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Books that Inpsire Imaginative Play Outdoors in Nature

Lindsay Shaw, Providence Athenauem children’s librarian, shares this fabulous list of books for outdoor reading in the park, backayard, or beach–titles ripe for imaginative play using naturally occurring park materials and other “bits and pieces” you may find around your house. – Anisa

IManMoon have selected titles that relate to (or can inspire), nature awareness, movement, imaginative play, community and adventure. All titles are organized by general recommended age groupings and identified by what the story relates to.

N = nature awareness, M = movement, C = community, IP = imaginative play, A= adventure

Good for: Ages 18 months – 3 years

The Zoo in my Garden — Chiyoko Nakatani  (N, IP)

Clip-Clop — Nicola Smee   (M, N)

What Game Shall We Play? — Pat Hutchins (IP, N)

Play with Me — Marie Hall Ets   (IP, N)

In the Forest — Marie Hall Ets    (IP, N)

The Very Busy Spider — Eric Carle  (N)

We’ve All Got Belly Buttons — David Martin (M, N)

Wiggle — Doreen Cronin  (M)

Hide and Seek — Il Sung Na (IP, N)

Scoot — Cathryn Falwell (M, N)

Over in the Meadow — John Langstaff (N)

Good for: Ages 3-5

Captain Small Pig — Martin Wadell (IP, N)

Harry the Dirty Dog — Gene Zion (C, P)

The Little Red Hen — Jerry Pinkney there are many editions but this one is particularly nicely illustrated (C, N)

Ol’ Mama Squirrel — David Ezra Stein (N)

The Curious Garden — Peter Brown   (N, IP)

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing — John Burningham (N, IP, C)

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt — Michael Rosen (N, IP, M )

Pete the Cat: Play Ball! — James Dean ( M )

Little Hippos Adventure — Lena Landström (IP, N, C)

I want to be a Cowgirl — Jean Willis (IP)

A Whistle for Willie — Ezra Jack Keats (IP, C)

Good for: Ages 5-7

Little Pig is Capable — Denis Roche   (IP, N, A)

Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee — Chris Van Dusen (N)

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee — Chris Van Dusen (N)

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain — Edward Ardizzone (IP, A, C)

Weslandia — Paul Fleischman (N, C, IP)

Coyote Steals the Blanket: An Ute Tale — Janet Stevens (N, M)

Pig Pig Goes to Camp — David MacPhail (N, C)

A Chair for My Mother — Vera B. Williams (C)

Regards to the Man in the Moon — Ezra Jack Keats (IP, C)

The Great Kapok Tree — Lynne Cherry (N)


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