study the object closely, noticing its shape and the individual pieces that make up the larger whole.
  2. Draw the object and make notes about it, such as the shape of the leaves or where you found it. Write the object’s name if you know it.
  3. Try this exercise once a week with your child. It’s not only a nice relaxation activity, but it’s a good way to foster a deeper awareness and appreciation for the planet.

Learn More: Join Nature’s Notebook and use your observations to help scientists.

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Clip art of a tree with gradient green leaves