Are you looking for the perfect nature books for kids? Whether you’d like to treat a child who already loves nature, or are keen to encourage them to explore the natural world more, there’s lots here to inspire you.
Why it’s a brilliant idea to get kids engaged with nature
Nature is the most wonderful resource for educating, inspiring and engaging kids.
Playing, exploring and crafting with nature is an accessible, low-cost and eco-friendly way for kids to have fun. It’s literally on our doorsteps all year round, just waiting for us to step outside.
Nature provides the perfect environment for unstructured and creative play too. This type of nature play and nature craft is fantastic for kids, and also pretty low-effort for the grown-ups to organise!
Added to this is the evidence that nature can have a hugely positive impact on children’s wellbeing. Spending time outdoors and in nature has been proven to boost happiness and combat anxiety, stress and depression. It’s a great way to practice mindfulness too.
Another wonderful reason to introduce children to nature at a young age is the fact that doing so makes them more likely to take care of nature when they’re older. So by making it easy for kids to explore and enjoy nature now, we’re doing something positive to care for our world in future years as well.
The best kids books about nature
Books are a brilliant way to help children explore and embrace nature – and there are so many wonderful titles out there. Nature books make fantastic creative gifts for kids – and if it’s eco friendly gifts for kids you’re looking for, they’re ideal for that too.
If you’re wondering where to start when it comes to choosing a nature book, you’re in the right place. I’ve rounded up over thirty of the best children’s nature books right here, so you don’t have to do the hard work!
In this list you’ll find reference books and activity books for kids on a wide range of nature topics. I’ve also included my favourite story and poetry books about nature for kids, for those times when they wantto enjoy the beauty of nature through words and pictures.
Nature activity books for kids
Nature is a fantastic resource for creative play, and *A Year of Nature Craft & Play is packed with 52 budget-friendly kids nature activities to keep them busy. There are gardening projects, kids nature crafts, science experiments, games and art activities, all with easy-to-follow instructions and lots of colourful photos.
Need some fun ideas to get kids outside? *A Year of Nature Walks & Games has a whole year’s worth of outdoor games and nature activities, all designed to make outdoor play and walks more exciting.
*i-SPY Nature has over 140 things for kids to spot and find in nature, each with a photo and some fun facts. Each item is worth points, and once kids have scored 1,000 they can claim an i-SPY certificate and badge.
If you’d like to encourage those little green fingers, *How to Get Kids Gardening is full of great nature projects. There are three main sections, covering simple gardening makes, grow your own, and wildlife gardening.
For nature fun with a watery theme, take a look at *The Beach Book. The title’s a bit misleading as it also covers lots of fun play ideas for lakes and rivers too.
If they love their magical creatures, *Wild Things will be a great choice. This beautiful book is full of fun activities like dragon tracking, magic potion making and fairy fashions to engage little ones and help them embrace nature folklore.
If they love their colouring, *National Trust Nature Colouring Book is ideal. There are 24 card and envelope designs featuring flowers, woodland creatures, birds and butterflies to tear out, colour in and share with friends and family.
Reference books on nature for kids
For curious kids, *Questions and Answers about Nature is a lovely resource. With over 60 flaps to lift, children can discover a wealth of facts and information about the natural world.
For older children, *The Wonders of Nature introduces over 100 amazing things from the natural world with close-up photography and fantastic illustrations. Animals, plants, rocks, minerals and microscopic life are all covered.
Discover the secrets of the deep blue sea with *The Ocean Book. Includes ocean creatures and their habitats, plus the effect of climate change and how to look after our oceans.
Explore five of the world’s greatest rivers in *River Stories. With giant fold-out pages and colourful illustrations, this is a really engaging book full of facts and stories.
Help them learn about and appreciate the amazing role trees play in nature with *The Magic and Mystery of Trees. This lovely book combines real images with illustrations to take kids on a journey of leafy exploration.
*Tree is another lovely title about trees, this time for younger readers. Beautiful illustrations and peek-through holes show the life cycle of a tree and the nature around it throughout the seasons.
*See Inside Weather & Climate is a lift-the-flap book that introduces children to the science of weather. It’s full of cool facts, from how hurricanes and floods happen to how global warming is affecting our climate.
Micro-organisms play a crucial role in life on earth, and *Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbeshelps kids explore them through illustrations and facts. Covers why micro-organisms are important and the amazing things they do, from helping create the air we breathe to giving us a cold.
Journey from Earth to the outer reaches of the universe with *The Mysteries of the Universe. Over 100 celestial objects are included, with stunning photography, gorgeous illustrations and engaging stories.
*Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth encourages little ones to explore what makes our planet, and how we live on it. It’s thought-provoking and looks amazing, with the underlying simple message that we all need to be kind.
Help young children think about ways they can look after our planet with *Earth Day Every Day. Lots of fun ideas introduce the concept of caring for the world around us, and the colourful illustrations will grab their attention. (You might also like my blog posts on fun Earth Day activities for kids and Earth Day quotes).
Travel back through time and explore what prehistoric life was like with *How Life on Earth Began. Perfect for older kids, this book is full of fascinating illustrations and clear explanations of geology, climate and evolution.
If they like stargazing, check out *Ultimate Explorer Field Guides Night Sky. This fun night sky guide is packed with photos and facts that will encourage kids to spot stars and planets right from their own gardens.
*A Seed is the Start is a great introduction to the plant life cycle for young children. Photography and simple text explains how seeds grow, the fascinating ways they travel, and what it takes for a seed to become a plant.
*I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast is a colourful celebration of the science of plants. Text and illustrations combine to teach kids about everything from the parts of a plant through to conservation.
Nature books for kids about animals & insects
*Howl Like a Wolf! takes a brilliant approach to learning about animals. Fifteen creatures explain their amazing characteristics and encourage children to learn about their world by mimicking their behaviour. A great nature title for young drama fans.
*Little Kids First Big Book of Animals will help younger children learn about 32 different animals via short text, large type and bold pictures.
Perfect for older kids, *Save Our Species is an uplifting book that will encourage young nature fans to help protect and support endangered species. It focuses on thirty of our most loved and at-risk creatures, with practical suggestions for helping on an individual, local and national level.
*RSPB My First Book of Garden Birds is a lovely picture book that will help little ones discover and identify the most common birds in their everyday surroundings.
*The Big Book of Bugs is a brilliant resource for all things creepy crawly. It includes lots of facts and tips on bug spotting, all accompanied by stunning illustrations.
*The Bee Book teaches children about bees, how much they matter, why they are declining, and what we can do to help.
If they like their nature with gross factor, *The Clue is in the Poo will be a big hit. It’s a fascinating and funny guide to animals and their poo, and all the other tracks and traces they leave behind.
Story and poetry nature books for kids
*I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree is a visual and lyrical feast for children and adults alike. The 366 nature poems (one for every day of the year) include old favourites and new discoveries, all accompanied by stunning illustrations. An ideal nature-themed bedtime read.
*The Lost Words is a joyful celebration of nearby nature and its wonders. With acrostic spell-poems and gorgeous illustrations, this enchanting book evokes the magic of language and nature for all ages.
The *Book of Nature Poetry is a celebration of the natural world. Kids can delight in classic and contemporary poems, all paired with majestic photos to inspire awe and wonder.
In *Slow Down, fifty moments in nature are told as a story in a double-page spread, each one paused just long enough for you to watch them unfold. This is a lovely nature book that will encourage moments of calm and reflection.
Younger children can learn how the world changes as the year goes by with *Stories of the Seasons. This engaging picture book includes four gentle bedtime tales and enchanting illustrations.
Tell me your favourite nature books for kids!
I hope this list of the best books about nature gives you lots of inspiration, and helps you share the magic and wonder of the natural world with your little ones. If you’ve got a favourite nature book for kids that isn’t on this list I’d love to hear about it!
More nature inspiration for kids
If you’d like some more ideas for helping kids enjoy nature, take a look at these blog posts:
You might also like to inspire your outdoor kids with my nature captions and tree quotes, and make them giggle with my nature-themed jokes series that includes garden jokes, tree jokes, flower jokes, bee jokes and bird jokes.
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