If your little one likes nothing better than to play outdoors until you drag her in for the nightly bathtime or who seems happiest when they are out in the woods or the local park? That is great! Research has shown that taking kids outside helps them with fitness levels, boosts vitamin D, helps with academic achievement and reduces symptoms of ADHD.
What’s even better, you can help your nature-loving child love the outdoors even more with this collection of stories that will help them learn to love nature even more!
The Salamander Room
A little boy finds a salamander in the woods and asks his mom if he can bring it home. However, his mother asks him to imagine all the things that he would need in his room in order to make the salamander feel at home – and by the end of the book, his room has transformed into the forest itself! This beautifully illustrated story is a great way to teach kids about the idea of habitat.
This book is available for $14.99 through Barnes and Noble.
13 Moons on a Turtle’s Back
According to a Native American myth, the thirteen sections of a turtle shell each represent a different moon of the year: this gorgeous pictures in this book then take the kids through each one. It is a great way to teach kids about the changing of the seasons as well as the Native American love of nature.
This book is available in hardcover for $16.35 through Amazon.
When the mysterious Once-ler moves into town, the Lorax tries to stop him from cutting down all the trees to keep his new factory going. However, the Once-ler goes on with his plans until all the trees have been used up and then must head out of town. Dr. Seuss’s classic book is a great jumping-off point for a talk about sustainability and use of natural resources.
This book is available for $9.60 through Walmart.
When a little boy goes fishing, his imagination runs away with him —- and who knows what is going to come out at the end of his fishing pole? This charming book – also by Dr. Seuss — is a great way to talk about the importance of water and of all the things that live in it – as well as being a great tribute to a child’s imagination.
This book is available for $8.44 through Amazon.
The Other Way to Listen
A little boy wants to understand more about how his grandfather can hear the amazing things in the world around him – and his grandfather slowly teaches him about “the other way to listen” to nature. The simple, beautifully illustrated story is a great way to teach kids about nature observation and paying attention to the world around them.
This book is available for $17.86 through Amazon.
Island of the Blue Dolphins
This tale is based on the true story of a young girl whose tribe accidently leaves her on her own on an island off the coast of California – and she remains there by herself for many years until she is found by a passing ship and taken to the mainland. It is a great way to talk about Native American culture and about living closely with the natural world.
This book is available for $5.24 through Scholastic.
My Side of the Mountain
Sam Gribley lives in New York City, but his family’s history – and his heart – lies in the Catskill Mountains upstate. When he runs away to his grandfather’s farm in the mountains, he must learn to gather food, find shelter, stay warm and survive off the land. Can he make it through the long winter? This book is a great way to talk about edible plants, hunting and living off the land.
This book is available for $14.35 on Amazon.
Where the Red Fern Grows
This beautiful but sad book takes place in the Ozarks during the Depression and is a wonderful tale of a boy and his two dogs who wander the mountains together. It is a great way to talk about the important relationship between humans and animals.
This book is available for $16.99 through Penguin Random House.
Summer of the Monkeys
This is the heart-warming story set in the wilds of turn-of-the-century Oklahoma, where a little boy discovers, while wandering through his usually bottomland forest, a tree full of monkeys that have escaped from a local circus! This tale is great for illustrating the relationships between children and animals.
This book is available for $6.99 from Penguin Random House.
Little House on the Prairie Series
This series of books, based on the pioneer adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder as she leaves her home in Wisconsin to travel to the Midwest with her family, has wonderful descriptions of pioneer life and the way the American countryside looked in the 19th century. It is a great way to talk to kids about the settlement of the West.
This full book set is available for $38.41 from Barnes and Noble.