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As an avid reader and lover of the outdoors, it’s no surprise that I gravitate towards books that incorporate nature. Once I then became a parent, I started reading books that talked about taking your kids outside. In this post, I will share with you some of my favourite books from the past couple of years that have made a huge impact on me and my parenting journey. These are 7 of my favourite books for an outdoor parent.
Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols. This book is a must-read for anyone who is planning to become pregnant or is currently pregnant. The author, Lily Nichols, is a registered dietitian and nutritionist who debunks the common myths surrounding pregnancy nutrition and offers practical advice on how to nourish your body and your growing baby with real, whole foods. I loved this book because it gave me the confidence to trust my body and my instincts when it came to nutrition during pregnancy. It comes with some easy recipes in the back and I constantly refer to it. Honestly, you need this book. I think that how I ate during pregnancy and after is a big reason that Aster is as smart and capable as she is. She also has a great blog post for starting solids that I highly recommend you check out when you get to that point with your child: Read it here.
Hunt, Gather, Parent by Michaeleen Doucleff. This book is a fascinating read about how parents in indigenous cultures raise self-sufficient, resilient, and happy children without the help of modern parenting advice. The author, Michaeleen Doucleff, is an award-winning journalist who shares her experiences of traveling around the world and learning from different cultures. I loved this book because it challenged my beliefs about what it means to be a good parent and inspired me to incorporate more play, exploration, and adventure into our lives. It also made me realize that I don’t need to plan activities or have a child focused schedule. Kids are built to just do life with us and that the real world is the best teacher. This book has made me much more aware of how much toddlers want to help out and how we need to let them.
Balanced and Barefoot by Angela J. Hanscom. This book is a great resource for parents who want to understand the benefits of unstructured play and outdoor time for children’s physical, mental, and emotional development. The author, Angela J. Hanscom, is a pediatric occupational therapist who shares her insights and experiences of working with children who struggle with sensory issues, ADHD, and other developmental challenges. I loved this book because it provided practical tips and activities that I can use to encourage my little to move, play, and explore outdoors. This book has helped me just sit back and let Aster explore and use her imagination. I don’t set up activities for her and I just let her mind go wild and marvel at what she comes up with. It also brings up the importance of risky play and I love watching Aster gain more confidence and develop incredible problem solving skills.
Outdoor Kids in an Inside World by Steven Rinella. This book is a great guide for parents who want to introduce their children to the joys of hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. The author, Steven Rinella, is an avid outdoorsman and a host of the MeatEater podcast and TV show. I loved this book because it reminded me of the importance of passing down traditional skills and knowledge to the next generation and the benefits of connecting with nature through hunting and fishing. There are no shortage of books out there talking about raising kids outdoors, but there are few that I have come across that look at things from the perspective hunting and fishing and the activities that we love to do as a family. I love pretty much everything that Steven Rinella does and I loved getting a glimpse inside his mind about parenting.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This book is a beautiful collection of essays that explores the relationship between humans and the natural world from a Native American perspective. The author, Robin Wall Kimmerer, is a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. I loved this book because it taught me to see nature as a teacher and a source of wisdom and to cultivate a reciprocal relationship with the land. This book spoke to a deep part of my soul and I couldn’t put it down. It makes me want to be a better parent and a better human. I literally sobbed for a whole four hour plane ride home from Montreal because of how beautiful and moving it is. Everyone needs to read this book.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle. This book is a powerful memoir that challenges societal expectations of women and encourages readers to live authentically and bravely. The author, Glennon Doyle, is a bestselling author, activist, and speaker who shares her personal journey of self-discovery and transformation. I loved this book because it reminded me of the importance of being true to myself and following my passions, even if it means breaking the rules and taking risks. As a parent herself, she talks about raising kids and what that means to her and it changed the way that I think about myself and the world and the responsibility of raising humans. It’s a beautiful book and a must-read. My husband, Reid, even read it before we had our little girl and I think that that was so important.
Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book is a practical guide to building good habits and breaking bad ones by making small, incremental changes. The author, James Clear, is a writer and a speaker who draws on scientific research and real-life examples to explain how habits work and how to optimize them for success. I loved this book because it helped me understand the power of habits in shaping my behavior and gave me the tools to create positive habits that support my goals and values. It makes me a better parent because we all know that when you become a parent, your time and focus completely shifts to making sure this little human stays alive and well. By having solid habits in place, it makes taking care of myself a bit easier and requires less brainpower and then I am able to take care of my little girl better.
I hope that this list of my favourite books has inspired you to explore new ideas and perspectives on parenting and the outdoors. I would love to know what your favourite books are, and how they have impacted your parenting or outdoor experiences. Please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below! And if you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my blog for more inspiration and tips on raising adventurous and nature-loving kids. Happy reading!