As a parent or carer, you’re in the perfect position to get your child interested in the world around them. Whether it’s your local park or a far-off rainforest, there’s lots to explore and learn about outdoors. To help you, we’ve put together this list of our favourite books all about the outdoors. You can find ideas for babies, all the way up to age 12.
0 to 5-year-olds
Stick by Irene Dickson (Nosy Crow Ltd)
A boy and his dog set off to play together one sunny day, taking nothing with them but a good, useful stick . . . There are SO many things you can do with a stick.
How to Say Hello to a Worm by Kari Percival (Rise x Penguin Workshop)
This delightful book embodies the magic of gardening and encourages all readers, from those who LOVE the outdoors to those with hesitation, to interact with nature at their own, comfortable pace.
Go Bikes Go by Addie Boswell (Sasquatch)
This board book features different types of bikes and the diverse people, young and old, who enjoy them. It features bikes children will recognize and some they can imagine, like bikes that wear shoes and bikes that fly.
Because of an Acorn by Lola M Schaefer (Chronicle Books)
Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting die-cuts illustrate the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book.
Tiny Perfect Things by MH Clark (Compendium Inc)
A rhyming story about a clever little mouse and a monster. When the mouse goes for a walk in a dangerous forest, he invents tales of a fantastic creature called a Gruffalo to scare off his enemies. Imagine his surprise when he meets a real Gruffalo!
Look What I Found in the Woods by Moira Butterfield (Nosy Crow)
Discover a world of wonder on a woodland walk, as you set off on an outdoor adventure to find natural treasure, from prickly pine cones to swirly snail's shells, then learn more about the found object with irresistibly illustrated and informative nature notes.
National Trust: 123, A Walk in the Countrysideby Rosalind Beardshaw
This board book takes very young readers on an autumnal walk through the countryside. This elegant little book is a great way of bringing children closer to nature.
Outside In by Deborah Underwood (Clarion Books)
Outside In reminds us of the ways nature creates and touches our lives in homes, apartments, and cars, and is the perfect tool to reflect on the world’s connectedness.
Puddling by Emma Perry (Walker Books)
Pull on your wellies and button up your coats for this playful, interactive story all about children delighting in the joy of splish-splash-sploshing in muddy puddles with their friends, and cherishing snuggles on the sofa afterwards.
Run Wild by David Covell (Viking Books for Young Readers)
"Hey, you! Sky's blue!" a girl shouts as she runs by the window of a boy bent over his digital device. Intrigued, the boy runs out after her, leaving his shoes (and phone) behind, and into a world of sunshine, dewey grass, and warm sand.
My First Book of Birds by Zoe Ingram (Walker Books)
This information book for young children is packed with information and fun facts – everything you need to know to help you learn about and identify birds.
Maya's Walk by Moira Butterfield (Oxford University Press)
This story shows all the fun ways to experience a walk and highlights the joy connecting with nature can bring as we become ever more aware of its benefits to mental wellbeing. Practical and imaginative ideas to encourage children to engage their senses and connect with their local surroundings.
5 to 8-year-olds
Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett
Cyril is the only squirrel in the park until he meets Pat, the other squirrel. Cyril and Pat have lots of adventures and fun together but it’s soon revealed Pat is actually a rat! The two friends learn that some things are more important than being the same.
Daisy and the Trouble With Nature by Kes Gray
Daisy and her class are excited when their new school nature garden is opened. But there's not very much nature in it. Luckily, she’s going camping and will find lots of nature to bring back. But the trouble with nature is that it’s really hard to control…
Slow Down by Rachel Williams
Discover 50 nature stories, paused just long enough for you to watch them unfold. Then go outside to explore and see what you find when you take the time to slow down.
Ideal for young readers who love to laugh as they learn, this book offers plenty of fascinating facts to get kids excited about the outdoors, all delivered with a good dose of silly fun.
Nature Trail by Benjamin Zephaniah and Nila Aye
This joyful celebration of nature reminds us all to take a closer look at the world around us, and enjoy the wonder of nature wherever we find it. Packed with animals and minibeasts galore, this imaginative rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud.
The Not-So Great Outdoors by Madeline Kloepper
A reluctant camper discovers that the (not-so) great outdoors can be just as exciting as screens and skyscrapers in this playful picture book celebration of the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature.
The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L. D. Lapinski
When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds of other worlds just steps away from ours.
9 to 12-year-olds
The Usborne Outdoor Book by Alice James and Emily Bone
Inspiring ideas for exploring outdoors whatever the weather, including building a shelter, stargazing, marking a trail, catching crabs and listening for creatures at night.
Adventure Girls! by Nicole Duggan
This one-of-a-kind book is packed with activities and crafts for girls that encourage independence, imagination and courage.
101 Outdoor Adventures To Have Before You Grow Up by Stacy Tornio and Jack Tornio
Conquer a rock wall, go zip lining, or camp without a tent. Discover 101 activities, games and challenges to get kids in the outdoors and loving it.
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
This work stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke.
Harklights by Tim Tilley
Winner of the Joan Aiken Future Classics Prize, Harklights is a magical story celebrating family, friendship and the natural world, filled with a message of hope for our times.
White Fox by Chen Jiatong
White Fox is a classic animal adventure, following fox Dilah as he journeys across beautiful landscapes, making new friends – and dangerous enemies – along the way. Children will love the story’s messages of bravery, friendship and standing up for what’s right.
The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
Fred, Con, Lila and little Max’s plane is on the way to Manaus when it falls out of the sky. Now, lost in the Amazon rainforest, they must figure out the basics of survival: water, shelter, food. Do they wait for rescue, or find a way to rescue themselves?