Junior Naturalist

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Help me welcome another guest poster today- Ann from Doodles and Jots. Her site is wonderful if you haven’t been there yet. I always feel like I’m taking a creative nature walk with her when I’m there, which is why I’m loving this post she crafted for us.


Mini Nature Journal Printable

Hi, I’m Ann from Doodles and Jots where I blog about nature inspired creativity for kids plus some practical mom stuff too.  My lifelong passion for art and twenty years experience as a product designer has provided me with the process and skills I draw on for my content creation.  I live on Cape Cod with my musical husband and inquisitive kids.  I love being a mom and exploring, learning, and creating together!

I discovered Jeanette’s funny blog through Blogher’s NaBloPoMo (a themed daily blogging challenge).  It was one of the first blogs I started following.  She is a very entertaining writer, finder of cool things, and here, a thinker-upper of awesome kid’s art projects.  We even have something in common.  We were classmates at RISD although we didn’t know each other back then.  This is why I am so excited and honored to be guest posting for her today!



Mini Nature Journal Printable • Artchoo.com


I first realized the teaching power of drawing in high school biology class.  We had assignments to draw and annotate what we saw through the microscope.  I loved biology and art so this was really fun for me.  I took pride in rendering those amoebas and carefully adding the pink shading.  In addition to being fun it was also highly educational.  I still have a very strong visual memory of how plants have cell walls and animal cells don’t.  When you draw what you see you have to get a sense of the whole, study all the details, send it up to your brain, back down into your hand, and out through your pencil.  Drawing what you see makes you notice and retain things you wouldn’t otherwise.


junior naturalists • mini nature journal printable • Artchoo.com


There are so many wonderful things to discover and learn from in nature.  Why not grab my printable PDF mini nature journal and become a junior naturalist!  It includes prompts to get you started (like find something big, something small, etc.) and fun frames for your sketches.


nature journal preview


Although this activity was better suited to my 7 year old, my 5 year old was also able to finish most of his drawings on our hour long nature walk.  I scribed his observations later at home.  We saw LOTS of cool things including butterflies, mushrooms, interesting leaves, and beautiful flowers!


For folding instructions see this post.


Since it’s summer, don’t forget sun hats, sun screen, and insect repellent (we found a nice all natural one from Luffa Tree).  You might also want to pack water bottles and snacks.  For drawing supplies I like number 2 pencils and colored pencils, and to make drawing outdoors a little easier you can make a mini clipboard from a piece of cardboard and a binder clip.


Like Doodles and Jots on Facebook and share photos of your nature journals too!


  1. 08/09/2013 / 10:16 am

    I can’t wait to print this and head into the woods with Bodhi (8), to look for mushrooms and bunnies and leaves!
    Thanks Ann, informative as ever!

    • 08/13/2013 / 5:46 pm

      Mushrooms, bunnies and leaves sound like a pretty good trio of items to find. We’re going to wait and do this expedition in a few weeks when the weather is a little cooler; I’m so excited!

  2. 08/09/2013 / 10:36 am

    This is great! I’ll do this with my 7 year old next week.

    • 08/13/2013 / 5:47 pm

      Yes! I would love to see a whole bunch of these from different aged kids.

  3. 08/09/2013 / 12:51 pm

    How fun to see two of my favorite bloggers here today! My lucky day!

    • 08/13/2013 / 5:55 pm

      We’re like superheroes; stronger together, fighting all sorts of crime!

  4. 08/09/2013 / 3:16 pm

    Thanks, friends, for the great comments and thanks, Jeanette, for the opportunity to guest post at Artchoo!

    • 08/13/2013 / 5:55 pm

      You nut! This was an amazing guest post, and I’m so happy you agreed t slum it over here!

      • 08/13/2013 / 6:45 pm

        Thanks again Jeanette. Slum it, hahaha!

    • 08/13/2013 / 6:00 pm

      Hey Ann, Faigie left a comment question here for you. I think you only are getting the email responses from me, so I thought I’d let ya know.

  5. 08/10/2013 / 2:35 pm

    This is fantastic! Thank you, Ann! I’ll be printing this out for my kiddos!

    • 08/13/2013 / 5:56 pm

      I was planning on doing this in a few week, but we might do a late summer version and a fall version to see what sorts of cool things we can find…

  6. 08/10/2013 / 4:15 pm

    Excellent…excellent…excellent! Coolness all around here. I didn’t know you guys went to RISD. I was at Brown just a few blocks down. There is so much coolness at RISD.

    Ann, you know how much I love you. I was thrilled to see that you guest posted here. This site is Awesome! This is my go to site for anything art related! Specially for non-messy art related (Plug for Artchoo’s non-messy pinterest board!).

    I just love all of your ideas, Ann – and this one is no exception. I’m going to print this out and use it for a homeschool project this fall. Love it!

    Thanks so much for the idea. I always get such great inspiration from you and Jeannette.


    • 08/13/2013 / 9:11 am

      You were at Brown!? Small world… when did you graduate? Ann and I graduated in ’93, but we’re elderly.

  7. 08/12/2013 / 2:25 pm

    Ann do you ever think of photographing the objects and having them work at home from the photos?

    • 08/13/2013 / 5:57 pm

      That’s a great idea, Faigie! I’ll forward this Q to her.

      • 08/13/2013 / 6:43 pm

        I do it. These days I don’t even bother printing it out first. I just sit next to my computer screen. It is not always practical to draw from life in the elements. Although sometimes the elements and time constraints of being outside can help you be more direct. Another thing you can do is bring smaller objects home to draw.

        My kids haven’t thought to try it themselves and I haven’t suggested it yet. They are 5 and 7. Now I am curious to try it though. Thanks Faigie!

  8. 05/25/2014 / 11:11 am

    I love this! Great for many ages – printing (thanks for help adding some organisation to my summer!)

  9. Kerry
    01/07/2015 / 1:29 pm

    I would love to use these as party favors! The link for instructions on how to fold doesn’t seem to work though, can you let me know how?

    • 01/07/2015 / 2:13 pm

      Oops! Dead link alert! Here’s the link to the directions for folding- that’s a great party favor idea!

  10. Kristi Bailey
    05/18/2018 / 9:17 am

    Do you now where I can get this nature journal or if anyone has a clean copy? I would like to use them for my American Heritage Girls for a Nature and Wildlife badge requirement. The original link doesn’t work.

    • 06/22/2018 / 5:06 pm

      Hi Kristi- I fixed the link to download it! Sorry it wasn’t working. Hope you enjoy.

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