We started our nature journals in regular three prong pocket portfolios. The pockets were handy, the covers got dirty, and the prongs made it difficult to move pages around. I though a flexible three ring binder becasue it was lighter, but they are very difficult to write in. So my current recommendation is a 1/2 - 1" hard cover three ring binder, this works for us because we add projects and worksheets.
This post is making me batty because some of my favorite pages, especially for little journallers are downloaded on my computor, but I cannot find the original sources to share with you. Often the best pages for littles are just plain paper, or for fun simple bordered paper. Ask what they see, hear, smell, feel, and write it down for them. Encourage them to draw whatever capture their interest. And get some page protectors so that treasures found can be pressed and saved.
Now here are some other great resources for starting your nature journals:
Head to Your Nature Journal to get inspired and connect with multiple resources.
My favorite of Meddybemps Nature Notebook Pages is the list page - we keep it in the back of our jounals to use as a life list to keep track of each new animal or plant that we find or see for the first time.
Donna Young has nature journal sheets for full or half sized binders.
Cornell's Feeder Birds Coloring Book is wonderful. It has nice drawings with a series of questions to answer about markings, size, etc. I printed several birds that I thought we were likely to see, and when we have a chance to have an extended observation of one of them, we pull the sheet out of the nature journal and fill it in.
Notebooking Pages has some really nice nature journal pages. Her feather pages were a free download at one time, and I use them for feather collecting by stapling small zipper sandwich bags to them for the feather.
Currclick has some free products, including Journal Junction's Signs of Spring, Cedar Tree Press' Nature Journal Pages, and Notebooking Nook's bird notebooking pages.
Jimmie's Collage has unthemed, pretty notebooking pages.
Nature Detectives is a wonderful website with hundreds of printables. The only drawback is that it is part of the UK's Woodland Trust, so many of the trees and animals are not native to the US. Download the
Some imaginative pages from Wisconsin
The American Museum of Natural History's Online Field Journals are great for identifying just about anything.
Exploring Nature Educational Resources are just that, topically listed.