National Gallery at Home: Family Field Explorers

Photo of children's field explorer notebooks
Photo by Ashleigh Downey

Follow these simple steps to create your own field-explorer notebook.

Exploring nature together as a family can be fun and creative. Children are born natural scientists, eager to investigate and learn about the world around them. Together as field explorers, you can observe nature closely with all your senses and collect specimens. Press flowers, examine the things you find and explore them through drawing and notes in your special field-explorer notebook.

Watch the video and then try it out yourself. You'll find all the materials and instructions listed below. Let's get started!

Watch the video

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National Gallery at Home

Family Field Explorers


Materials and instructions

You will need:

  • A4 card for the cover
  • A variety of A4 coloured paper
  • Pencils or crayons
  • Twine or elastic


  1. Gather together all your materials.
  2. Fold your paper and card in half.
  3. Place the paper inside the card.
  4. Secure the paper in place by tying twine or elastic around the spine of the booklet. You now have a blank field-explorer notebook!
  5. Use your crayons or pencils to decorate and embellish your notebook to suit your personality. You could also add a pocket for loose items or attach a viewfinder.
  6. When you're happy with how your notebook looks, you're ready to head outdoors and start exploring and recording what you see!

Share your artwork!

Would you like to see your artwork featured on the Gallery's website? Take a photo of your artwork and send it to us by email ([email protected]) or using this online form to upload your picture. We'll feature a selection of pictures in the Creative Challenge Gallery, so check back to see if yours is included!

Upload a picture of your artwork using this form


Created by artist Ashleigh Downey for the National Gallery of Ireland inspired by the past exhibition Drawn from Nature: Irish Botanical Art.

We are grateful to the Irish Society of Botanical Artists for their support of the education programme for Drawn from Nature.

About our Gallery at Home videos:

Inspired by works in our collection and exhibitions, our creative activities encourage families to work together to create their own artworks. They are specially produced videos for babies, older children and for those who require sensory input. You can find all the workshops in this series here. Enjoy!

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