If you’re looking for nature activities to do with your kids, I highly recommend The Kids’ Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities & Experiences by Susan Milord. I found this book at the library, and after looking through it, I had to get the book for myself.
The activities begin on January 1st. Each week has a theme, and every day has an activity to go along with that theme. This week’s theme is rocks, and the activities include two field trips, two science labs, two art projects, and a rock collection. Other themes list poems and stories to read or recipes to make. The themes are seasonal, so you will be visiting the beach for a week in the summer and tracking animals through the snow in the winter.
Of course, you can jump around in the book and choose activities that go along with what your kids are already learning about. The book is not a stand-alone curriculum, but it can enhance academic learning.
Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons in my opinion.
- Organization by theme, so the activities relate to each other and have context.
- Organization by season because it highlights what’s best about the current time of year.
- Many of the activities are simple to pull off with little to no supplies or preparation.
- Many of the activities could appeal to a broad range of ages, from pre-k through elementary, and possibly even older children. As an adult, I want to do most of these activities!
- Seasonal activities and a few of the field trip are not always possible depending on where you live. However, you could explore those topics through the internet or books.
- You will need to plan ahead for some of the activities by gathering supplies, finding a field trip location, or borrowing books from the library.
Most of the reviews on Amazon were positive, but there were a few negative reviews.
One reviewer wrote that the book is nonsense and that people could come up with these ideas on their own. It’s true that a lot of people probably could come up with these ideas, but as a former teacher who made lesson plans every week, I can tell you that it would take a lot of time to come up with 52 themes and all of the activities to go with them. For only 15 cents (for a used paperback), all of that work has been done for you.
Another reviewer thought the book was fun, but didn’t appreciate that it had references to evolution. It’s true that there are occasional references to evolution. If you don’t want your child to see those, there’s no reason why you need to show them the book. You can read the activities on your own and decide how to present them, or you could use the references as an opportunity to talk about different belief systems that people hold.
Order The Kids’ Nature Book
Overall, I think this book is an excellent resource. The activities are fun and hands-on, and they will foster a young child’s connection with nature. Click on the book cover below to find prices for new and used books on Amazon.