Helping Kids Connect and Learn from Nature: Books for Kids GIVEAWAY

May 20, 2015

Helping Kids Connect and Learn from Nature through Field Guides from

Week at a Glance:

  • Books for Kids GIVEAWAY: Pond Life A Golden Guide
  • Using Field Guides to Connect Kids to Nature
  • Using Field Guides to Help Children Learn about Nature

Look what I caught: FREE printable book

Is it Important to Raise a Wild Child?

With spring fresh in the air and summer approaching quickly, it is that time of year for children to get outdoors and get exploring. I recently began reading How to Raise A Wild Child by the Scott D. Sampson, the science advisor and host of the PBS show Dinosaur Train. He shares some alarming statics about today’s children:

  • “The average American boy or girl spends four to seven minutes of a day outdoors.”
  • “By  comparison, those same average American kids devote more than seven hours daily to staring at screens, replacing reality with virtual alternatives.”
  • “Today, about 18 percent of our kids six and older are obese.”
  • “In 2014, nearly six million children in the United States . . . took Ritalin.”

Growing a Morning Glory Tepee with Children

Sampson is not all about sharing startling news concerning the state of our children. The goal of How to Raise A Wild Child is to help parents, educators, and others become nature mentors for the children in their lives. This is a movement with which I am totally on board! I grew up as a wild child. My friends and I spent hours a day outdoors engaged in unsupervised play and exploration. Vivid memories that nurtured within me a true appreciation for nature, exploration, imagination and creative play.

Teaching Children to Explore Nature with Field Guides from

Why we love Golden Guide Field Guides for Kids:

Our explorations with Field Guides began when Grandma gave MacGyver the Butterflies and Moths Golden Guide. Being fairly unfamiliar with Field Guides, I was surprised to find MacGyver constantly thumbing through the pages, grabbing it as he ran out the backdoor and basically dragging it everywhere we went. Soon he was able to identify numerous caterpillars and their butterflies. Additionally, he began collecting host and nectar plants to attract specific butterflies and months.

Teaching Children to Explore Nature with Field Guides from

Why Golden Guide Field Guides?

Quickly our collection of Golden Guides began to grow. (This photo features only the beginning of our collection.) You can see the edges of the covers and pages are battered from use. We are drawn to science oriented books and have looked through many field guides. Golden Guide Field Guides are by far the best we’ve found for kids. The guides are small allowing them to be truly portable when hiking and exploring. And yet they are packed with information. Not a lot of fluff and distracting text and graphics. Rather simple straight forward facts.

Golden Guide Field Guide Topics

One of the things I appreciate about the Golden Guide Series is the variety of topics they offer. From Volcanoes to Trees, to Sea Life. I can almost guarantee, you’ll find a topic that will interest the little nature lover in your life. Or even better, a topic to get a child in you life engaged in nature.

Helping Kids Connect & Learn from Nature from

Field Guides in the Real World

A few weeks ago, my niece sent me a photo of this wacky looking caterpillar with a message that read, “Ask MacGyver what this is!” She knows that MacGyver is familiar with many caterpillars and butterflies. But she also knew that if he wasn’t familiar with this little guy, he would find out.

Helping Kids Connect & Learn from Nature from

After viewing the photo of the fuzzy-wuzzy little guy, MacGyver announced that it was definitely a moth caterpillar. Without any prompting, he grabbed his field guide and began searching until he found the answer . . . a tussock moth.

Helping Kids Connect & Learn from Nature from

MacGyver suggested I include a photo from his backyard butterfly house. He is thrilled to have at least 25 black swallowtail caterpillars/chrysalis currently in his care. That will be some butterfly display!

frog habitat release 2

 Pond Life Golden Guide Field Guide

I selected Pond Life for our Books for Kids GIVEAWAY because this is the time of year when pond life begins to change and an abundance of life appears. Pond Life begins with an introduction to ponds and includes a good variety of plants, animals and insects. It’s the perfect initiation into the use of Field Guides.

Helping Kids Connect & Learn from Nature from

We’re GIVING AWAY one copy of Pond Life a Golden Guide

To enter this contest, use the Rafflecopter to answer the following question. After you leave a comment, you can move ahead with more entries.

Answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

Did you play outdoors often as a child? What is a favorite outdoor memory?  (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)

The Rules:

No entries after 11:59 pm Central Time, Sunday, May 31, 2015

The winner must be a resident of The United States.

The winner will be selected at random and announced Monday, June 1, 2015. Check back to claim your prize. It might be you!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sharing this week at:

Mama Smiles

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara H May 21, 2015 at 7:45 am

I grew up on 18 acres, mostly wooded. So my best friend and I spent most of our time outdoors.

Sarah May 21, 2015 at 10:18 am

Yes! We had full run of 10 acres that included a barn and pond–lots of places to get up clos and personal with nature!

Candis May 21, 2015 at 11:15 pm

I didn’t play often outdoors as a child but I am learning to LOVE it now as I learn along with my girls studying nature. I found a few Golden Guides at the used bookstore last year and completely agree that they are the perfect size and the perfect amount of information for a beginning naturalist like myself and my children!

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