Disclaimer: I received the following outdoor learning books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Outdoors in the Pacific Northwest pretty much go hand-in-hand. I’m a Washington State native and an advocate for teaching my kids all about the outdoors. From nature to gardening. I’m excited to share with you two fantastic outdoor learning books for the Pacific Northwest.
My family and I are homesteaders. I’ve recently found out that this happens to be in my blood from my biological side of the family. Pretty cool. We also have decided to homeschool our daughter and eventually our son. Both are elementary age.
As I mentioned above, outdoor learning is going to be a huge part of our curriculum, and something we already use to teach with everyday. I was pleased to work with Sasquatch Books, specifically their children’s imprint ‘Little Bigfoot’, to check out these two new outdoor learning books. Both are being released to the public on May 2, 2017.
Curious Kids Nature Guide: Explore the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific Northwest
The first book I want to share is Curious Kids Nature Guide: Explore the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. Author is Fiona Cohen, and illustrated by Marni Fylling. My first thought about this book is how well it is put together. The hardcover makes it great to take outside and frankly, beat up a little.
The illustrations are beautiful, and very true to the design of each animal and other parts of nature. I like that the book is divided into forest, beach, freshwater and backyards and urban parks. A simple way for our kids to easily identify habitats of each animal in the book. There is also a section in the back of the book that explains some of the events that we can expect in the Pacific Northwest each season. When animals are born. When birds sing. Those kind of things.
I also enjoy that each section begins with pages of just the illustrations. Then as you flip through, each listed animal or part of nature is explained. An awesome learning tool.
There is so much that my children are going to learn out of this book, and I couldn’t be more excited. My kids will have a chance to learn about animals native to their region, habitats and habits of nature. I recommend this nature book for any Pacific Northwest family.
Ways to Use This Book for Homeschooling:
- Take a nature walk in one of the specific habitat areas. Have your child use the book to find animals. Have them use their own journal to write down how each animal acts in their habitat after observing them.
- Try and find two similar animals in the book. Then read how each animal is in the same family, but different.
- Use the introduction of this book to teach about nature safety and respecting it. Review how we can help take care of nature of everyone to enjoy.
The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City
The second book is The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City by Carole Lexa Schaefer. Approved by the Seattle Tilth, this book is based on the beauty of connecting children with nature and the food cycle. I want my children to learn sustainability, and this book encourages that.
Another great hard covered book, I was pleased to see one major thing among the pages. The book demonstrates exactly how gardens grow while using a “children’s voice”. The two leaves that sprout before “first leaves” is mentioned, and how they are small but are the base of nutrients for the plant to grow. It explains how different plants grow in a sense of bunches, vines, etc. Again, all in a way a child can easily understand. There is even a small bit about compost and wonderful worms. One of the favorite things my kids love about gardening. Messy stuff.
Since this book is based on children creating a community garden in the city area, this is perfect for those families who are urban homesteading. I loved urban gardening when we lived in an apartment. I could can a good amount from our crop each harvest. This book could help encourage a co-op to begin your own community garden.
It is very simple, but a great base for expanding on teaching children how to sustain their own garden. My daughter loves nothing more than helping me in the garden. The biggest joy I receive is teaching her how to tend to each plant. I even use life lessons, like how we must care for delicate plants as we care for our hearts. We never want to let in bad things so we need to nurture our thoughts. This book will be a great addition to our learning about gardens and sustainability.
Ways to Use this Book for Homeschooling:
- Use each page to explain about what goes into making a garden and keeping it.
- Explain the stages of plants.
- When learning about compost, this is a great companion book.
In short, I think these outdoor learning books rock. I love that they are specific to the Pacific Northwest region too. A way for our kids to learn about the world around them.
Check out a few items I recommend below to get your kids ready for exploring nature and creating their own garden. I’ve noticed that when our kids have their very own gardening tools, they are more attentive. It makes it special for them. Enjoy these outdoor learning books, make memories and add them to your learning with your kids!