I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature


Jennifer Ward - 2008
    No matter what your location—from a small patch of green in the city to the wide-open meadows of the country—each activity is meant to promote exploration, stimulate imagination, and heighten a child's sense of wonder. To learn more about the author, Jennifer Ward, visit her website at jenniferwardbooks.com and to learn more about the illustrator, Susie Ghahremani, visit her website at boygirlparty.com.

Roots, Shoots, Buckets Boots: Gardening Together with Children


Sharon Lovejoy - 1999
    In her newest book, ROOTS, SHOOTS, BUCKETS & BOOTS, she presents 12 spirited, easy-to-implement ideas for theme gardens that parents and kids can grow together. Illustrated with the author's own lyrical watercolors, each project includes a plan and the planting recipe--as well as a "Discovery Walk," activities and crafts to make with what you grow. There's the Pizza Patch , a giant-size wheel garden planted in "slices" of tomatoes, zucchini, oregano, and basil. A Flowery Maze to get lost in. A Moon Garden of night-blooming flowers, including a moonflower tent. And Mother Nature's Medicine Chest. Discovery Walks teach kids how the gardens work, and a chapter on gardening basics includes a child-friendly 10-Minute Plan for planting and maintenance, plus a list of the top 20 plants guaranteed to make gardeners out of kids.

Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education (Nature Literacy Series, Vol. 1) (Nature Literacy)


David Sobel - 1999
    This expanded version of one of Orion Magazine's most popular articles includes descriptions of developmentally appropriate environmental education activities and a list of related children's books.

Otters Love to Play


Jonathan London - 2016
    . . to play! Follow the otters through the seasons as they chase one another, slide down a mudbank, jump in a pile of leaves, and learn to swim. Even while catching fish for their dinner or grooming themselves in the snow, otters love to play — and Jonathan London’s lively text and Meilo So’s fluid watercolors invite you to share in the joy.

Play the Forest School Way: Woodland Games and Crafts for Adventurous Kids


Peter Houghton - 2016
    This book will get your kids outside, making and building in the real world (instead of on a computer screen!). Whether your local woodland is a forest or a strip of trees along the edge of an urban park, these activities provide fantastic opportunities for family time and will encourage your children to fall in love with outdoor play. This is the first book to share Forest School games, crafts and skill-building activities with families and friends, its magical illustrations and simple instructions drawing children easily into a world of wonder. • Be a fox tracking its prey, a moth evading a bat, a rabbit fleeing a forest fire!• Make a working bow and arrow, spectacular headdresses, beautiful woodland jewellery, magic wands – all with materials gathered from the forest floor.• Learn wilderness survival skills: build a shelter, make fire, forage and cook wild food.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Outside In


Deborah Underwood - 2020
    The most generous friend. The most miraculous inventor. Our connection with nature is not so easily obscured by lives spent indoors.

The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms


Clare Walker Leslie - 2010
    Nationally recognized naturalist and artist Clare Walker Leslie has been igniting kids curiosity about nature for more than 30 years. Her unique approach combines directed observational activities with journaling and field-note prompts that are designed to nurture the next generation of nature lovers and environmentalists.The Nature Connection is an interactive workbook chockfull of creative exercises for kids ages 8 to 13. Leslie begins simply by encouraging children to look out the window and record what they observe: What color is the sky? What shapes are the clouds? Are there any birds? What kind? Are there signs of what season it is?Once outdoors, kids are prompted to record the sounds they hear, the ground plants they see, the direction of the wind, the shape and direction of their own shadows, and how each of these change from day to day, season to season.The Nature Connection offers dozens of fun things to do during every season: write a poem; make a sketch; tell a story; record the daily sunrise and sunset times for the next month; draw a local map and mark the spots where trees, rocks, animals, and other nature sights reside (and identify each one); keep a moon journal; learn the constellations; or collect leaves and bring them home to sketch and identify.Sure to engage the whole family in outdoor fun and year-round nature activities, The Nature Connection will also stand as a permanent record of a child's unique sightings and experience with nature.

Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors


Rachelle Doorley - 2014
    They experiment, explore, test, and play, and they learn a great deal about problem-solving through questions and hands-on experiments. They don't see lines between disciplines; rather, they notice interesting materials and ideas that are worth exploring. This book is about creative experiments, in all fields, that help kids explore the world.Children gravitate toward sensory experiences (playing with slime), figuring out how things work (taking toys apart), and testing the limits of materials (mixing a tray of paint together until it makes a solid mass of brown). They're not limited by their imaginations, and a wooden spoon can become a magic wand as quickly as a bag of pom-poms can become a hot bowl of soup. This book is about helping parents and teachers of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers understand and tap into this natural energy with engaging, kid-tested, easy-to-implement projects that value process over product. The creative experiments shared in this book foster curiosity, promote creative and critical thinking, and encourage tinkering--mindsets that are important to children growing up in a world that values independent thinking.In addition to offering a host of activities that parents and teachers can put to use right away, this book also includes a buffet of recipes (magic potions, different kinds of play dough, silly putty, and homemade butter) and a detailed list of materials to include in the art pantry.

You Are Never Alone


Elin Kelsey - 2019
    This book draws examples from the clouds and the cosmos, the seafloor and the surface of our skin, to show how we are never alone: we are always surrounded and supported by nature. Whether it's gravity holding us tight; our lungs breathing oxygen synthesized by plants; the countless microorganisms that build our immunity; or the whales whose waste fertilizes the plankton that feed the fish we eat: nature touches every aspect of how we live.Using lyrical text grounded in current science alongside detailed diorama art, this book presents the idea that we thrive through connections to the land and sea and sky, and togetherness is key to nature. It encourages inquiry-based learning, inviting readers to wonder, ask questions, observe the natural world, and engage with big ideas. An author's note at the end offers more insight into the research behind the text.

Creekfinding: A True Story


Jacqueline Briggs Martin - 2017
    It was filled with insects and brook trout that ate them, frogs that chirruped and birds watching for bugs and fish. This is a true story about a man named Mike who went looking for that creek long after it was buried under fields of corn. It is the story of how a creek can be brought back to life, and with it a whole world of nature. In the words of award-winning author Jacqueline Briggs Martin and the enchanting illustrations by Claudia McGehee, this heartening tale of an ecosystem restored in the Driftless Area of northeast Iowa unfolds in a way that will charm and inform young readers who are drawn to a good mystery, the wonders of nature—and, of course, big earth-moving machines.

How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature


Scott D. Sampson - 2015
    Yet recent research indicates that experiences in nature are essential for healthy growth. Regular exposure to nature can help relieve stress, depression, and attention deficits. It can reduce bullying, combat illness, and boost academic scores. Most critical of all, abundant time in nature seems to yield long-term benefits in kids’ cognitive, emotional, and social development. Yet teachers, parents, and other caregivers lack a basic understanding of how to engender a meaningful, lasting connection between children and the natural world. How to Raise a Wild Child offers a timely and engaging antidote, showing how kids’ connection to nature changes as they mature. Distilling the latest research in multiple disciplines, Sampson reveals how adults can help kids fall in love with nature—enlisting technology as an ally, taking advantage of urban nature, and instilling a sense of place along the way.

Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children


Angela J. Hanscom - 2016
    Today’s kids have adopted sedentary lifestyles filled with television, video games, and computer screens. But more and more, studies show that children need “rough and tumble” outdoor play in order to develop their sensory, motor, and executive functions. Disturbingly, a lack of movement has been shown to lead to a number of health and cognitive difficulties, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotion regulation and sensory processing issues, and aggressiveness at school recess break. So, how can you ensure your child is fully engaging their body, mind, and all of their senses? Using the same philosophy that lies at the heart of her popular TimberNook program—that nature is the ultimate sensory experience, and that psychological and physical health improves for children when they spend time outside on a regular basis—author Angela Hanscom offers several strategies to help your child thrive, even if you live in an urban environment. Today it is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, or spinning in circles just for fun. We’ve taken away merry-go-rounds, shortened the length of swings, and done away with teeter-totters to keep children safe. Children have fewer opportunities for unstructured outdoor play than ever before, and recess times at school are shrinking due to demanding educational environments. With this book, you’ll discover little things you can do anytime, anywhere to help your kids achieve the movement they need to be happy and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media-For Budding Artists of All Ages


Susan Schwake - 2012
    This step-by-step book offers 52 fun and creative art projects set into weekly lessons, beginning with drawing, moving through painting and printmaking, and then building to paper collage and mixed media. Each lesson features and relates to the work and style of a contemporary artist and their unique style. The labs can be used as singular projects or to build up to a year of hands-on fine art experiences. Grouped by medium, the labs are set up loosely to build skills upon the previous ones; however, you can begin anywhere. Have fun exploring:drawing by creating a whimsical scene on a handmade crayon scratchboard.painting by using watercolors and salt to create a textured landscape.printmaking by using lemons, celery, mushrooms, and other produce to make colorful prints.paper by creating an expressive self-portrait using pieces of colored tissue paper.mixed media by making insects from patterned contact paper and watercolor pencils.Color photos illustrate how different people using the same lesson will yield different results, exemplifying the way the lesson brings out each artist’s personal style. Art Lab for Kids is the perfect book for creative families, friends, and community groups and works as lesson plans for both experienced and new art teachers. The popular Lab for Kids series features a growing list of books that share hands-on activities and projects on a wide host of topics, including art, astronomy, clay, geology, math, and even how to create your own circus—all authored by established experts in their fields. Each lab contains a complete materials list, clear step-by-step photographs of the process, as well as finished samples. The labs can be used as singular projects or as part of a yearlong curriculum of experiential learning. The activities are open-ended, designed to be explored over and over, often with different results. Geared toward being taught or guided by adults, they are enriching for a range of ages and skill levels. Gain firsthand knowledge on your favorite topic with Lab for Kids.

Meet My Family!


Laura Purdie Salas - 2018
    What kind of families do animal babies have? Featuring rhyming verse and informational text, this book lets you discover just how diverse the animal kingdom really is!

Art Workshop for Children: How to Foster Original Thinking with more than 25 Process Art Experiences


Barbara Rucci - 2016
    The book's unique child-led approach provides a framework for cultivating creative thinking and encourages the wonder that comes when children are allowed to freely explore the creative process and their materials. As children work through these open-ended workshops, adults are guided on how to be facilitators who provide questions, encourage deep thinking, and help spark an excitement for discovery. Children explore basic materials and workshops that use minimal supplies, and then gradually add new materials to fill the art cabinets as well as new skills and more complex workshops. Most workshops are suitable to preschool-aged children, and each contains ideas for explorations and new twists to engage older or more experienced artists. Interspersed throughout are sidebar essays that introduce perspectives on mess-making, imperfection, the role of adult, collaborative art, and thoughts on the Reggio Emilia method, a self-guided teaching philosophy. These pieces underscore the value of art-making with children, and support the parent/teacher/care-giver on how to successfully lead, question, and navigate their children through the workshops to result in the fullest experiences.