If you’ve clicked to read this post it’s probably because you’re an educator who puts your children at the heart of education. Any educator who does so knows that curiosity is the key to purposeful learning, and that the outdoors provides an environment for real-life context. Combined they bring about a rich tapestry of deeper understanding. In today’s modern world it’s more important than ever to educate our children in caring for & protecting nature, ensuring that they become environmentally conscious adults who strive to protect the future of our planet.
To help you establish a love of the natural world & evoke curiosity in your classroom, we have recommended 3 books for each Primary Key Stage! These books could be planned into upcoming curriculum topics, or simply provide a fantastic one-off read to engage children’s interest in nature! Either way they provide a natural progression into some child-led exploration and learning outdoors! So grab yourself a notepad, scroll through to your age-range & take note of our recommended reads!
This gorgeous story is about a child and their grandfather taking a stroll through their local neighbourhood. The beautiful illustrations bring this story to life for younger children and encourages them to look closely when they are next out on a walk. It links perfectly with children’s curiosity outdoors and you could even challenge them to see how many new things they can spy when you’re next outside!
This is an enchanting poetry book that links into lots of different aspects of nature. The collection of short poems makes it accessible for younger children, while the illustrations link perfectly to what children might see when out and about. This book will encourage lots of curiosity and play outside. Prepare to get slightly messy!
This book tells the story of a tiny seed on it’s journey into becoming a magnificent flower. But along the way the seed faces lots of obstacles to overcome, showing how in the natural world there are lots of factors involved in a flower’s life cycle. This story is a lovely way to introduce the life cycle of flowers to younger children and will encourage lots of budding gardeners to get a little more green fingered and plant and take care of their own seeds!
This is a gorgeously illustrated picture book all about a young child’s imagination about a river’s journey to the sea. Along the way, they pass lots of different landscapes and habitats, represented by captivating illustrations. This story is perfect to introduce children to the world around them and how environments differ. It will encourage lots of curiosity around rivers, streams and even unusual pathways when they next go on a walk.
This book is a lovely unusual read. It’s a double sided fold out book that reaches an impressive 2.5 metres long! It details through every fold how the world appears beneath the streets in both the city and the countryside. While there is a lot of text and facts along the way, it’s a great one to read along with children to encourage their imagination and curiosity about the world around them. *Warning – may encourage digging!*
This book is a little harder to get hold of, but there are a few places you can buy it online, and if you manage it, it’s really worth it! The beautiful poetry throughout this book contains lots of facts about all sorts of nature that children will notice around them. It showcases a journey through the seasons and how nature changes around them. It will educate and inspire young minds about their world!
This is a fabulous book for years 3 & 4, detailing the adventures of Max the hedgehog. It contains lots of valuable life lessons for young readers, while also engaging them in an entertaining story. After reading this, children will be eager to learn more about hedgehogs and help Max to find a way to cross the busy roads, encouraging them to think about the wildlife in their own garden and streets!
This encapsulating story is suitable for years 5 & 6. Beginning with a plane crash that leaves 4 children alone in the amazon jungle, there is hope that they will get out and survive this. A fantastic read, centred around well developed characters, it would make a fantastic class novel. Inspiring children to become explorers is inevitable when reading this story and proves that exploration is always possible, even in their own back garden!
This is a fascinating non-fiction book for children (and adults too!) filled with facts about the natural world. Told in an informative, yet lively way, this book has some beautiful illustrations to accompany the many facts and fascinations of nature. It’s bound to intrigue children with surprising facts and is guaranteed to promote their curiosity of their natural world!
Hopefully there’s been a few books in there that you haven’t considered before, or possibly even heard of! There are infinite interpretations you could make of each book to inspire your children to explore outside. Whether you choose to develop an activity or topic around it, or just let them be curious, all of these books will help your children understand the world a little bit more with each read!
If developing curiosity in children’s education and connecting them to the natural world is something you & your school are passionate about, consider one of our outdoor workshops. We combine the curriculum with nature, providing children with memorable, first-hand learning experiences right in your own setting’s outdoor environment. You can browse the topics we cover below!