The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book:
448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up
by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer (Guilford, CT: Falcon Guides, 2013), 224 pp.
Reviewed by Michael D. Barton
n an ideal world, kids would spend more time playing outside, in their neighborhoods, at local parks, and exploring natural areas near where they live. Parents would un-hesitantly encourage this. Unfortunately, we live in a world flooded with technological devices vying for our kids’ attention and after school hours scheduled all the way up to dinner and beyond. Fortunately, scores of national, regional, and local organizations are making headway in making playing outdoors nature connection an integral component of our everyday lives. As much good as these organizations are doing, the need to get kids outside is first and foremost the role of the parent.
Surely, not all parents over-schedule their kids or put technology in their faces at the first sign of boredom. But, there are many who need advice and encouragement for making that step to raising an outdoor child. And ideas! This is where books like The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer come in:
Tornio and Keffer run the website Destination Nature, and after some time sharing their passion for getting kids into nature in the online world, thought it would be great to make a book out of it. And what a book it is! With vibrant illustrations from Rachel Riordan, Tornio and Keffer share a wealth of ideas for playing outside, exploring in nature, eating healthy, being artsy, and the types of places to visit. Combine The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up with Suz Lipman’s Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World and Jennifer Ward’s trio – Let’s Go Outside!: Outdoor Activities and Projects to Get You and Your Kids Closer to Nature, I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature, and It’s a Jungle Out There!: 52 Nature Adventures for City Kids – and you’ve got a recipe for an outdoor kid. David Mizejewski writes in a Foreward for the book: “The thought of the next generation – our kids – growing up into adults who don’t care about protecting wilderness areas, about keeping our air and water clean, or about saving wildlife because they had no opportunity as a child to experience the natural world around them is a scary prospect.”
Thank you to folks like Tornio and Keffer for helping to turn the tide and reconnect kids to nature. More important, thank you to the parents who will pick up a book like The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up. You are where the change begins in getting kids to have outdoor adventures!
Michael D. Barton is a father of two children who has a passion for exploring natural areas with them. He blogs at Exploring Portland’s Natural Areas http://exploreportlandnature.wordpress.com/