National Gallery at Home: Family Field Explorers

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

Our Education team are bringing some of their family workshops to you online so that you can get creative at home!

Follow along with these simple steps to create your own field-explorer notebook, inspired by our exhibition Drawn from Nature: Irish Botanical Art

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.

We're going to create our own field-explorer notebook! Let's get started!

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National Gallery at Home

Family Field Explorers



  • 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!


Created by artist Ashleigh Downey for the National Gallery of Ireland.

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


You can share your creations with us on our online channels using #NationalGalleryIRLAtHome, or email them to us at [email protected] - we'd love to see how you get on! 

This activity, which would normally have taken place in the Maples Group Creative Space, is now brought to you online.

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