Parenting Books with a Nature Focus


When it comes to parenting, there are so many things people just don’t agree on. But one universal truth is that time spent outdoors is vital to the health and development of children. In today’s modern world with shorter recess and more technology, it can be a challenge to raise a nature lover. That’s why I love these books, among others! Here are some of my picks for parenting books with a nature focus:

The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Robert Louv

Written by a childhood advocacy expert, this is often considered the book on the importance of getting kids outside. While it covers some controversial topics such as prescribing antidepressants to children, this book contains many universal messages supported by plenty of facts that will help inspire parents to turn off the screens and tune their children into the natural world.

Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life by Robert Louv

This is the practical guide to applying the principles Louv introduced in Last Child in the Woods. Containing 500 ways to enrich the lives of your family members through nature, these specific tips and activities will inspire you to make some outdoor plans.

How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott D. Sampson

You may recognize the author as “Dr. Scott” from the PBS children’s program Dinosaur Train. Through this book, he explores various natural concepts and how they relate to all stages of childhood, including mentoring tips to help get–and keep–children interested in the world around us.

The Long Ago Lake by Marne Wilkins

I grew up with this book. Through lore, recreational activities, crafts, experiments and more, this book covers broad concepts of nature play while offering specific ways to interact with the wild. You might even spot some things from your own childhood that you had completely forgotten about!

The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to do in Nature Before You Grow Up by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer

We love this book in our house! The checklist format allows parents and children to put tick marks next to the things children don’t always get to experience in our modern world–from foraging for our state wildflower to eating blackberries off the vine.

What are your favorite nature parenting books? Tell us in the comments!

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I am a Cincinnati native, wife to Neil and mom to a 2 ½ year old boy named Wally. I am a project manager and consultant by trade and I am also the author of Cincinnati Day Trips, a guide to interesting places within one day’s journey from the city center. I’ll never pass up a roadside attraction and love car trips. I recently took up sewing and have a fabric stash that is entirely too large already. I share my adventures, mishaps and projects on my Twitter and Instagram accounts, @suburbinnati.


  1. Thank you for this timely article! I just finished reading Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children, by pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom – a great book about children, free play, and the outdoors.

    • Thanks for reading! I actually just picked up that book but have not had the chance to read it yet so I am glad to hear it’s a good one!


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