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With Spring on it's way and the promise of time to spend outdoors in the better weather, here's a fabulous selection of books that will help you and your children enjoy your garden and the great outdoors and perhaps even discover a life-long hobby in the making.
A spin-off from Andrea Beaty’s and David Roberts’s inspiring and ground-breaking Rosie Revere, Engineer this eye-catching activity book will get children themselves thinking and creating like real engineers. While it tells them exactly how to create contraptions such as a catapult and a solar oven, more importantly it explains how engineers think, and challenges readers to ask questions, test things and imagine how the world around them could be improved. Most crucial of all, it reveals that failure is nothing to be ashamed of but in fact – along with persistence – a crucial part of success. Creativity is essential to engineers, the book says, and there are lots of pages on which children can draw and note down ideas; fun and empowering. ~ Andrea Reece
This is a wonderful way for young children to discover different emotions in a fun, creative way. Full of drawing based activities, Yasmeen Ismail's playful illustrations invite children to express themselves and add to the fun with their own drawings, doodles and decorations. What has made Dog happy? Do you know what Cat is scared of? And why is Donkey so excited? Lots to look at and talk about and the added bonus of the encouraged activities make this a lovely book to share with young children learning to understand their feelings.
Bright and enticing, this activity book and the rainbow coloured ink pad will provide lots of fingerprint fun for all your little, budding artists. Children will delight in adding their own fingerprint art throughout the pages following the simple instructions. Highlighting the many delights found in the garden, they will be able to create birds, frogs, caterpillars, flowers, playful puppies and much, much more, all using a simple fingerprint technique. Colourful, cheery and easy to use this great little activity book comes complete with all the ink pads you need for your little ones to add their own creativity to the pictures and have some great (slightly) messy play. It’s so enticing you’ll be itching to have a go yourself just as we did in the Lovereading4kids office. It's great fun! ~ Shelley Fallows
Taking us through a toddler’s day, from waking up and breakfast to dinner time and bedtime, this lively book is full of essential words illustrated in jolly and cosy scenes that the very young will instantly recognise. Books like this are a perfect way to practise vocabulary and to help little children develop word-picture association. It’s also a lovely, easy book to share, each page providing heaps of things to look at and talk about. ~ Andrea Reece
Nature lovers of all ages will find lots to laugh at in this totally nutty book which contains hundreds of jokes based on the British countryside and its wildlife. To give you a flavour of what to expect: why don’t owls go courting in the rain? It’s too wet to woo. Geddit? As well as the jokes there are lots of strange and unusual facts about the animals around us all illustrated in typically inky and vibrant style by Sarah Horne. Lots of fun to dip into wherever you are, but this could be just the thing to take on a country walk or journey to the seaside. ~ Andrea Reece The Editor at Nosy Crow says “For anyone that loves being outdoors, or even anyone that just enjoys a good chuckle, this is the book to get you laughing. Ned the Nature Nut’s terrific compilation of jokes will have children roaring with laughter!”
An entertain-your-brain activity book that's creative, clever and fun - from every angle! Bear, Duck and Rabbit lead the reader through a topsy-turvy world of opposites and differences, inviting young artists everywhere to pick up pencils, crayons or paints and let their imaginations soar. A lovely book to explore, share and draw in! Part of a set of three exciting creative activity books on differences and opposites, designed to get kids thinking, doodling and drawing!
Bear, Duck and Rabbit take little artists on big adventures - outside and inside, up and down, left to right and back again! Yasmeen Ismail's simple, amusing line art helps children identify word meanings, look at things from a variety of perspectives and get creative on every page. With friendly characters and inspiring art work this lovely activity book will encourage young children to explore their drawing skills as well as word meanings and opposites.
With its pretty but accurate illustrations of familiar birds, bugs and animals this is a lovely way to teach children about the natural world around them. Fun, simple activities encourage them to spot and name different birds, to closely examine different types of insect, and match animals to their footprints. There are also hundreds of colour stickers – birds, bats, bees, butterflies and more – that they can use to decorate outdoor scenes. A fun and informative indoor book to encourage an interest in the outdoors and enrich trips to the park, countryside, or even just days in the garden. ~ Andrea Reece
Discover London's best-kept secrets, amazing stories and loads of other cool stuff guaranteed to blow your mind, that are definitely off the tourist trail from the comfort of your own home or while visiting the city! But, you don't have to be a visitor or armchair traveller to enjoy this - Londoners are sure to learn new things about their very own city too! This book is perfect for anyone who has been to London, plans to go there or is just interested in finding out more about this amazing city! In a nutshell it's a book about London that's seriously streetwise. In the same series: City Trails - New York City Trails - Paris
Spring is approaching, the perfect time to get kids away from screens and outdoors, and this clever activity pack will do just that. Its attractive 24 page book is full of ideas on ways to have and record adventures, whether in the countryside, park or back garden: it tells you how to create a collection, and suggests ways to label it; it shows you how to find and record colours in nature – why not make a paint palette with squashed berries or petals; two pages are dedicated to sticks and what you can do with them! It’s truly inspiring stuff and there are extra goodies including fold up frames for your collection, a poster so that you can draw your favourite discoveries, and an expedition envelope to keep them safe. Perfect for weekend or holiday fun. ~ Andrea Reece You might also like the companion Little Collectors title Nature Art.
There’s so much more for young children to learn from this gorgeous board book than just how to count. Rosalind Beardshaw’s two little friends enjoy an autumn walk, and not only do they discover all sorts of wild creatures and flowers along the way, but they try out some of the sorts of things that the National Trust want every child to do: they collect acorns, cross a river on stepping stones, chase falling leaves, pick and eat blackberries and walk under the stars. It’s a lovely book to share, with lots to talk about, and will make children see the outdoors as a place of happy adventure too. ~ Andrea Reece And there's a lovely companion title; A Walk in the Countryside ABC.
Little children love sticker books and this one is genuinely lovely and full of interesting facts and information about British animals too. There are eleven different scenes to be decorated with stickers, and each one is a natural setting beautifully depicted. There’s a garden with molehills, badgers and a hedgehog waiting for the addition of moles, slugs and foxes; an underground scene that shows how badgers and rabbits live; a woodland scenes with baby animals; and beach scenes too. The stickers are just as lovely and include otters, bats, seals, deer and even beavers. This will be worth keeping and reading even after the last sticker has been stuck. ~ Andrea Reece The Editor at Nosy Crow says: “There’s nothing quite like a sticker book for keeping little ones busy – so with beautiful animal stickers and lots of detail to add to every scene, this book will provide hours of entertainment.”
From exploring the great out-doors to exploring great cities let some of these books be your children's guide.
Join some experts in each of their fields and let them guide you through birds and wildlife in your garden and beyond, get your children growing their own vegetables, learn about survival and so much more.
So leave that computer or television behind and get out there and enjoy yourselves!
Click here to download an activity pack, produced by Julia Green, the author of The Wilderness War, full of exciting outdoor activities to do including building a campfire, making a pond, ID the trees around you, go tracking animals and lots more.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.