Given a chance, children are so universally, so naturally inspired by the natural world. It's no wonder that the list of beautiful children's books about nature is miles long. Nurturing this love of nature inspires all of us to take better care of the wild spaces and natural resources around us. Here is a short list of wonderful stories to inspire you to get outside.
Plus, here are a few conversation starters to get your family thinking after the story:
- Name three things that you love to do outside?
- Where are your favorite outdoor spaces?
- Are their any outdoor adventures you hope to have some time in the future?
- What creature do you wish you could see in the wild?
- What can your family do to help take care of your favorite natural areas?
Parents may consider reading the New York Times best selling book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.
Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen. Enjoy the peace and pleasure of a summer day in this poetic, beautifully illustrated, and fully transportable canoe trip.When you are done meeting the animals and insects in Paulsen's story, jam out with the Okee Dokee Brothers song "Can you Canoe."
Fairy House by Tracy Kane. Bring the joy of imaginative play to your outdoor experiences with this wonderful story. Join Kristin as she builds a fairy house in the woods, and follow her dream-like adventures with the fairies. Then build your own fairy houses using the instructions in the book, and adding to them with your own imagination and natural treasures. It's a great alternative to screen time!
The Raft by Jim LaMarche. Follow along with Nicky's adventure in the Wisconsin woods. Nicky's summer with his raft, and his grandmother, opens him up to the natural world as well as his own artistic inclinations. The tone and the illustrations pull you in to this mesmerizing tale.
Fire Flies! by Juilie Brinkloe. Discover the magic of fireflies on a summer night, and learn to respect the freedom wild things deserve. This is a perfect companion for a summer camping trip, along with a bug net!
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Cool down a hot summer day with this wintry tale. With few words and magical illustrations, this book places you in the chilled quiet of a winter night and the magical intimacy with nature that's possible in this quiet world.