Childrens Books That Inspire The Outdoor Spirit

Wow so many GREAT books for children and adults to use to inspire outdoor exploring, building and love for nature. 


The incredibly intricate and vivid illustrations in this book are details of a modern quilt inspired by Sibylle von Olfers' classic storybook "Mother Earth and Her Children.

When Mother Earth calls her children to prepare for spring, the earthly children yawn and stretch before they busy themselves with beautification. The children emerge from the earth and become spring flowers that frolic through the summer and autumn, until the leaves begin to fall and they return to Mother Earth, bringing weary bugs and beetles back to their winter refuge.



 Go Wild!: 101 Things to Do Outdoors Before You Grow Up by Fiona Dank Ages 8-12

Go Wild! describes a range of outdoor adventures for families to share, including foraging for wild food, the magical excitement of making fires, cooking over the hot coals and making your own shelter. Eight-year-olds to young teenagers will discover tempting alternatives to computers and hanging out: brilliant ideas for having fun that will also help them to learn new skills and give them independence and confidence.


 How to Build Treehouses, Huts and Forts by David Stiles Ages 5 and Up

Provides carpentry basics, instructions and plans for 50 projects that parents and kids can build together. Many of them can be built in one afternoon using discarded materials found around the house. Projects are designed to encourage kids to be creative while having fun and range from designs for an A-Frame Treehouse , Ad Hoc Fort and Kung Fu Hut to plans for a Downhill Racer, Trolley Ride, Circle Swing, Model Sailboat, Pogo Boat, Treasure Chest, Lemonade Stand, Tarzan swing, Wheel of Fortune, and Exploding Cannon, to mention a few.  

Filled with activities and suggestions that encourage everyday explorations of the world around you, from paperclips to fallen leaves, to grocery stores and sidewalk cracks, How To Be An Explorer Of The World by Keri Smith should be part of every person, parent or caregiver’s tool kit. 
Not only is it a great source of inspiration for endless adventures, but in its own way, it manages to rediscover, pinpoint,  expand and celebrate the amazing and indescribable wonder that is childhood... even if you are only a kid at heart


 Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children

No matter what type of outdoor experiences are planned--day-trips to local parks or long wilderness treks--Tom Brown can help children and adults fully appreciate the boundless beauty of our most precious natural resources. 

 Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids' Guide Ages 7-12

Whether you're planning an over night in the backyard or a weekend in the wilderness, this book is packed with stuff to know. The basics, from gearing up to choosing a site to building a tarp tent. Tasty outdoor recipes: Solar Oven Pizza, Chow Down Chili and s' more's of course—with 8 variations.
Plus: how to keep a Field Journal, exploring the nighttime sky, creepy campfire stories, and when it's time to go home, leaving no trace. It's everything you need to pick up and head for the hills.  

The Kids' Summer Handbook Ages 9-12

From crayfish trap to canoe strokes, raising monarch butterflies to building a tree fort, paper-folding to whittling, there is something for everyone here. The appealing format features lots of pencil illustrations and diagrams. Most topics fill one or two pages, with large green headings and green-tinted boxes containing lists of ingredients, ecology suggestions, or nature facts. The array of crafts, activities, and outdoor skills will make the book a useful tool for camp counselors and scout leaders. Children who delight in quiet activities will find a wealth of them as well. 


Eleven-year-old Megan is stuck in the wilds of Vermont for the summer with no TV, no Internet, no cell phone, and worst of all, no best friend. So when Megan gets lost on the Appalachian Trail with only her little dog, Arp, for company, she decides she might as well hike all the way to Massachusetts where her best friend, Lucy, is spending her summer. Life on the trail isn’t easy, and Megan faces everything from wild animals and raging rivers to tofu jerky and life without bathrooms. Most of all, though, Megan gets to know herself—both who she’s been in the past and who she wants to be in the future—and the journey goes from a spur-of-the-moment lark to a quest to prove herself to Lucy, her family, and the world!

Introducing children to the excitement of the natural world, this guide to outdoor adventure provides hours of creative, safe, and fun activities. Children will learn how to build a den from branches, make twig boats to sail across a pond, and voyage through the backyard to find tiny insects and creatures. Activities include invigorating games, natural crafts, and lively adventures, all of which are organized by season. An additional chapter also addresses safe activities for children after dark. Perfect for families, caretakers, and educators, this creative resource encourages children to turn off the television and play outside all year round.  

The Great Lakes Wildlife Nature Activity Book is an outstanding way to learn about wildlife in this region.  An impressive array of word games, puzzles and drawing activities, help to make learning fun.  This soft cover book is an educational tool and will keep children entertained for hours. 

These Outdoor Guide Books and Our Wild Worlds Series volumes will get your future hunters and outdoor enthusiasts on the path to knowledge. Colorful pictures and easy-reading text provide fun, exciting facts about amazing animals

Angelina and her cousin Henry are off on a camping adventure in the Big Cat Mountains with Uncle Louie.  They love being explorers and are excited to hike deeper and deeper into the forest.  But then night falls and ahh! that Big Cat behind the trees?  Luckily, Angelina is brave enough to calm Henry's fears and her own.
I bought this one for my 5 year old daughter and we both love it. It's a great little girly girl book with a camping theme.


Marc said…
Great list! Thanks for taking the time to detail so many options. I've been getting excited for the camping season to finally arrive here in Colorado, and some of these books sound like just the thing to help get my kids excited too!
chasecreative said…
Thank you so much for your reply, I love to hear from whoever is out there reading the Blogger. All of the books had great ratings, I'm thinking of getting a few as well. If you remember or even have the time it would be great to hear what you think about any of the books you buy.
Walter Tully said…
I love buying my kids books about nature, the outdoors and recreations because I want my kids to have fun outside, run around in the grassy fields, play in the mud while learn instead of watching TV and playing videogames all day long - even if it's educational, nothing still beats learning by first-hand experience and being physically fit by being outside! Thank you for posting these books and blogging about the importance of camping out in the great outdoors, Ruth! Me and my neighbors here at Glendale are inviting everyone to encourage their kids to go out there and play - bring them to parks every weekend, camp out overnight, even if it's just your backyard! There's so many things kids can discover out there - things that they can't discover just by watching the TV all day.
Ruth said…
Walter I couldn't agree more, my daughter has a drive to be indoors and do cute girly things in the quiet indoors. So I plan a week long camping trip amongst others to get her outside. I also book play dates with a special friend who LOVES the outdoors. She loves both !

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