Join us as we try to create 30 days of fun memories with our kids outside EVERYDAY starting April 1st.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Virtual Play Date and Favorite Outdoor Books Link Up

I am a children's book addict.  I read a lot.  And I collect a lot of books. I am  a little embarrassed to admit how many we own.  I'll just say that we have more at our house than my son's small school library at his charter school. So trying to come up with a few of my favorites to share has been a bit daunting.  I decided to limit myself to my top 3 in each category.  For one, so that you can also share your favorites below in our link up.  And two, so that this post is short enough that someone might actually read it!

Favorite Grown-up Books About Being Outside

1-Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv  

This is my favorite book for grown-ups about why children need to connect with nature each day.  It is a wonderful book that describes a relatively new problem "Nature-deficit disorder" and several solutions.  He discusses how removed we are from nature and how little time our children spend outside in unstructured play.   He also has a new book out that I can't wait to read! If you have not read it yet, bump it up to the top of your to "must read" list.

2-The Green Hour: A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids by Todd Christopher 
This is a wonderful resource that gives practical ideas for creating rich experiences outside with our children on a daily basis.

3-Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy 

An excellent resource on ways to make gardening fun, and engaging for children. Includes practical tips on how to include your children in creating a magical garden together.  I can't wait to try the Sunflower House with my little ones this summer!

Favorite Children's Books About Being Outside

1- We Were Tired of Living in a House  by Liesel Moak Skorpen 
This is a delightful story of a group of children who flee outdoors and discover nature.  They move from outdoor location to outdoor location looking for the perfect place to live.  They climb trees,  explore caves, build rafts,  and play in the water.  In the end, they decide there is no place like home, but they bring a piece of each place they explored with them.   There are 2 versions of this book, and I, like most reviewers, prefer the 1969 illustrations.  But the new version is also enjoyable and worth sharing with your little ones.  My 2 year old enjoys the story, but so does my 6 year old son.

2-Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Williems
I am a big Mo Williems fan!  Especially his Piggie and Elephant books.  In this story the two are very excited to go outside to play, but then it begins to rain.  Piggie becomes very upset, but then after watching some worms splash and have fun in the puddles, discovers that she actually likes playing outside in the rain.  So of course the rain stops and she is disappointed that it is not raining!  It is a sweet lesson about playing outside and making the best of any weather!  It is also just plain silly and laugh out loud funny!   I love anything that will make all 3 of my children laugh!

3-The Puddle by David McPhail 

We recently shared this book in our Mommy and Me class.  The illustrations and simple words tell the story of a young child's imaginative play outside with his boat in a rain puddle. He is visited by several animals including a frog, crocodile, elephant, and pig at this small puddle.

Now it is your turn!  Please share the fun you had outside this week.  And if you have a favorite book about playing outside or favorite BOOKS, please share those as well!


  1. Thank you for doing a book link-up! I'm putting these on hold at the library. I too am a children's book addict and do a weekly story time. I can't wait to get these books!

  2. I've put a couple of these books on hold at the library. I can't wait to start reading. Especially Last Child in the Woods, we spend a lot of time outside but I know it could be even more.