Learning Table has a new home.
Come visit us at learningtablehomeschool.com!
This blog uses affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

DIY: Homemade Nature Journals


   My boys have been using blank sketchbooks as nature journals, but lately we have found that they get too full before they are finished.  Because the boys add lots of extra items besides drawings like photos, specimens (leaves, dried flowers, pieces of bark, seed pods,) and postcards, the books get too bulky to close.  We decided to try making our own journals for Spring, and I think we will have to just start new journals with the change in seasons instead of trying to cram everything into one for the year. 

   Here's what we did:

   Our local craft store has these 7Gypsies book covers in the scrapbooking section.  You get a front and back cover for 1.99, and each of my boys used a 40% off coupon to buy them, so they were pretty inexpensive.  You could also use any recycled cardboard, which we've done before for little scrapbooks of field trips.  These covers are really sturdy, and since these journals will be handled so much, we decided to go the store-bought route this time.

   We punched holes in the sides and then measured the length and width of the covers.  Then we hit our scrap paper stash and started cutting out pages using a paper trimmer.  (This is also great practice in measuring, by the way.)  We just used random papers--some patterned scrapbook paper, some plain cardstock, and some leftover pages from albums.  We also added a few envelopes to each book for specimens (I always open junk mail to see if there is a return envelope inside and save them for projects like this and playing pretend post-office.)  There is a mix of plain pages for sketching and printed pages for pasting down photos.

   Then we lined up the pages with the front cover, and punched holes a few pages at the time.  We looped in some medium-sized binding rings from the office supply section at Target, but you could use heavy twine or yarn, loop it through, and tie it securely.  If we need to add pages along the way, it is easy to open the rings., and if they boys want to add postcards or brochures from places we visit, they can simply punch holes in them and add them in.

I think these will be wonderful keepsakes when they are full.


Stephanie said...

What a great idea! I love how they can add pictures and postcards! I bet they will enjoy looking back through it for years!!!

Mama Pea Pod said...

These are so beautiful! I love this idea!

I know it's not technically an outdoor activity, but since it's so closely related to outdoor play and learning, I'd love it if you came over to link this up to our new Outdoor Play linky tomorrow!

Mama Pea Pod said...

PS - I just shared this on my facebook page.


Kate @ An Amazing Child said...

I really love journalling, especially nature journals and visual journals. I agree, your children will love looking back at these beautiful journals.

Thanks for sharing with us at Outdoor Play. Hope to see you again next week.

Mama Pea Pod said...

These are just beautiful, I love them! So glad you linked them up, thanks!

CatWay said...

Love the idea of making journals that you can add pages and memorabilia to anytime.