One of the greatest loves in my life is reading. I’m a fan of well told stories, especially if those stories have something to do with the other great love in my life – the outdoors.
Recently while reading How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature (affiliate link) I had the thought, “Hey, I bet some of my blog readers would like this book too.” That led to, “Why not start a conversation about good nature themed books.” And you know how trains of thought go, they just keep chugging till they get to their station. “Why not start an online outdoors book club?”
It’s a simple enough idea. And one I hope you’ll love.
Here’s my plan. I’ll chose an outdoor themed book and review it here on Mountain Mom and Tots. You’ll be able to find all the Mountain Mom and Tots Book Club choices under the soon-to-be-introduced Book Club tab on the site.
For every book I will ask one or two questions. Just post a comment and the discussion can grow from there. The questions will be applicable to all, whether you read the book or not.
On this first edition of the Mountain Mom and Tots Book Club I wanted to highlight this great book about getting outdoors with kids. Just in time for summer reading!
How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature
Parents of preschoolers are probably already familiar with Dr. Scott the Paleontologist from the PBS Kids show Dinosaur Train. For those of you who haven’t seen Tiny the Pterodactyl and her adopted T Rex brother Buddy, allow me to introduce you to Scott D. Sampson, Ph.D.
He’s an expert in his field of (surprise) paleontology, but more than that he’s an advocate for connecting children with nature. His most recent book How to Raise a Wild Child presents the latest research on kids in the outdoors. It also gives great ideas on how to become a Nature Mentor.
My first reaction while reading this book was “Yeah, I’m doing pretty good.” When Sampson encourages engaging children in wild spaces I look out my window and think we’ve got that pretty well covered living at Sundance Resort. Just the other day Little G pointed at a fuzzy antlered deer walking past our kitchen window.
Then my son complains that “I only got an hour and a half of electronics time today! This is the worst day of my life!” and I realize I might still have some work to do.
At times while reading How to Raise a Wild Child the Mommy guilt of “I’m not doing enough” set in. While the book is mostly aimed at giving suggestions on improving your Nature Mentor skills, the voice in the back of my head kept saying “Ok, here’s another thing I should be doing.” There’s never the time or energy to implement all of the ideas in my actual life.
That’s my take. Now it’s time to discuss. My comment question for you is the same one Sampson asks in Chapter One:
What is Nature, and Do We Really Need It?
Leave your comments below, I’m really curious to know your thoughts.
101 Things For Kids To Do Outside
The other book I’m reviewing in this inaugural Mountain Mom and Tots Book Club post is 101 Things For Kids To Do Outside by Dawn Isaacs. It’s full of fun outdoor activities, many of which kids can do completely on their own.
When Firefly Books offered me a copy to review I didn’t think much of it, other than it seemed like a cool book. When I actually looked through the book I was surprised at how sucked in I got. The photos and illustrations are adorable and I love how Isaacs writes directly to kids.
Each project is just a page or two and there’s a wide variety of activities to choose from. Only have an hour or less? Make flower fairies or rustle up a bird feast like little G and I did (note: birds can tell the difference between lard and bacon grease). Blow giant bubbles, balance stones or take the matchbox challenge. Want a summer long project to engage kids with the outdoors? Plant a mobile herb garden, brew your own plant food or construct a stumpery.
101 Things For Kids To Do Outside is full of ideas on how to have fun outdoors. I like that I can pick and choose which projects would work for our family based on age, season, time and interest. Our current family favorite from 101 Things For Kids To Do Outside is to Go on a bear hunt – basically playing hide and seek with stuffed animals.
Now when Big E complains that he’s bored and there’s nothing to do but play on electronics I can hand him this book and kick him out the door.
Comment Question for 101 Things For Kids To Do Outside:
What is your KIDS favorite activity to do outside?
Let’s discuss! Leave a comment with your thoughts about either of these great books and be sure to answer the questions. I want to hear what you think!
This post includes affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you purchase something by clicking through these links.