June kicks of #30DaysWild here in the UK, an initiative by the National Trusts to get people out in to nature more. You don’t have to do anything fancy such as bush crafting or building tree houses or rafts – though you can if you want – just simply going outdoors everyday to appreciate, enjoy and engage with nature will do. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my books on things to do with kids in the great outdoors. No matter whether you live in the countryside or the city, there’s something here for you. Watch the video to get a peek inside the books, and check out the list below for details on authors and titles.
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- 101 Things for Kids to do Outside, By Dawn Isaac – A great range of activities to do with kids, including crafts, games, experiments and other projects. With ideas for all seasons, different ages, and different lengths of time. The comprehensive index of categories at the back makes this easy to navigate and find the perfect project for you. If you get just one book from this list, get this one!
- The Usborne Outdoor Book, by Alice James & Emily Bone with illustrations by Briony May Smith – Lots of inspiring ideas for discovering and exploring the outdoors, from ponds, rivers and seas to the woods. With activities for different times of day or different types of weather, and including helpful tips like how to stay safe or how to build a shelter.
- Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside, by Fiona Bird – Much like the Usborne book above, this books takes you through different habitats from Meadows, Hedgerows and Woods, to Wetlands and the Seashore. It’s very detailed, with lots of background information such as how to classify plants and animals, helpful guides for identifying wildlife, some craft ideas and recipes. A great reference book to help you plan a day outdoors, or refer back to after you’ve been on an adventure.
- I Love Dirt, by Jennifer Ward – This little gem features 52 open ended activities to help you engage with your child outdoors, with lots of prompts for discussion and reflection. For example, don’t just jump in puddles, talk about how puddles are made, how the surface changes etc. A great book for those who want to take things a little further than just doing a fun activity.
- The Stick Book, by Jo Schofield & Fiona Danks – The subtitle of this book, “loads of things you can make or do with a stick”, says it all really. If you thought there couldn’t be a book’s worth of things to say about sticks, think again. This book has 70 great suggestions for you. From really obvious ones such as playing catch or building a den, to things you may not have thought about such as some lesser known games or craft ideas. A must for anyone with a stick obsessed child.
- The Wild City Book, by Jo Schofield & Fiona Danks – This book has been written specifically with city dwellers in mind, and includes lots of great ideas for things you can do even if you don’t have a big garden, park or woodland nearby. Going on a nature treasure hunt, growing food in small spaces, and water graffiti are just some of our favourites.
- Linnea’s Alamanc, by Christina Björk with illustrations by Lena Anderson – This book was one of my favourites as a child. It follows a little girl called Linnea, who lives in the city, through the months of the year as she does lots of nature related things such as making a bird feeder in Winter, or a crown of dandelions in Summer. It’s out of print, but available second hand online through third party sellers.
- Small Adventures Journal, by Keiko Brodeur – As well as having lots of great suggestions for exploring the outdoors, including check lists and charts for identifying plants and wildlife, this journal boasts lots of space to record your findings. Great for older kids who may want to get involved in filling it in. The illustration are gorgeous too.
Do you have any other great books with outdoor ideas for kids to recommend? If not, which book from this list takes your fancy? Do feel free to share in the comment below!
Disclosure: Please note that all the book links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. That means if you buy any books via these links, I receive a small percentage – at no extra cost to you! – which helps to keep this blog running.