This is a list of books that we recommend for any parent or teacher that is seeking inspiration to connect children with nature.


The Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Evan McGown.

If you could have just one book to supply you with an endless amount of inspiration, ideas, activities, games, stories, and information on how to deepen your and your family's connection to nature – this is it!

Vitamin NThe Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life by Richard Louv

A great resource full of inspiring ideas and activities on how to get your child outside and loving the outdoors.

Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv

The landmark bestseller that coined the term "Nature Deficient Disorder."  Full of research that tell the sad story of how growing up in our hi-tech world has negatively affected children's health, and provides inspiration for getting them back to nature.

The Nature Principle, by Richard Louv

Louv takes a lot of the research and concepts he brought to the forefront in his previous book and takes it further, showing us how we all can benefit from a deeper connection to nature, and how it can improve all aspects of our lives.

Field Guides

Any field guide from Tom Brown Jr (some of our favorites are Wilderness Survival Guide and Living with Nature), Peterson Guide, Audabon Society, Sibley's, and Golden Guides (specifically designed for children)


The Burgess Bird Book for Children, and The Burgess Animal Book for Children,  by Thornton W. Burgess   

These are incredible books, written by the same creator of Peter Rabbit.  In these books, Peter Rabbit and his friend Jenny Wren have adventures and meet all of the other birds and animals in the forest and orchard where they live. Burgess creatively introduces each new character in ways that help the reader build their identification skills.

The Tracker by Tom Brown, Jr  (young adult/adult) 

The best selling book that recounts the true story of a young boy who was trained in the native ways by a displaced Apache Native American in the 1960s. Tom Brown Jr started one of the first survival schools in the US, has taught and mentored thousands of people, and has inspired a whole movement to relearn the traditional primitive skills lifestyle. He has a long list of books, all of which are great reads.  

The Hatchet  by Gary Paulson (youth)

This is the first of a series of books, written for the youth (grade 4th and up), about a young boy who survives a plane crash in the Canadian Wilderness and has to learn to survive for months on his own. Very inspirational and an easy read for young reader.

Naya Nuki: Shoshone Girl who Ran, by Kenneth Thomasma  (youth) 

This is a wonderful historical fiction book, written about the little known story of Sacajawea's friend who was kidnapped along with her but decided to escape from captivity. The story recounts the courageous journey that this young girl embarked upon, emphasizing the skills and awareness she had learned as a native child that helped her survive her escape.

My Side of the Mountain  by Jean Craighead George (youth) 

A classic story of every child's dream – to run away to the woods and survive.

Becoming Wild  by Nikki van Schyndel  (young adult/adult)

The amazing and inspiring autobiographical tale of a young woman who followed her dreams of living and thriving in the wild Pacific Northwest.  More appropriate for teens-adult.

Here is a short list of websites that will provide you with further resources, insight, and inspiration.

  • Acorn Naturalists – – a wonderful, comprehensive resource to purchase a wide variety of nature-based science education materials.

  • 8 Shields – A teaching model that inspires nature connection that has now become a network for parent, students, and teachers alike. A place where you can learn more through online courses, audio recordings, books, and more.

  • Children and Nature Network – - The Children & Nature Network, started by the best-selling author Richard Louv. CNN is leading the movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources and tools, broad-based collaboration and support of grassroots leadership. Has an abundant amount of research into the importance and benefits of nature connection.

Games that are educational and fun!

  • Wildcraft! - A fun, cooperative style board game that is beautifully illustrated that teaches kids about plants and their medicinal/food uses. Great for a wide range of ages, fun to play with the whole family.

  • Shanleya’s Quest - Patterns in Plants Card Game - This is a versatile card game that can be adapted to many of the traditional card games, such as Memory, Go Fish, and Rummy. Participants quickly start to recognize and learn the patterns in 5 of the main plant families, which can help them discern between helpful plants and deadly ones.