Nature Study – What Did I Need to Make It Happen?

Last week, I shared about Nature Study and why I have made it a priority in our week. By far, the biggest stumbling block to making it happen was my concept of what I needed to make Nature Study happen.

I would read how others were implementing Nature Study and would instantly feel overwhelmed. The supply list they had for a child or two was not feasible for our family size and budget. Here is what I had to remind myself: There is not a mandatory supply list for nature study. There is not a mandatory name brand for sketch books or watercolors. There is not even a mandatory method for Nature Study. All I needed was to decide what *our family* needed and to go outside to explore, see, and learn!

Here is how I made it happen:

On a weekly trip to the store, I purchased seven small sketchbooks. This allowed six of my children and myself to have our own nature study journals. I didn’t want to leave out my five year old and my three year old so they use a clipboard with a piece of sketch paper. I would eventually love to invest in a higher quality sketch book, but what we have is working out beautifully.

For Christmas, we were given a set of Prismacolor coloring pencils. We are absolutely loving these! While we do use them for other sketching, I try to keep these with our nature study items. I also keep a set of Crayola coloring pencils that they younger ones use. With eight children sketching, color availability can be tough! I hope to dabble in watercolors at some point. Again, my goal was to get the basics and to get started!

I grabbed a pencil pouch I had on hand and used that to hold a pencil sharpener, erasers, and a few pencils for sketching.

Since we are sharing sketching supplies, I am keeping sketch books, coloring pencils, etc all in a nice sturdy canvas bag. This allows us to “grab and go” at any time without having to hunt down supplies. Later I would love to get everyone a small nature study bag for individual items but for now this is working well. A few of the children do have their own art supplies and sometimes choose to bring them.

I always grab the camera so we take pictures in case we need to finish sketching indoors. We also happen to be a picture loving family so someone always wants the camera.

There are some items I want to add to our Nature Study Bag: binoculars, field guides, magnifying glass, bags for collecting items. I’ll simply add those as I can. No excuses for not getting out for Nature Study! With just a few basic supplies we are doing Nature Study and having a blast!

Up next – When and Where does Nature Study Happen?


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