Welcome! I'm so excited to be on this journey with you! And it is, truly, still very much a journey for my family too. Even as an outdoor educator with years of experience, my little ones are teaching me daily that *raising* a wild child is a whooooole different ballgame!
You and I, we are so lucky to be in the midst of a grand movement with a growing body of resources catering directly to parents, designed to helps us glean the importance of WHY and the logistics of HOW we can go about digging into the heart of childhood and reconnecting our littles with the world around them.
**This post is all about recommendations and links for print and paper books diving deep into the subject of connecting our children to nature. If you're looking for an easier introduction in laymen terms about why nature is so important to the wellbeing of our children, hop over to this post first on 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Wait Another Day to Take Your Kids Outside!**
So without further ado, I present to you my top three book recommendations for any parent who is hoping to raise a true wild child!
1. how to raise a wild child
"Being an effective mentor means becoming a coconspirator, a fellow explorer, a chaser of clues." - Dr. Scott D. Sampson
If you haven't heard of it or seen it yourself, I highly recommend Dr. Scott's PBS hit "Dinosaur Train," to families who use television in the home. Before becoming the brains behind the show and the on-screen paleontologist, Dr. Scott had a rich and promising career as an actual PhD-holding Paleontologist!
After the birth of his own child, he gave it all up to become a leader in the field of outdoor education for children, and his book is packed cover-to-cover with heart-warming stories and discussion on how to best raise a new generation of nature-lovers and learners!
Dr. Scott's guide is easy to pour through and is a great, accessible empowerment tool for parents who are new to the nature play scene!
Hold down on the book image or click HERE to grab a copy for yourself. (Yes, yes, yes... you've seen these before! These are indeed affiliate links! Should you choose to purchase through these links, our playschool will gain a small commission which will be put towards supplies and further development. These opinions are my own, and I would much rather hand you the copy off my own bookshelf free of charge... but I link here so you can get a copy for yourself wherever you may be, if you so choose!)
2. Last Child In the Woods
"The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses." - Richard Louv
The New York Times Bestseller, Last Child in the Woods, has become the flagship of the modern movement for nature play and outdoor education. He coins terms like "Nature Deficit Disorder," and "Vitamin N," calling for a complete upheaval of the manner in which our littles are raised.
In these pages, Louv explores a growing body of research into the physical and emotional health of our young people and the newly-found impacts liked to exposure to nature.
He digs deep into the differences in experience between modern day children and the muddy, magical childhoods their parents and grandparents once enjoyed.
If you're looking for a next step read diving into the ties between the health of our children and the health of our Earth, this book that sparked the "No Child Left Inside," movement is a must - grab yours HERE.
3. Balanced and Barefoot
"Movement through active free play, especially outside improves everything from creativity to academic success to emotional stability. Kids who don't get to do this can have so many issues, from problems with emotional regulation - crying at the drop of a hat - to trouble holding a pencil, to touching other kids using too much force." - Angela Hanscom
Angela J. Hanscom is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, and in her breakout book, she delves through research and personal experience that point towards the dire importance of unstructured outdoor play, sensory experiences, and reasonable risk-taking for the physical and emotional development of our children.
Parents with children in elementary school will find mountains of useful and pressing information from Page 1; Parents who have children not yet school-aged, skip straight to the chapter "When Is My Baby Ready for the Outdoors?" I PROMISE, you won't be sorry =)
There are just so many wonderful resources I can recommend to you, it is hard to keep this list so short! If you burned your way through these three books and are ready to get your hands on more, please click on the covers below to check out some more amazing reads:
If you're local to Dayton, OH and ready to sign your child up for meaningful nature play with a professional Outdoor Educator, hop over to our Playschool page to learn more about our upcoming programs!