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Be Outside! Resources

Let’s Go Fishing: A Book for Beginners

FishingSchmidt, Gerald D.
Rinehart, Roberts Publishers (2000)

ISBN: 091179784X
Ages 8 and up

A wonderful reference guide for fishing for the beginner. Covers safety, fish, tackle, how to find great fishing holes, even how to cook your catch. Includes pictures of various skill level and genders fishing.

Exploring the Night Sky: The Equinox Astronomy Guide for Beginners

Dickinson, Terence.
Camden House Publishing (1987)

ISBN: 0920656668
Ages 10 and up

Take a tour of the night sky. Beautiful illustrations and photographs to guide the beginning astronomer to see the beauty of what lies beyond the earth. So grab your telescope and get watching.

GolferTiger’s Tips: Beginner’s Golf for Kids Ages 6-106

Emerick, Don
Quality Sports Publications (1998)

ISBN: 188575812X
Ages 8-12 (6-106?)


Silver, Donald
McGraw Hill Companies, The (1997)

ISBN: 007057930X
Ages 6-9

Take a tour of the tiniest spaces of a backyard. Find our how bugs tunnel. See how the simplest of tools can help you discover a world that is usually unknown to the average human. Explore what your backyard has to share.

A Backyard Vegetable Garden for Kids

Leavitt, Amie
Mitchell Lane Publishers Inc.(2008)

ISBN: 1584156341
Ages 8 and up

The hobby of gardening is not just for adults. This book will guide your child through the planning, designing, growing, and harvesting of their own vegetable garden.

Backyard Bugs

BugFerguson, Richard
Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.(2007)

ISBN: 0756625386
Ages 5-8

Photographic pop-ups make this a unique book to enjoy with your child. Check out this unusual way to see your buggy world.

Old Fashioned Children’s Games: Over 200 Outdoors, Car Trip, Song, Card and Party Activities

PainterO'Bryan, Sharon
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers (1998)

ISBN: 0786405589
All ages

The olden days are back again with this huge collection of games that we thought were gone for good. Learn all the rules, the rhymes, the movements along with stories, songs, and activities to keep your kids moving.

Nature’s Playground: Activities, Crafts, and Games to Encourage Children to Get  Outdoors

Danks, Fiona
Chicago Review Press, Inc.(2007)

ISBN: 1556527233
Ages 6 and up

Bring your imagination with you as you adventure into fun. Build your own toys to fit each season, create your own adventures and learn to do all of this safely. A special section on playing after dark.

Safe at Play: Outdoor Safety

Smart Kids Publishing
Candy Cane Press (2005)

ISBN: 0824965930
Ages 2-5

This board book will help you to talk about safe play with your preschooler

Splashing by the Shore: Beach Activities for Kids

SandcastleMullarkey, Lisa
Gibb Smith, Publisher (2007)

ISBN: 158685884X
Ages 6-8

If you live by the beach, are planning a vacation to one soon, or just want to pretend like you are at the beach, you will have fun learning how to be safe and have a great time in the sand. Crafts, games, facts, activities and party ideas will help you to have a great time near the shore.

I Love Dirt!: 52 Projects to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature

Various Authors
Shambhala Publications Inc.(2008)

ISBN: 1590305353
Ages 8 and up

No matter where you live, there is a patch of dirt near you. There is magic in dirt that can be released using your five senses. Come and explore what can be found in the dirt near you. Includes a forward by Richard Louv.


Taking Back Childhood: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Fast-Paced, Media-Saturated, Violence-filled World

Carlsson-Paige, Nancy
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated 2008)

ISBN: 1594630437
Ages Adult

A parenting guide to help instill a life for children that is full of creative, loving, and safe activities.  Guidelines on discipline, television, and other current issues.

Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

Louv, Richard
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (2005)

ISBN: 1565123913
Ages Adult

WoodsThis is the book that started it all. With kids increasingly overweight, addicted to video games, and becoming couch potatoes, this book defines what children were meant to be and do. It’s time for kids to head outdoors for more fresh air, more adventure, more exercise, and more fun.

Nature Safari: Imaginative Things for You & Your Children to Do Outdoors

SafariSample, Geoff
HarperCollins Publishers Limited.(2003)

ISBN: 0007138393
Ages 8 and up

This book will stir your child into learning about nature first-hand. They can explore every type of habitat from your neighborhood and learn facts, crafts, activities and vocabulary that will enhance their study of these natural neighborhoods.

Introducing Your Kids To The Outdoors

Van Tilburg, Christopher
Stackpole Books.(2005)

ISBN: 0811731936
Ages Adult

A complete guide to all that the outdoors has to offer you and your family. The book gives you planning guides and suggestions for outdoor adventures including day trips, camping, water sports and the absolutely "must-do" vacations for the best childhood imaginable.

Go Outside: Over 130 Activities for Outdoor Adventures

Campfire cookingBlakely, Nancy
Ten Speed Press (2002)

ISBN: 1582460647
Ages 8-12

This book is best used when adults and kids enjoy it together. Some adult supervision is suggested for many of the cooking and crafts shared. This is a great resource for activities and crafts that are organized by season. Complete instructions, lists of materials and safety suggestions are included.

Read More About It

Parents reading

There are a lot of great books about things to do outside.  Check out this book for a lot of fun ideas:

CampOut!: The Ultimate Kids’ Guide by Lynn Brunelle

If you want to read about kids outdoors talk to your school librarian for suggestions or check out some of these books and magazines:

  • By Jean Craighead George:
    • My Side of the Mountain and its sequels
    • Julie of the Wolves
    • Who Killed Cock Robin?
    • There’s an Owl in the Shower
  • Rascal, by Sterling North
  • The Yearling by Marjorie K. Rawlings
  • Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
  • Ranger Rick
  • National Geographic Kids

Books to read aloud to your kids

Explore how past generations lived in the outdoors.

Bob Artley’s Book of Farm Chores: As Remembered by a Former Kid

Artly, Bob
Voyageur Press, Inc. (2002)

ISBN: 0896584348

Bob tells the story of his life as a boy on a farm. Check out his series of books on this topic including Christmas on a farm, going to school, and yes, more chores.

OwlWhen I Was Young in The Mountains

Rylant, Cynthia
Puffin (1993)

ISBN: 0140548750

A charming story of children living a rural lifestyle. Enjoy the things that entertained children when life was simpler.

Owl Moon

Yolen, Jane
Philomel (1987)

ISBN: 0399214577

Jane’s father takes her “owling” -- something she had to wait to do until she was old enough. This magical adventure is described in such detail that it feels like you are really there. Fabulous illustrations compliment this award winning story.

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