Seven Children’s Books About the Outdoors

After last week’s post about professional books to help facilitate play, I received requests from teachers for suggestions about children’s literature that connects to the outdoors, imagination, and play.  Below are some favorites of the Best Practices staff.

Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
From bn.com: Molly Lou Melon’s grandma taught her to be happy with herself no matter what, but  that’s not all she learned. Molly Lou heard all about how her grandma didn’t have fancy store-bought toys when she was little. She made dolls out of twigs and flowers and created her own fun in her backyard. So Molly Lou does just that, proving that the best thing to play with is a huge imagination!

 

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
From bn.com: A box is just a box . . . unless it’s not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows. Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real—when the imagination takes over and inside a cardboard box, a child is transported to a world where anything is possible.

Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis
From bn.com: Antoinette Portis captures the thrill of when pretend feels so real that it becomes real. With a stick in hand, the options are endless—whether it’s conducting an orchestra, painting a masterpiece, or slaying a dragon—give a child a stick and let imagination take over and the magic begin.

 

What Do You Do With a Tail Like This by Steve Jenkins
From bn.com: A nose for digging? Ears for seeing? Eyes that squirt blood? Explore the many amazing things animals can do with their ears, eyes, mouths, noses, feet, and tails in this interactive guessing book, beautifully illustrated in cut-paper collage, which was awarded a Caldecott Honor.

 

The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins
From bn.com: The wind blew, and blew, and blew! It blew so hard, it took everything with it: Mr. White’s umbrella, Priscilla’s balloon, the twins’ scarves, even the wig on the judge’s head. But just when the wind was about to carry everything out to sea, it changed its mind! With rhyming verse and colorful illustrations, Pat Hutchins takes us on a merry chase that is well worth the effort.

 

Flash, Crash, Rumble and Roll by Franklyn M. Branley
From bn.com: Did you know that lightning bolts can be over a mile long? Or that they may come from clouds that are ten miles high? Storms can be scary, but not if you know what causes them. Before the next thunderstorm, grab this book by veteran science team Franklyn Branley and True Kelley and learn what causes the flash, crash, rumble, and roll of thunderstorms!

Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
From bn.com: This is the diary of a worm. This worm lives with his parents, plays with his friends, and even goes to school. But unlike you or me, he never has to take a bath, he gets to eat his homework, and because he doesn’t have legs, he just can’t do the hokey pokey – no matter how hard he tries.

What children’s books do you use in your classroom to connect to outdoors, imagination and play?  Share them in the comments.

About

I train Georgia PreK teachers and dabble a bit in the art of blogging. Have an idea for a blog post? Email me at bestpractices@gsu.edu. On the web: www.bestpractices.gsu.edu Facebook: www.facebook.com/bestpracticespk Twitter: @bestpracticespk

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