Nature Journaling For Adults: How To Start And Prompts To Use

nature journaling for adults


Nature journaling is a fulfilling and engaging practice that helps adults connect with the natural world. By recording observations in a journal, individuals can deepen their appreciation and understanding of nature. The act of observing and documenting the world around us can also have a positive impact on the mind and senses, allowing us to be fully present in the moment. In this blog post, I will share with you how to start nature journaling for adults and provide you with prompts to help you get started on your journey.

Keeping a nature journal involves more than just writing down observations. It is a process that requires attention and mindfulness. By focusing on the details of the natural world, individuals can cultivate a deeper sense of awareness and appreciation for their surroundings. Nature journaling can serve as a form of therapy, allowing individuals to connect with nature and improve their mental health.

Whether you are a seasoned journaler or just starting out, there are many ways to get started with nature journaling. From observing plants and animals to documenting the changing seasons, there is no shortage of inspiration to draw from. By taking the time to observe and document the world around us, we can develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural world.


Getting Started with Nature Journaling

Nature journaling can be a rewarding activity for adults looking to connect with the natural world. Here are some tips to help get started:

Choosing Your Nature Journal

The first step in starting a nature journal is to choose a dedicated notebook or journal for the purpose of recording observations. It’s best to choose a journal that is small enough to carry with you, but large enough to accommodate sketches and notes. Consider selecting a journal with sturdy paper that can handle different types of media, such as pens, pencils, and watercolors.


Basic Nature Journaling Supplies

In addition to a nature journal, you’ll need some basic supplies to get started. A pen or pencil is essential for recording observations, while colored pencils or watercolors can be used to add color to sketches. A ruler or straight edge can be helpful for drawing straight lines, and a magnifying glass can help with close-up observations.


Finding Your First Location

To start a nature journal, you don’t need to travel far. Your own backyard or a nearby park can be a great place to start observing and recording nature. Look for interesting plants, animals, and natural features to record in your journal. Take your time and observe carefully, noting details like colors, textures, and behaviors.


Nature journaling prompts  for adults

  • Document the transition of seasons in a particular spot through sketches and notes.
  • Observe and record the behavior of a specific animal over a month.
  • Draw a series of trees, focusing on the differences in bark textures and patterns.
  • Write a reflective entry on the solitude and peace found in a forest.
  • Sketch the various phases of a plant’s life, from sprout to full bloom to decay.
  • Capture the mood and atmosphere of a rainy day in nature through watercolor.
  • Record the sunrise or sunset each day for a week, noting the changes in colors.
  • Illustrate the different types of clouds you see and learn their names.
  • Observe and note the effect of the moon on nocturnal wildlife.
  • Sketch a panoramic view of a landscape, adding details over several visits.
  • Write about the sensory experiences of a hike, including sights, sounds, and smells.
  • Document the growth and changes in a garden or natural space over time.
  • Draw the different shapes and sizes of leaves you find on a single tree.
  • Write a narrative about an encounter with wildlife, blending fact and creative writing.
  • Sketch a close-up of an insect, paying attention to detail and structure.
  • Record the ebb and flow of a tide at the beach, noting the patterns in the sand.
  • Illustrate the reflections and ripples in a pond or stream.
  • Write about the changes in a particular area after a storm or natural event.
  • Sketch the flight patterns of birds, capturing their movements in a series of drawings.
  • Document the diversity of plant life in a small, defined area.
  • Write a poem inspired by a natural feature, such as a mountain, lake, or meadow.
  • Sketch nocturnal scenes using only the light of the moon or a campfire.
  • Record the sounds of a forest at dawn and attempt to identify the sources.
  • Illustrate the architecture of a spider’s web with morning dew on it.
  • Write about the experience of stargazing, including emotions and constellations observed.
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Observation Techniques and Tips

Honing Your Observation Skills

Nature journaling is all about observing and recording what you see in the natural world. To become a skilled observer, it’s important to slow down and take the time to really look at your surroundings. Pay attention to the details, such as the colors, textures, and shapes of leaves, flowers, and wildlife. Take note of the sounds and smells around you. By honing your observation skills, you’ll be able to capture the essence of the natural world in your journal.


Drawing and Sketching in Nature

Drawing and sketching are important skills for nature journaling. You don’t need to be an artist to create beautiful drawings in your journal. Start by observing the subject closely and then sketch what you see. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just focus on capturing the essence of the subject. Use shading and different line weights to add depth and dimension to your drawings.


Writing Descriptive Entries

Writing descriptive entries is another important aspect of nature journaling. Use descriptive language to capture the details of what you observe. Note the colors, textures, and shapes of leaves, flowers, and wildlife. Describe the sounds and smells around you. Use sensory language to transport your reader into the natural world.


In addition to these tips, it’s important to remember that nature journaling is a personal journey. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Use your own unique style and voice to capture the beauty of the natural world. By honing your observation skills, drawing and sketching in nature, and writing descriptive entries, you’ll be able to create a meaningful and beautiful nature journal.

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Deepening Your Practice

Nature journaling is a fulfilling and versatile practice that can be deepened in many ways. Incorporating scientific methods, exploring artistic approaches, and reflecting on personal growth are three effective ways to take your nature journaling to the next level.


Incorporating Scientific Methods

For those who are interested in the scientific aspects of nature journaling, incorporating scientific methods can be a great way to deepen your practice. This can include researching and recording scientific names of plants and animals, tracking weather patterns, and observing and recording changes in the environment over time.


Exploring Artistic Approaches

Nature journaling is also a creative practice that can be enhanced by exploring different artistic approaches. This can include experimenting with different mediums such as watercolors, pencils, or charcoal, or using different techniques such as shading, cross-hatching, or stippling. Artistic exploration can help you discover new ways of expressing your observations and enhance your overall creative experience.


Reflecting on Personal Growth

Nature journaling can also be a powerful tool for personal growth and reflection. By reflecting on your experiences and emotions while journaling, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationship with the natural world. Gratitude exercises, such as listing things you are grateful for in nature, can also help cultivate a sense of joy and appreciation for the world around you.


Deepening your nature journaling practice can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. By incorporating scientific methods, exploring artistic approaches, and reflecting on personal growth, you can discover new ways to connect with nature and enhance your overall creative experience.


Expanding Your Nature Journaling Experience

Nature journaling is an activity that can be enjoyed throughout the year. By expanding your nature journaling experience, you can develop a deeper connection with the natural world and gain a better understanding of seasonal patterns.


Journaling Through the Seasons

One way to expand your nature journaling experience is to journal through the seasons. This allows you to observe the changes that occur in the natural world as the year progresses. You can note the arrival of migratory birds, the budding of trees in spring, the blooming of wildflowers in summer, and the changing colors of leaves in fall. By recording these changes in your journal, you can gain a greater appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the natural world.


Participating in Citizen Science

Another way to expand your nature journaling experience is to participate in citizen science projects. This involves collecting data on species and sharing it with scientists and other naturalists. Citizen science projects can help you develop a deeper understanding of the natural world and contribute to scientific research. Some examples of citizen science projects include bird counts, butterfly counts, and plant surveys.


Sharing and Connecting with Others

Finally, expanding your nature journaling experience can involve sharing your work with others and connecting with like-minded individuals. You can join nature journaling groups, subscribe to nature journals, and attend nature journaling workshops and events. By sharing your work with others, you can gain feedback and support, and connect with others who share your passion for nature.

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Expanding your nature journaling experience can involve journaling through the seasons, participating in citizen science projects, and sharing and connecting with others. By doing so, you can deepen your connection with the natural world, develop a better understanding of seasonal patterns, and connect with others who share your passion for nature.


Frequently Asked Questions

What supplies are essential for beginning nature journaling?

To begin nature journaling, all you need is a notebook and a pen. However, adding some color to your journal can make it more engaging and interesting. Colored pencils, watercolors, and paintbrushes are great options for adding color to your journal. A magnifying glass can help you observe details that you might otherwise miss.


How can I incorporate watercolor techniques into my nature journal?

Watercolor painting is a popular technique for adding color to nature journals. To begin, you will need watercolor paints, brushes, and watercolor paper. Start by sketching your subject in pencil, and then add color with your watercolors. You can also experiment with different brush strokes and techniques to create different effects.


What are some effective prompts to inspire nature journaling activities?

Some effective prompts for nature journaling include recording the weather, observing and sketching a plant or animal, and reflecting on your personal connection to nature. You can also try creating a sensory map of your environment or recording the sounds you hear in nature.


Can you recommend any notable books on nature journaling for adults?

Some notable books on nature journaling for adults include “Keeping a Nature Journal” by Clare Walker Leslie and “The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling” by John Muir Laws. These books provide inspiration and guidance for nature journaling activities.


How does nature journaling benefit personal growth and well-being?

Nature journaling can provide numerous benefits for personal growth and well-being. It can help you develop a deeper connection with nature, improve your observation skills, and reduce stress and anxiety. It can also encourage mindfulness and a sense of gratitude.


What are some tips for organizing and structuring a nature journal?

When organizing and structuring a nature journal, consider using different sections for different types of observations or activities. You can also use tabs or dividers to separate different sections. Consider using headings, bullet points, and sketches to make your journal more visually appealing and easier to read.



  • Ben

    I'm Ben, a data engineer who adores journaling. My passion for recording life experiences inspired me to develop Otto's Journal, an online diary app. Join me as I blend data and storytelling in the ever-changing tech world, making journaling more accessible and exciting.

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