As the weather warms up, kids want need to be outside playing. There are great adventures to be had, even in your own backyard. Here are are several new books that will make exploring more fun for everyone.
The Kid's Outdoor Adventure Book by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer offers a host of interesting activities that guarantee year-round fun. The book is divided into four sections, with activities that apply to each season. The authors round-up a serviceable collection of games (Kick the Can, Marco Polo), nature ideas (examine a bird's nest; wade in a stream, collect leaves), and many don't involve much time or investment on your end.
An activity called the Nature Scrapbook, for example, is a perfect journaling idea for kids who enjoy collecting things.
Leaves, flower heads, even interesting bugs or pebbles can be pressed into a scrapbook. Then have your child look up their collection online to learn more about each treasure.
Keep this on-hand book to look for ideas before heading out on a hike or spending a weekend at the local state park. It's written with both children and adults in mind. Even if you're someone who hasn't spent much time in nature, this is a good way to introduce the whole family to the wonders that await. • Falcon Guides, $18.95
Get Your Kids Hiking by Jeff Alt is the perfect book if you want to get your kids out on the trail. Alt and his wife are seasoned hikers, having hiked the Appalachian Trail and the John Muir Trail in Yosemite National Park in California.
Now their kids come along, so they've thought through what it means to travel with little ones. Different chapters are dedicated to each age group, from little bitties to teens, and they provide ideas for everything from gear to grub. As someone who loves to hike but is more on the novice side, I'll be using this as reference guide.
Noisy Bug Sing-Along will help acquaint your child with the many creatures that sing during the spring and summer months.
This picture book uses illustration and a line of verse to describe something unique about each insect's song. We like the field notes at the end of the book that offer more details about bugs, and even show what the audio waves of their songs look like. Once you know what it is you're listening to, the sounds of summer won't seem quite so mysterious.