3 Children’s Books to Read on HikesResources
Adding a book to your hiking backpack or tote bag is always a good idea when hiking with children. Children’s books invite young readers to embrace their sense of wonder, explore nature with care, and celebrate being outside.
When reading, you also get to enjoy the mental, physical, and emotional benefits of the outdoors. Reading to children can also soothe groups and help anxious hikers adjust to their surroundings.
Here are three children’s books to bring on your next hike with naturalists of all ages.
For the new adventurer: The Hike by Alison Farrell
The Hike is about how fun it can be to explore nature in your own backyard and it is a must-have for budding scientists, best friends, and young adventurers in preschool and kindergarten. In Farrell’s adventure story, three young explorers enjoy the “best and worst” of any hike: picnics, puffing and panting, deer-sighting, detours, and more.
We love this spirited picture book with lyrical language and a lively narrative that kids can enjoy too. There’s also a glossary at the end for more learning, abundant labels throughout for the extra curious, and depictions of a sketchbook by one of the book’s main characters.
Bring The Hike on your hike and snag your copy here.
For the distracted hiker: Here and Now by Julia Denos and E. B. Goodale
Here and Now is a great book that reminds us to enjoy the present moment. I taught outdoor education for six years and lead hundreds of hikes, which is to say: I know from personal experience how adults can be just as distracted as children when it comes to being present.
There are also some pages that will speak to any young, anxious children who have a hard time being present because they are fraught with worries. In this story, characters get to focus on the present and “start their story” from right where they are. I hope children and adults find this story an inspiring reminder to immerse ourselves in our immediate surroundings.
It’s a great read and recommended for ages 4-7. Let us know what you think and purchase Here and Now.
For the Bug Lover: Under One Rock
This “oldie but goodie” invites readers into the world of earthworms, ants, spiders, beetles, crickets, millipedes, slugs, and snails. As the title Under One
Rock: Bugs, Slugs and Other Ughs suggests, there are also other creatures that take cover under this rock.
Reserve your copy and get ready for young naturalists to fall in love with invertebrates they can see in “real life” too when they explore local habitats. Remember to remind young learners to return those larger rocks to their usual position, after exploring, since one rock might be home to a lot of invertebrates and more.
The writers and illustrators, Anthony D. Fredericks and Jennifer Dirubbio also collaborated on other gorgeous books focused on microhabitats. You can add In One Tidepool: Crabs, Snails, and Salty Trails and Near One Cattail to your “read outside with kids” collection. Or even better, bring the latter books on a trip to the tidepools or to a local pond.
What children’s books do you bring to read on hikes? Let us know in the comments below.