Celebrate Nature with the Thankful for Nature Journal

2020 has been a year like no other. Between a global pandemic with no end in sight, an extreme wildfire and hurricane season, and various other difficult factors, it can be hard to find the good right now. However, spending time in nature can help us find the silver lining to a tough year. Time in nature helps us find the beautiful, calming, and restorative aspects of life we desperately need right now. Even just venturing into your backyard or patio can relieve stress and provide a sense of calm when you need a break from the chaos inside.

boy holding thankful for nature journal outside


That’s why we are focusing on the things we are thankful for in nature this month. It can be something as small as the sound of autumn leaves crunching under your boots or the smell of marigold flowers outside your doctor’s office. We have created a Thankful for Nature Journal for your family to jot down your thoughts and have some fun finding the beauty in nature this month.

Download the Thankful for Nature Journal

Need some inspiration? We reached out to our wonderful Hike it Baby community to see what they are thankful for in nature:

The Calming and Restorative Effects of Nature

  • “I’m thankful for the mental clarity it provides and the beautiful views in my own backyard and beyond.” – Michelle, Collingswood, NJ
  • “I’m grateful for how nature just brings a breath of peace.” –  Caroline, Berkeley, CA

“I’m thankful for the changing seasons, the reminder that things don’t always stay the same, good and bad. It gives me something to look forward to year round!” –   Jessica, York, PA

  • “I’m thankful for a chance to take a deep breath and appreciate all the ways nature shows us beauty, especially the beauty of difference and imperfections in all of the wonders we see.” –  Jessica, Beaverton, OR
  • “Our house looks out to a big field, and no matter what chaos is inside the house, that field is always calming and beautiful, and I can always take a minute to breathe and appreciate the colors, wildlife, and light. I am so grateful for that view 100 times a day.” –  Elizabeth, Brockville, Ontario, Canada
  • “Getting outside in the midst of the chaos and stress of remote learning just relaxes everyone. It’s amazing to see how my kids relax and just have fun in nature. In the PNW so many of our hiking trails were packed, so we stayed closer to home and explored the green areas around our city that were often empty. We explored creeks and streams and spent hours in nature’s playground as all the city playgrounds were closed.” –  Paula, Seattle, WA
  • “I’m thankful that even after being destroyed, there’s always hope in nature. We’ve had a rough fire season here. Friends lost their homes. We were stuck inside due to smoke for days on end. On top of everything else that has happened this year, it was a lot. When the smoke cleared and we were able to get outside we went to one of my favorite hiking spots. Years ago, it too had burned but has begun to regrow. It reminded me of how even after trauma and devastation, good things can form. That, for me, has always helped me to feel more at peace.” –  Kate, Grants Pass, OR
  • “Personally I’m thankful for the reset button. It completely takes me out of that monotonous routine and gives me a moment to breathe. I’m able to absorb earth’s energy, feel the shifting wind on my face and return home with a different mindset. You realize what’s important, and what matters most to you. Colorado girl here! Trying to soak in all of that nature therapy!” –  Shara, Colorado Springs, CO

“I’m thankful for the shift in perspective, we slowed down our pace, our exhausting social calendar and really just spent time together, especially more time outside!” –  Mayrita, Capital Region, NY

boy working in his thankful for nature journal


Making Family Memories in Nature

  • “I’m grateful for where we live; very close to beautiful outdoor spaces and trails. We are grateful for how Covid forced us to find new outdoor spaces to explore in an effort to get away from over-crowded trails. It forced my kids to actually recognize how relaxed and unwound they feel after spending time outside. I’m grateful for how the outdoors has brought my family closer together.” –  Alexandra, Salt Lake City, UT
  • “Grateful we were still able to take a short family vacation to the beach. Such a calming retreat & brought us all closer together!” –  Anastasia, Boring, Oregon.
  • “I’m thankful for all the new state parks me and hubby took the kids to while he was forced to take off 2 days each week during quarantine. It was like a little vacation each day we discovered something new while he was losing his vacation days involuntarily.” –  Patricia, King of Prussia, PA

“I’m grateful for the retreat it has been for my family, even when it’s just our backyard. We may not have been able to do anything we planned or spend time with the people we love most, but our little family of four did a lot of growing and loving just sitting in the yard this summer.” –  Paige, Cleveland, OH

  • “When schools (and just about everything else) closed this spring, I began taking my kids on local hikes every weekday after lunch. Even rotating through the few parks near us that remained open repeatedly, these hikes became a bright spot and something to look forward to in an otherwise stressful time.” –  Genevieve, Virginia
  • “Our trails were jam-packed when Utah shut down, leaving us to have to find new escapes and adventures. We ended up trying out kayaking at a lesser-known spot at our lake and we fell in love. We became a 2-kayak family over night and this would not have happened had Covid not forced us to explore other adventures!” –  Joey, Utah County, Utah

The Endless Beauty of the Outdoors

  • “Thankful that Nature is both a comforting constant yet also an ever-changing source of excitement. Just today, I saw the sun setting over the highway and nearly pulled over (yet again) to take a picture. City, country, or suburbs—nature always has something to offer to those who seek it out. I love seeking it out alongside my family. I also love that you don’t need anything special for a basic hike. You can go on a moment’s notice, and my toddler generally loves being outside once I manage to wrangle her out of the house.” –  Erica, Houston, TX
  • “I’m thankful for the sun. Living in a perpetual summer town, I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted until we lived inside for months. The sun warms up both my body and soul.” –  Vanessa, San Diego, CA

“I’m thankful for clouds and their ability to spark your imagination. We have created whole stories based on the pictures we see while lying in the grass and watching the clouds.” –  Becca, Bremerton, WA.

  • “I am thankful for the endless discoveries that spark curiosity. Whether it’s watching leaves float down a stream, searching for cicada shells, or noticing the lengthening and now shortening days, the learning never stops!  I’m also thankful for the storms. There have been so many storms in 2020, but it seems like every single one is followed by a rainbow. I feel like nature is reminding us that things will get better.” –  Corey, Wilmington, DE

“I loved being able to get outdoors and see and smell and hear something other than sites, and scents and sounds of my home (of all boys). It was like hitting a reset button. Also got to enjoy 3 seasons of changing scenery, and enjoy both lake and wooded areas.” –  Kim, Erie, PA

cover of thankful for nature journal

Download Your Free Thankful for Nature Journal

Celebrate the benefits of nature and find inspiration to get outside more this November with Thankful for Nature Journal. The free download includes:

  • A November 2020 and blank monthly calendar page to use however you’d like – track miles or minutes, mark every day you got outside or write down a word of thanks.
  • Gratitude alphabet activity page
  • A Thankful Year activity page
  • Daily pages to jot down something in nature or life that you are thankful for along with an area for your child to draw a picture or attach a photo.
  • A coloring page

Special thank you to Joules USA and Natrapel for their support. Be sure to tag @hikeitbaby and @hikeitbaby and share why you’re thankful for nature this month on your favorite social media channel!

About Hike it Baby

Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to getting families outdoors and on trails across the U.S. and internationally, supporting, educating and inspiring families through their more than 300 communities across North America. Since its grassroots inception in 2013 in Portland, Oregon, Hike it Baby is now a growing community of 270,000 families and 500 volunteer branch ambassadors hosting more than 1,600 hikes per month. More information, as well as daily hike schedules, can be found at HikeitBaby.com, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Photos courtesy of Rebecca Hosley.

Editors Note:

We hope you enjoyed reading this article from Hike it Baby. We’re working hard to provide our community with content and resources that inform, inspire, and entertain you.
But content is not free. It’s built on the hard work and dedication of writers, editors, and volunteers. We make an investment in developing premium content to make it easier for families with young children to connect with nature and each other. We do not ask this lightly, but if you can, please make a contribution and help us extend our reach.


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