8 Books to Help Kids Reap the Mental and Physical Benefits of Nature
PESI’s list of nature-inspired titles will get your children up and moving
Though the school year and cooler weather may be here for some of us, there are still many opportunities for your child to explore the outdoors! And with children back in school for a majority of their days, it is extremely important to get them outside, active, and mentally stimulated when they are not in the classroom. Take a nature walk and watch the leaves change. Explore a corn maze or a pumpkin patch. The outdoors in Autumn has a lot to offer—physically and mentally—for children of all ages. From nature-based therapy techniques, to outdoor games and activities, to mindful breathing exercises to try outside—this list of books will help you and the children in your life find more fun, joy and peace in the outdoors.
Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life
Richard Louv This one-of-a-kind, comprehensive, and practical guidebook includes tips not only for parents eager to share nature with their kids but also for those seeking nature-smart schools, medical professionals, and even careers. It is a dose of pure inspiration, reminding us that looking up at the stars or taking a walk in the woods is as exhilarating as it is essential, at any age.
Mindfulness & Nature-Based Therapeutic Techniques for Children: Creative Activities for Emotion Regulation, Resilience and Connectedness
Cheryl Fisher Whether you’re in the therapy office, a classroom, in the city, or the countryside, using nature-based activities with children is always possible, and incredibly therapeutic. By integrating these activities with mindfulness, therapists and educators can harness the power of both treatments, and help children become calm, alert and happier human beings.
Grow Wild: The Whole-Child, Whole-Family, Nature-Rich Guide to Moving More
Katy Bowman Our kids are moving less than any other generation in human history; indoor time and screen time have skyrocketed. Without realizing it, we’ve traded convenience for the movement-rich environment that our physical, mental, and environmental health depends on. Katy Bowman, a leader in the “Movement movement,” shows where movement used to fit into the activities of daily life, and more importantly, how it can again.
2,4,6,8 This Is How We Regulate: 75 Play Therapy Activities to Increase Mindfulness in Children
Tracy Turner-Bumberry Learning verbal mindfulness strategies can be difficult for children and adolescents, let alone when they have autism, anxiety, ADHD or other emotional regulation issues. This fun book includes 75 simple, playful, and on-point interventions that combine mindfulness, expressive arts, and play to help kids achieve greater self-regulation, focus more, and stress less.
Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children
Angela J. Hanscom Today’s children have fewer opportunities for unstructured outdoor play than ever before. It is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, or spinning in circles just for fun, and recess time at school is shrinking due to demanding educational environments. With this book, you’ll discover little things you can do anytime, anywhere to help your kids achieve the movement they need to be happy and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
Exploring Nature Activity Book for Kids: 50 Creative Projects to Spark Curiosity in the Outdoors
Kim Andrews Encourage young nature lovers to get outside and track, explore, discover, and create. This book is filled with hands-on, educational outdoor activities that kids will love to learn from, like crafting bird feeders out of fruit, pressing flowers, or creating sundials. They’ll get their hands dirty and their imaginations revving while staying active outside.
Thank You Breath: Finding Peace and Power from the Inside Out
Jennifer Cohen Harper To help our kids harness the power of breathing, we have to do more than tell them to “take a deep breath.” Help your child (and yourself!) learn to use your breath to find peace and power, even when BIG emotions take over. Complete with how-tos, breathing meditations, and tips for caregivers, this sweet and compassionate book helps us all use our breath as a life-long practice.
Outdoor Kids in an Inside World: Getting Your Family Out of the House and Radically Engaged with Nature
Steven Rinella Outdoors expert Steven Rinella shares the parenting wisdom he has garnered as a father whose family has lived amid the biggest cities and wildest corners of America. He offers practical advice for getting kids radically engaged with nature in a muddy, thrilling, hands-on way—with the ultimate goal of helping them see their own place within the natural ecosystem.