Ambleside Online’s list of Nature Study Resources.
The website Handbook of Nature Study is a tremendous resource. If you get on their mailing list you will routinely receive links to download free materials for nature study.
John Muir Laws has some incredible resources on his page, including a free Nature Journaling Curriculum.
Drawing resources for plants and animals on my Art Projects page.
Moleskine Plain, Kraft Brown, 5 x 8.5 inches are our favorite journals. They are easy to pack, durable, and stay folded open for drawing.
Prismacolor Pencils are our favorite tool. They are expensive, but very good quality. I buy them with my 40% off coupon at Michaels.
Many families also use:
If your children are really averse to drawing, let them take pictures of things they find. At the end of the year, assemble them into a field guide for plants, birds, leaves, bugs, trees, etc, showing specimens and seasons. Have a real photo book printed (on Snapfish, etc) as a keepsake.
Find something from every letter, A-Z, or spell out a word like a name, holiday, etc.
Five Senses Hunt
Find something for each of the 5 senses. See a wildflower. Smell the jasmine. Hear the wind blowing in the trees. Feel the sunshine. Taste some honeysuckle.
Find objects to match color samples. You can use crayons, paint sample cards, or an egg carton with each compartment painted a different color. Younger children can use simple colors like brown, green, grey, purple, etc. Older kids enjoy finding different shades of green or brown (paint sample cards are very useful here).