Free Printable Nature Journal Just In Time for September’s Back-to-School
This has been my last week of summer vacation before the marathon begins. Starting Monday, I’ll be up by 6am, showered by 6:15, kissing hubby and two teens good-bye by 7, getting three littles up by 7:30 and texting my oldest at college by 8. And that’s before my day is even officially started.
The last thing I have time to think about is: where can I find a cute printable nature journal that’s free? And now, neither will you, because I made it and will be sharing a new set of nature-journaling printables every month for an entire year!
Yes, to celebrate the release of my third picture book, A Year With Mama Earth, I’m creating a nature journal inspired by Rebecca Green’s illustrations and the book’s lyrical text.
I’m aiming the printables at PreK (with adult help)-3rd graders, and plan to include an abundance of STEAM activities: loads of natural science, art, creative writing, and so much more.
A sneak-peek at the topics I plan to cover:
- September: Seasons, observation, five senses, autumn, describing words
- October: Leaves, spiders, color wheel, sorting by properties, personification
- November: Gratitude, hibernation/adaptation, clouds, mandalas, similes
- December: Stars/constellations, Venn diagrams, deciduous/coniferous trees, gifts, lists
- January: Snow, birds, winter animals, shelter, collage, bird feeder, action words
- February: Animal tracks, nocturnal animals, states of matter, creating characters
- March: Trees (sap, bark, rings), camouflage, elements of a story
- April: Weather, graphing, buds, spring, metaphor, poetry
- May: Seeds, germination, flowers, plant life cycle,
- June: Bees, pollination, water (lakes/streams/wetlands), summer,
- July: Flying night creatures (moths, bats, fireflies), insect observation,
- August: Frog life cycle, sun (sundial, shadows, seasons), water cycle/evaporation,
Each month will contain:
Printable pages/worksheets covering an array of topics from plant identification to science, to art and creative writing.
Activity suggestions or lesson plans for each page.
A blog post (right here on my blog) with links to even more crafts, activities, educational videos, and nature-themed printables. Speaking of blog post, read on for the…
September Nature Journal
Ahh, September. School is back in session, the morning world (where I live, anyway) wakes crisp with the chill of coming fall and ripe with the taste of apples. I absolutely adore September. It’s also my birthday month and that of one of my kids, so it’s extra fun. Because, cake.
This month start your My Year Nature Journal by printing the September pages. I strongly recommend card stock for the cover and something heavier than standard copy paper for the internal pages (28lb minimum). Either three-hole-punch and place in a binder or hole punch and hold together with rings. You’ll be adding more pages each month, so be sure your binder has plenty of room! 2” should suffice.
Be sure to add your Month Sticker! Download the printable file at the end of this post. I’ll include a place on every month’s first page for students to draw a self-portrait. Encourage them to add clothing and background details. It will be fun for you and your student to watch skill development over the school year!
A Video about Going on a Nature Walk
A cute nursery rhyme about wind
All About Seasons:
Along with your Nature Journal page, you might enjoy these activities and printables.
A free Printable Seasons Wheel. We did this project last year and everyone had fun, even my middle schooler! In fact, she got into some “trouble” with her little sister for accidentally coloring the wrong wheel. Oops. Thank goodness they’re printable. And free.
What do you do with all those rocks the kids collect on nature walks? (Or maybe your kids don’t stuff their pockets full? Nah. Even I bring one home now and then!) Turn those rocks into an adorable Seasons Sorting Craft/Activity, of course.
Enjoy the videos below. I watched DOZENS of videos, trying to find ones that were understandable, age appropriate, and not CREEPY AS. Because, YouTube, am I right? *shudder*
An interactive seasons song for PreK!
Why we have seasons for Elementary Kids
My Five Senses:
We’ll return to the senses at least one more time, and of course we use our senses every day, so… On nature walks I’ll often have kids stop, close their eyes, and listen, smell, feel the wind or heat or tickle of a leaf. Below are a few more ideas for incorporating senses into your September adventures.
My Senses I Spy is more geared for early readers. If you have younger student, try this Printable Senses in Nature Picture Hunt.
I really couldn’t plan an outdoor exploration better than this Lesson on Exploring Nature With the Senses. I especially love the idea of making imprints with clay! Brilliant, and something I’m SO doing this fall.
For more learning about the senses, check out the videos below! I’m trying to find one for Toddlers/PreK and one for elementary, but the elementary one is a little, um, well let’s just say you might need to fast forward some spots depending on attention spans. I LOVE his soothing voice and method, however.
5 Senses for Toddlers & PreK
Experience Nature With Your Senses for Older Students
I can’t imagine needing a video tutorial on how to use a magnifying glass, BUT I found a craft on How To Make Your Own Magnifying Glass. Which is pretty awesome and super sciency.
If you’re in the market for a magnifying glass, check these out! (affiliate links).
The glass I had as a kid!
Watch this video on describing words (Adjectives)
So that’s it! Sit back, download, print. Then *get outside* to enjoy September while you can! On those rainy days, check out the videos above. And be sure to subscribe so you’ll be first to know when next month’s pages are available.
Subscribe below for all the upcoming Nature Journal printables!
To preview any of these items, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store. You’ll be able to see several pages of each download.
Do you plan to get outside this fall? I’d love to see some of your finished journal pages! Please send pics to firstname.lastname@example.org. I may even share on IG!