The daily use of TV and computer games makes it easy for young people to be entertained and educated without leaving their room or the house. As convenient as that may be, you don’t want to forget about the importance of outdoor exploration. Picture books can inspire nature play and generate enthusiasm for adventure in the backyard, parks, and outdoor exhibits! By reading a few nature books, your family will have new ideas for outdoor activities everyone will enjoy.
A little boy’s observations introduce children to poetry in Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer. He visits a park, meets some animal friends, and discovers the natural beauty of leaves crunching, cool water in a pond, warm sand, and bright stars. A collage of images encourages kids to notice all the sights and sounds of nature.
Earth Heroes by Lily Dyu teaches children about ways we can change the world. There are 20 different stories about people who have transformed the earth. Illustrations by many contributors, including David Attenborough, cover heroes from different cultures and traditions.
This nature scrapbook by Nina Chakrabarti is full of facts and activities. Draw and color leaves, butterflies, plants, and more. Learn about snowflake patterns and how leaves grow. Create leaf prints, twig sculptures, and mini forts. Illustrations explore the wonderful nature found everywhere!
The author Alison Farrell lets young explorers share joy and wonder as they discover new things while hiking. They can find unique plants and animals pictured in the book by themselves or with friends. Kids learn about natural environments and overcome fears of the outdoors to bolster independence.
This story by Laura Knowles is a rhyming poem about the birth of a tree. It begins with a seed that lands on the ground, grows into a sapling, and becomes a large tree inhabited by many critters. The images show how trees play a big part in nature’s wildlife.
In The Littlest Gardner by Emily Hughes, children can read about the frustrations of a young gardener who worked very hard but thought he was too little to do a good job. As he continues to try, fantastic illustrations let your child imagine how fun gardening can be.
A beautiful hardback book helps your child discover a love for the outdoors with year-round ideas for nature activities. Beautiful illustrations guide indoor and outdoor crafts, recipes, and ideas for festivals and special events. Children will be encouraged to explore and connect with nature.
Madeline Kloepper’s The Not-So-Great Outdoors shares the fears of a city kid who’s going on a camping trip with her family. She believes there’s nothing great about the outdoors and grudgingly trails behind. As time goes on, she begins exploring forests, lakes, mountains, and wildlife — and changes her mind.
In Please Take Me for a Walk by Susan Gal, a puppy wants to go for a walk outside to see the amazing sights. He finds the neighbors, other dogs, a bustling street, and a flurry of squirrels on his adventurous stroll. Families will want to gather up their pets to take a walk in the sun.
Run Wild by David Covell starts out with a boy looking at a tablet and feeling dreary about the day. Then a girl runs by his window shouting, and the boy’s curiosity has him running after her. He finds himself in the sunshine chasing rabbits, jumping in puddles, and running in the breeze. It reminds children of the many adventures outside and reasons to put down the screen.
This book by Brady Smith and Tiffany Thiessen is about reminding parents to turn off their phones and enjoy the wonder of the outdoors. Children explore the neighborhood park while the grownups stare at their tablets and phones. Parents are encouraged to unplug and see the world through their children’s excitement and be present in the moment.
These books introduce outdoor adventure and nature play. When children spend far too much time inside and on digital devices, fun stories and pictures can offer new ideas for family fun and exploration.
Jemma, Thimble and Twig, 2020. Nature Picture Books to Inspire Kids to get outside and explore, https://thimbleandtwig.com/nature-picture-books-inspire-kids-get-outside-and-explore/
Garry, J., Brightly, 10 Picture Books to Inspire Children to Get Outside and Explore, https://www.readbrightly.com/childrens-books-outside-explore/