Book Love: Nature Explorations

Nature BooksWe are getting an early spring this year, which is making me excited about all of the outdoor adventures to come. The lovely weather has also started my wheels turning as I begin think ahead to Camp Mom, which is quickly approaching on the horizon. So, over the last couple of weeks I have checked out numerous nature/science activity books and have also pulled out some of my old favorites to get the juices flowing. I am filling them up with sticky notes and writing down ideas, so that as the girls spend more time outside, I am am at the ready to to take their interests to the next level with some engaging hands-on learning experiences. We look forward to sharing our nature explorations with you throughout the season…

I am off, I just heard word of a butterfly sighting!

Reading OutsideBooks to Inspire…

  1. Let’s Go Outside! and I Love Dirt! by Jennifer Ward
  2. Sharing Nature with Children I & II by Joseph Cornell
  3. Nature Connection by Clare Walker Leslie
  4. Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young, Ellen Haas & Evan McGown
  5. Nature’s Art Box by Laura C. Martin
  6. Hands-On Nature by Jenepher Lingelbach
  7. The Jumbo Book of Outdoor Art by Irene Luxbacher
  8. Nature’s Playground by Fiona Danks & Jo Schofield

What are your favorites?



With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.



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  1. Oh, it’s so good to have you back!  I’ve been thinking a lot about Camp Mom as well. These are great book suggestions!  Nothing makes me me more excited than new experiences to do with my girls.  Thanks, Mariah. 

  2. Great to see you back, your new site looks great. Your posts always inspire me in so many ways, thank you!! Just out of curiosity, what is Camp Mom?

    1. Hi Kelly – Thank you so much for your kind words… I don’t sign my girls up for summer camp, so when people ask me about what they are doing over the summer I lovingly (jokingly) respond that they are going to “Camp Mom.” This summer will be the first in a couple of years that we have wide-open, so I am starting to think now about fun and enriching experiences we can share. We are all really looking forward to it!

  3. We recently added the Nature Connection book to our collection and LOVE it. I would also recommend Rebecca Cohen’s 15 Minutes Outside. It is full of ideas for getting outside in the middle of winter too! (which is where I sometimes find it tough to be motivated to leave the couch in front of the fireplace) We also have her Curiosity Cards – laminated cards on a ring to initiate great conversation outside. A motivated momma could certainly make their own version, but they were a lovely gift from a friend. One day I will add the Coyote’s Guide to our stash- the sticker price always deters me. I keep hoping to find a copy at our fabulous local used book chain. Great to see your new site Mariah and I am anxious to more involved in the ecademy site as well. (life as kept me from the computer for a while!) 

    1. Hi Kayte – Nice to “see” you! I think you are the one that introduced me to the Nature Connection… I can’t wait to check out the Curiosity Cards. You always have so many great ideas and resources… Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hello Mariah!
    So nice to see you in this brand new space! Love your Camp Mom idea I suppose that’s what we do too so I’m going to have to call it that now! It would be be to design t-shirts don’t you think?!
    Recently I have been sorting through my materials (that are currently sorted by subject) hoping to come up with some fun new ideas for summer. I’ll be visiting here often for continued inspiration!
    Thanks so much!
    ~ joey ~

  5. What a wonderful collection of titles, each new to me! I have yet to be brave enough to send my girls to Camp Mom 🙂 They are already registered elsewhere but maybe next year… I think it would be such a great experience. 

  6. Stacey (above) alerted me to this post, and what a great collection of books it is. I particularly like the look of nature’s art box. As it happens, I’ve posted twice this week about books to which have helped me and my family get outdoors and exploring – a mixture of fiction and nonfiction:

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