There's a bounty of great wild time books to educate, inspire and get you ready for action. We've picked our favourites.
Last Child in the Woods – Saving Our children From Nature-Deficit-Disorder
By Richard Louv
Last Child in the Woods shows how our children have become increasingly alienated and distant from nature, why this matters, and what we can do to make a difference. It is unsentimental, rigorous and utterly original.
Camping in the garden, riding bikes through the woods, climbing trees, collecting bugs, picking wildflowers, running through piles of autumn leaves...These are the things childhood memories are made of. But for a whole generation of today's children the pleasures of a free-range childhood are missing, and their indoor habits contribute to epidemic obesity, attention-deficit disorder, isolation and childhood depression.
Last Child in the Woods is a clarion call, brilliantly written, compelling and irresistibly persuasive - a book that will change minds and lives.
Wild Things to do with Woodlice and 364 other amazing nature activities
By Michael Cox
Can't tell a blackbird from a blackberry, a butterfly from a buttercup or a hedgehog from a hedgerow? This action-packed book filled with nature activities, facts and tales will tell you everything you need to know about how to get stuck into nature.
From how to stalk a shrew, make a bee barn, to how to take amazing phone-camera snaps, or construct a woodlouse maze out of Lego, this book is packed full of amazing nature activities for every day of the year.
Also find out: Who kept a pocket full of toads; How best to watch woodlouse drinking through their bottoms; Who is famous for eating bowls of slug stew? Where to find the best live nature webcams and much, much more.
101 Things for Kids to Do Outside
By Dawn Isaac
Packed with games, projects, crafts, experiments and gardening inspiration, 101 Things for Kids to do Outside will have your children racing out to try something new. The huge selection of ideas covers all four seasons and ranges from quick 10-minute activities to a full day of fun. From party games and treasure hunts to simple gardening projects, each idea is simple to follow and illustrated with colour photography, so you can't go wrong! Activities include building a human sundial, creating an outdoor collage, setting up a wormery, planting a potato tower, making natural inks, flying a homemade kite and playing torch tag. This hands-on guide will help children get the most from being outdoors, and you don't need a big garden - a local park or small area will suffice. 101 Things for Kids to do Outside is sure to get your kids away from the computer and provide hours of entertainment for the entire family.
How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature
By Scott D. Sampson
From the beloved host of PBS Kids "Dinosaur Train, " an easy-to-use guide for parents, teachers, and others looking to foster a strong connection between children and nature, complete with engaging activities, troubleshooting advice, and much more American children spend four to seven minutes a day playing outdoors 90 percent less time than their parents did. 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."
My Extra Messy Adventure Notebook: 50 More Wild Times Outdoors
By Nicole Daw and Hannah Jones McVey, National Trust Books
‘50 Things to Do Before You’re 11 ¾’ encourages kids to do everything from flying a kite to tracking an animal. Now there’s a whole new set of challenges specially designed to appeal to their hardwired love of all things messy. From painting a masterpiece in mud and making a wormery, to planting their own garden and racing boats on puddles, there’s hours and hours of splatty and sploshy fun – together with tips on how to clean up afterwards!
The No-Nonsense Guide to Green Parenting: How to Raise Your Child, Help Save the Planet and Not Go Mad
By Kate Blincoe
Nature needs children and children need nature. This book will help your family open your doors to the outside and become truly freerange animals. You’ll live a greener lifestyle and your children will learn to enjoy, appreciate and care for the world around them. This beautiful book will inspire you to explore nature whether that’s foraging for dinner; learning party tricks with plants or making eco-decisions around the home. It’s all about having fun together, however exhausted, time-pressured or stressed you are! For parents of zero to ten year olds, this is a humorous and light-hearted look at all things green and nature inspired. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about giving it a try and feeling the benefits for your family.
Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens – The Handbook for Outdoor Learning
By David Sobel
Environmental education expert David Sobel joins with a variety of colleagues to share their experiences and steps for creating a successful forest kindergarten program. Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens walks you through the European roots of the concept to the recent resurgence of these kinds of programs in North America.
Going well beyond a history lesson, these experts provide the framework to understand the concepts and build a learning community that stimulates curiosity and inquisitiveness in a natural environment. This helpful guide provides the curriculum, ideas, and guidance needed to foster special gifts in children. It also gives you the nuts and bolts of running a successful nature preschool business, such as potential obstacles, staff and curriculum design, best practices for success, site and facility management, and business planning.
Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens provides the mentorship and guidance to become a leader in nature-based education.
Learning with Nature
By Marina Robb, Victoria Mew and Anna Richardson
Learning with Nature is full of fun activities and games to get your children outdoors, to explore, have fun, make things and learn about nature and help them grow up happy and healthy. Suitable for groups of children aged between 3 and 16, the graded activities help children develop: * Key practical and social skills * Awareness of their place in the world * Respect for the natural world all while enjoying the great outdoors. Written by experienced Forest School practitioners, using tried and tested games and activities, it provides comprehensive information for enriching childrens' learning through nature. The games and activities are clearly categorized, with step-by-step instructions, age guide, a list of resources needed, and invisible learning points. This book is a unique must-have resource for families, schools, youth groups and anyone working with children.
Born to be Wild
by Hattie Garlick
Want to save cash, your childs imagination and possibly even the planet? This is the book you need. Packed with great photos of real families in the outdoors, Born to Be Wild contains easy-to-follow instructions for activities that require nothing more sophisticated than a small persons imagination and access to a little outdoor space. Organised seasonally and then by material, it lets parents skip straight to Spring and then to 'Blossom', 'Grass' or 'Earth' etc. according to their present need. Everything you need to engage in and create all of its hundreds of activities can be found in your kitchen cupboard. No expensive art supplies or outward-bound kit required. All you need is the 'Toolkit' listed at the front of the book. These ordinary household essentials include recycled food containers, scraps of paper, string, glue and an empty jar or two. Along the way Hattie Garlick talks to families, organisations, cultures and communities who have rebuilt their relationships with nature with extreme or inspiring results, and introduces scientists, psychologists and other experts who explain why nature matters in our kids' modern lives.
Going Wild Books
by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield
The Going Wild books aim to inspire you to go outdoors and have fun getting immersed in wild places, whether out in the countryside, in the park or in the back garden. Each book has a slightly different emphasis; there should be something that appeals to everyone, ranging from; wildlife, bushcraft, imaginary games and adventure activities to wild art, poetry, theatre/storytelling, foraging and cooking, and being creative on a wild scale.
All Going Wild‘s activities and adventures are inspired by nature and easy to do. They involve minimum planning and there’s no need to go out and buy a whole load of stuff. Most activities use loose natural materials available and abundant in wild places (nature is conveniently free). Going Wild believes in inspiring families and children everywhere to get outside and have fun.
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