On June 5th, 2019, the US Senate designated June as Great Outdoors Month. Great Outdoors Month is a wonderful opportunity to spend time exploring nature. Spending time outdoors is refreshing, fun, and has great health benefits. According to The American Hiking Society, being in nature is great for both mental and physical health.
You can spend time outdoors in a park, garden, at the beach, or hiking. There are many fun activities that you can do with your family and friends. Try using one of the suggested activities such as creating a nature bracelet, identifying different trees, camping, and stargazing. You can also visit the pool, the zoo, botanical gardens, or spend a day at a beach creating sandcastles and identifying seashells.
Plant, Cook, Eat! A Children’s Cookbook by Joe Archer and Caroline Craig
For children grades (4-8)
Plant, Cook, Eat is a wonderful book that allows children to learn about gardening and cooking. The first part of the book introduces how seeds grow. Readers will also learn about what nutrients plants need, and how they reproduce, along with composting and the difference between growing plants indoors and outdoors. The second part of the book includes delicious recipes such as pea gnocchi, potato pancakes and bean burgers. Readers will also learn how to grow plant-based ingredients. The book also explores exotic fruits and vegetables such as Japanese eggplants and Tuscan black palm kale. A wonderful read for families who love the outdoors, cooking, and gardening.
For children grades (K-3)
Hidden Treasure investigates the wonders of the beach and how everyday objects can be looked at as treasures. The beach stones sparkle in the dew on the shore. Little seashells, a speckled rock, and a bubble wand lost at sea, all become wonders for a little girl and her dog. Some treasures find their way home and the hardest part is to find the best one from the pile. A fun book about exploring treasures at the beach.
For children grades (1-4)
Fatima’s Great Outdoors portrays an immigrant family’s love for nature and the outdoors. The story begins with an introduction to the Khazi family who are going camping for the first time. While in school Fatima feels sad. The other kids bully her and make fun of her accent, food and hair. However, once Fatima is with her family they can sing in Hindi, eat samosas and are allowed to be themselves. Her family sets up their tent and enjoys traditional meals such as anda, roti, and ghee. We learn that in India Fatima’s mother used a wood burning stove outside; this was a bit different than building a campfire. At the end of the story Fatima is proud of her accomplishments: building fires, setting up tents and not being scared of spiders. A gem of a book.
For children grades (1-4)
Print / Libby
Meet Oliver; he is an adorable turtle who creates a memoir of his life with Ike, his owner, who happens to be the same age as Oliver (they are both 80.) Oliver recalls each month and season and why he appreciates them. In May, Oliver enjoys a hibiscus blooming on the other side of the garden. When September arrives Oliver realizes that the days are getting shorter and naps are becoming longer. In winter Oliver realizes that Ike is no longer with him. Oliver decides to ask his wise mother about Ike’s sudden departure. Oliver’s mother reminds him that pets are with them for some time. A thoughtful and beautiful book about appreciating each fleeting moment of life.
For children (Pre-k)
Little Zoologist is a book about identifying and exploring different items at the zoo. If you have a notebook one could observe the activities of the animals and discover the wonders of the zoo.
Little zoologist draws a turtle and also uses their camera to take pictures of pandas and observes the habitat of a monkey. Little Zoologist will learn about microscopes, conservation centers and how to study animals. This is a wonderful introduction to different objects and animals found at the zoo.
For Children grades (K-3)
Sandy Feet! Whose Feet would be a wonderful book to read in the summer. Readers will meet a sandpiper who hops, crabs who scuttle alongside the shore, and pelicans that scoop up a fish for lunch. Children will also learn about starfish and barnacles. At the end of the book the family who visits the beach leaves footprints in the sand. Try reading this book with your children at the beach.
30 Fun Things to do Outdoors
60 Active Games
The Bronx Zoo
Children’s Adventure Garden (The Botanical Gardens)
Create a Fairy Garden
Great Outdoors Month
The High Line Park
Hiking Trails for Families
Stargazing with your children
Teatown Lake Reserve