Earth Day is Saturday April 22, so I’ve been thinking about books that inspire me and my girls to plant a real live tree, spend time outdoors, or maybe try composting (this is going to happen this year!). I love reading books that help us connect with nature through activities or simple suggestions. Though this list is short, it’s pretty broad. You’ll find a book about using nature to navigate from one place to another with real activities teaching you to do so as well as a nature guide and a nature craft and activity book. All of these books made me want to get outside and really notice the world around me. I hope you find some new favorites on this list of books that will get your kids outside, too.
6 Books That Will Get Your Kids Outside
How to Go Anywhere (And Not Get Lost) by Hans Aschim
What you need to know: This book explains the science and history of navigation and sets up activities you can do outside to navigate using information from the natural world around you– trees, sun, stars, etc.
Ages: 8 up | Published March 30, 2021 | My Review
Outdoor School: Tree, Wildflower, and Mushroom Spotting by Mary Kay Carson and John D. Dawson
What you need to know: Part nature guide, part journal. Teaches about classes of plants as well as how to identify specific species according to its unique characteristics. Journal spaces allow you to record plant sightings, drawings, and other notes.
Ages: 10-14 | Published February 28, 2023 | My Review
Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults by Robin Wall Kimmerer
What you need to know: I had heard really great things about the adult version of this book, so when I saw that there was a young adult version, I jumped at the chance to read and review it here. I loved the introspective questions, the history and ecology lessons woven together in perfect harmony.
Ages: 12 up | Published November 1, 2022 | My Review
The Environment: Explore, Create and Investigate by Jonathon Litton
What you need to know: I really liked the broad reach of the information it offers and pairs with experiments and activities. Perfect for use with a science unit or to inspire summer crafts.
Ages: 6-12 | Published September 22, 2020 | My Review
Girl Warriors by Rachel Sarah
What you need to know: 25 profiles of young climate activists under 25 years old, how they got started making changes and how their work impacts communities across the globe. I found these stories incredibly inspiring and hopeful.
Ages: 8 up | Published April 6, 2021 | My Review
Make This Book Wild by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks
What you need to know: A super fun craft and activity book. Each page has instructions for a craft or journal that requires going into nature in order to complete it. A perfect way to get creative kids outside touching and looking closely at nature.
Ages: 6-12 | Published April 12, 2022 | My Review
What books will get your kids outside to interact with nature?
Are there books that inspire you or your kids to step outside and feel the grass? Maybe plant a tree or garden? What are your family’s favorite books about being outside?
More Books on Nature and the Environment
Here’s another list of ten books about the environment and nature for young readers.
Love the recommendations! My son is only 3 so these are a bit older for him right now. I need to seek out more “get outside” type of books for him!
They’re definitely a bit older for your little guy. We really liked the books by Kate Messner– Over the Garden and Down in the Dirt is one from the series but there are others about a pond, snow, the ocean, a jungle. There’s also a really sweet book introducing the water cycle called We Are the Ocean by Captain Paul Watson. Thanks for checking out my list! 🙂