Sometimes other parents and I discuss parenting philosophies. The conversations can get pretty deep, especially when the participants are well-read. From those discussions, I've begun to compile a list of book recommendations for parents who want to have outdoor-focused children. (If you purchase from these links, I may get a small commission, at no additional cost to you.)
Check out your local library before purchasing, since you may borrow the books for free! We love our local library.
Book recommendations for parents:
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative
This book reaffirms a belief that nature is inherently healthy - for body, mind, and soul. It discusses various experiments that are ongoing or completed. It is written in a way that might be off-putting to those who do not already hold this mindset.
Linda Åkeson McGurk
There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge)
This one was close to my heart as we grew up with Danish exchange students and they were the warmest, kindest people. The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl will explain how Danish kids are raised to be confident, capable, and happy. It digs into the concept of hygge, pronounced "hoo-gah" and is sort of like cosines but so much more.
Need permission to bring your kid along on your events rather than focus your entire existence around your child's? Turns out that is better for everyone in this book, Hunt, Gather, Parent, by Michaeleen Doucleff. You will appreciate her honesty as well, because parenting a little one is HARD.
Book recommendations for kids:
Get Dressed, Sasquatch! by Derek & Kyle Sullivan will encourage your kid to get out hiking, swimming, diving, and exploring (but you may need to insist your kids don't get nude!):
My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith & Julie Flett will make you want to walk barefoot in the grass with your kids and the most endearing frog.
Maurice Sendak's childhood classic Where the Wild Things Are evokes a need to get off the grid, but it also shows how the return home is important too. If you have access to a forest or a jungly playground, encourage your kid to be like the wild things!
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler reveals some creatures hiding in the woods and the places you might find them. Maybe you can head out and search for animals, acorns, fungi, and the dreaded Gruffalo.
Dr. Seuss's The Lorax is a cautionary tale about not caring for our environment and it calls on young readers to be the change the world needs.
You can't beat National Geographic for laying things out beautifully and in understandable language. Everyone can benefit from their books:
My best friend, a fourth grade teacher, recommends the following:
- Gail Gibbons - nonfiction books for preschoolers and young readers about the world
- Let's Read and Find Out Series - children's nonfiction
- National Geographic readers - they're just awesome.
- The Who Would Win series pits animal against animal and kids will learn facts about each one.