Generation Wild Library

Books and apps and bears.
Oh my.

It can be tough to figure out how to motivate your kids to go outside and play. Here are some awesome recommendations on books and apps that will help you raise an outdoor kid. They certainly helped inspire and inform the Generation Wild movement, and we hope they will do the same for you.

Kids grow better outside. It says so in all the books.

There’s so much to learn about the wonderful effects that nature can have on you and your child, but we also understand how precious your time is. We’ve curated a selection of books from the best minds on the subject as well as things to read with your kiddos. Here are a few of our favorites. And we’ll have more every month. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, so you won’t miss a single one.

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The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

This is a timeless tale of unconditional love, told through the perspective of a boy’s favorite tree. Read (or reread) this children’s classic by Shel Silverstein to help your kiddos discover a love of trees and maybe even find a favorite tree of their own.

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Run Wild

Run Wild

Sometimes kids need a little reminder of how fun and carefree life can be when they’re exploring the natural world. Run Wild, by David Covell, offers that and more.

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Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

One of the most amazing things about the outdoors is that it makes a child’s imagination come to life. Maurice Sendak captures that childlike wonder extraordinarily well in this classic children’s book.

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Last Child in the Woods

Last Child in the Woods

This is one of the leading books that introduces research that shows nature is essential for healthy childhood development. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to reunite children and nature. And many are right in your own backyard.

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How to Raise a Wild Child

How to Raise a Wild Child

You don’t need to be Swiss Family Robinson to raise a wild child. And this book proves it. Sampson reveals how adults can help kids fall in love with nature—enlisting technology as an ally, taking advantage of urban nature, and instilling a deep sense of place along the way.

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Balanced and Barefoot

Balanced and Barefoot

Angela J. Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist, shows how outdoor play and unstructured freedom of movement are vital for children’s cognitive development and growth. And on top of that, she offers tons of fun, engaging ways to help ensure that kids grow into healthy, balanced and resilient adults.

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Even technology has a place in this wild, wild world.

Like it or not, kids today would be lost without technology. So why fight it when you can use technology to engage your kids in outdoor activities? That’s the whole idea behind these apps. They were created to inspire you and your kids to get out there and explore.

Merlin App

Merlin

A great way of getting kids interested in the outdoors is to help them understand the natural world around them. This free app from the Cornell Lab does just that by identifying any bird in North America.

IOS App StoreGoogle Play Store
CORTEX App

Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX)

There are almost 40,000 miles of public trails in Colorado. This app is your guide to exploring them. Created by the outdoors experts at Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, COTREX features maps for the trailheads across federal, state, local, and private lands with public access in Colorado.

IOS App StoreGoogle Play Store
Sky Guide App

Sky Guide

You’ll definitely want this app for your next family camping trip. Sky Guide makes stargazing simple. Just hold it overhead to automatically find stars, constellations, planets, satellites, and more.

IOS App Store ($2.99)

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