30+ Inspirational Parenting Books for Raising Outdoor Kids

by Josée

Sometimes feeling motivated to get our kids outside can be a challenge. Maybe it’s the weather, an illness, a new baby, our schedule, or our mood. During times like this, because it happens to even the outdoorsiest of parents, reach out for support and grab hold of a trusty book to help boost your motivation.

Below I’ve listed of 30+ books sure to inspire and motivate parents wanting to get outside with their kids whatever the weather.

Want to add a book to this list? Contact me and let me know what book I should add!

Disclaimer: This page contains Amazon Affiliates links and I may earn a small commission from your purchases made through them. 

Post updated September 2022.

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Books on the Importance of Outdoor Play and Adventure for Kids

  1. Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom
  2. Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World by Ben Hewitt
  3. Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray
  4. Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) by Lenore Skenazy
  5. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
  6. Outdoor Kids in an Inside World: Getting Your Family Out of the House and Radically Engaged with Nature by Steven Rinella

Books on How Nature Makes Kids Healthier and Happier

  1. Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World by Dr Marie-Claire Arrieta and Dr B Brett Finlay
  2. The Green Hour: A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids by Todd Christopher
  3. There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids by Linda Åkeson McGurk
  4. UNPLUGGED: 15 Steps to Disconnect from Technology and Reconnect with Nature, Yourself, Friends, and Family by Jason Runkel Sperling
  5. Your Brain On Nature by Eva M. Selhub
  6. Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life by Richard Louv

Books on Outdoor Education and Activities for Kids and Families

  1. 101 Things For Kids To Do Outside by Dawn Isaac
  2. Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education by David Sobel
  3. Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids by Rebecca Cohen
  4. Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness by Dr. Qing Li 
  5. How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott Sampson
  6. I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward
  7. Mud Kitchen in a Day: How to Quickly Get Your Kids Outside, Playing in the Dirt, & Enjoying Creative Play by Jason Runkel Sperling
  8. Rainy Day Kids Adventure Book: Outdoor games and activities for the wind, rain and snow by Steph Scott and Katie Akers
  9. Sharing Nature with Children by Joseph Cornell
  10. The Backyard Play Revolution: How to Engage Kids in Simple, Inexpensive Outdoor Play and Increase Child Health and Motor/Sensory Development by Jason Runkel Sperling
  11. The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures and Connect Kids to Nature by Helen Olsson 
  12. The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals—and Other Forgotten Skills by Tristan Gooley
  13. The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms by Clare Walker Leslie
  14. Whatever the Weather: Science Experiments and Art Activities That Explore the Wonders of Weather by Annie Riechmann and Dawn Suzette Smith

Books on Family Outdoor Adventures

  1. Babes in the Woods by Jennifer Aist
  2. Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks by Michael Lanza
  3. Hike It Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers by Shanti Hodges 
  4. Let Them Be Eaten By Bears: A Fearless Guide to Taking Our Kids Into the Great Outdoors by Peter Brown Hoffmeister
  5. The Backpacking With Kids Handbook: Your down and dirty guide to fun outdoor adventures with your kids by Kenda Alexander
  6. Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure by Patricia Ellis Herr

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Donald Peddie December 27, 2018 - 7:32 pm

I wish this site had been open when I needed it the most for teaching. It is available now and I will endeavour to spread it amongst my teaching colleagues.

Mats Wejdmark January 6, 2019 - 9:17 pm

Work at nature school in Sweden. We are taking out 3.500 kids for one day nature program.
Ser pur Homepage http://www.nynashamnsnaturskola.se we are writing books hos can you learn biologi and mathmatics outside.


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