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Back to Nature: Books for Kids

Three photos together, one of a dragonfly, one robin and one frog on a lilypad

In stressful times, children as well as adults can benefit from interacting with nature. According to a study by the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment & Human Health, spending a minimum of 2 hours per week in nature reduces stress hormone levels, decreases heart rate and anxiety, and reduces feelings of social isolation. Nature can also be a platform for teaching children about the environment, and inspire young ones to love the world around them. For tips on how to integrate nature into your family’s schedule, check out these resources on Hoopla.

For Parents & Caregivers:

A Little Bit of Dirt: 55+ Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children With Nature by Asia Citro – Seed bomb lollipops, dandelion bubbles, and outdoor scavenger hunts are just a few of the fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. We love the nature journal! It is a terrific way to capture the magic of the season.

How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott D Sampson – This excellent resource aims to teach parents how to be nature mentors, offering tips for steering children away from the screen and into the great outdoors.

Backyard Adventure: Get Messy, Get Wet, Build Cool Things, and Have Tons of Wild Fun! by Amanda Thomsen – Make your own slip ‘n slide, create duct tape zombies, and try your hand at eggshell paint bombs! These projects are a great way to incorporate outdoor play into your daily routine.

For Kids:

Cool Parks & Trails: Great Things to Do in the Great Outdoors by Katherine Hengel – This clearly written introduction shows kids how to enjoy natural spaces. Learn how to make a cool walking stick or a reusable snack pack. This would be a great resource to kick off your day trip to a local park.

Ranger Rick’s Wildlife Around Us Field Guide & Drawing Book: Volume 1 by various authors – If you’re planning an outdoor excursion, check out this useful guide. It contains basic facts about 26 different animals and offers tips on how to take great photographs and record notes for your nature journal.

Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs by Judy Burris – Kids of all ages will be captivated by the stunning photographs of common backyard insects. Use this book to prepare for a neighborhood bug safari!

Fun With Nature Projects by Megan Borgert-Spaniol – This exciting title contains 8 nature-based science projects ideal for kids who love to experiment. Project instructions are clearly stated, and the supply list consists of common household items, with only a couple of unique ingredients.

Field Guides for the Whole Family:

The following books will help you identify some of the plants and animals you encounter on your excursions.

Wildflowers of the Atlantic Southeast by Laura Cotterman
Trees of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada by William M. Harlow
Amphibians & Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia by Jeffrey C. Beane

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