A Note About Earth Day
We are an “Earth Day Every Day” sort of family, but I love the idea of setting a day aside to celebrate our wonderful planet and inspire ourselves and others to care for it.
My kids witness the harm done to our precious natural world with their own personal experience and observation: we find trash in our woods all the time, they have seen signs up in protected spaces asking people to not trample a sensitive area, we observed boat motor scars on the backs of Manatees while on vacation in Florida, and we have talked about how chemicals upstream from us sometimes make our lake unsafe to swim in.
I am not interested in being so heavy-handed with my kids and to forcibly burden them. I mainly focus on giving them an out-of-doors life, care-free, for hours of unstructured time each day. The already love the Earth; I do not need to tell them they should.
“Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life.” -Charlotte Mason
I do find, though, that reading books together we can work out some of that angst we naturally witness and feel. Learning more about our home called Earth, how to care for it, and what a nature-advocate looks like are important lessons and need not be approached in a way that robs children of childhood. We just need to start with love.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” -Jane Goodall
With that in mind, here is a list of Earth Day inspired stories and reference books.
Picture Books: Fiction
Nonfiction & Reference
Below are some favorite nature nonfiction and reference books we own and peruse often. But first I want to share this previous blog post:
Favorite Naturalist Picture Book Biographies
The post above includes favorite children’s biographies of Jane Goodall, Beatrix Potter, Rachel Carsen, David Attenborough, John James Audubon, John Muir, and many more!
I tried to keep the list above condensed as much as possible, but be sure to also check out these favorite nature-based authors:
Books for Nature Engagement
Books for Parents