Family DIY

8 Children’s Books to Boost Imagination and Get Kids Outside

We all live by routines, day in and day out, even our kids! They wake up, go to school, go to sports or band practice, ride the bus home, do their homework, eat dinner, and go to bed. Between all of that, more than likely, their eyes are glued to an electronic device. When summer has ended, how often do your kids get outside and detach from the electronics and weekly grind? Keeping them motivated and active throughout the year can be tough, especially when you have your own set of to-dos to worry about. Maybe the inspiration to get outside doesn’t have to come from you, but rather a new fictional friend. Here are 8 books that will give your child the itch to explore!

The Runaway Bunny

By Margaret Wise Brown

Summary: A little bunny keeps running away from his mother in this imaginary game of hide-and-seek. Children will be profoundly comforted by this lovingly steadfast mother who finds her child every time.

Age Recommendation: 2+yrs

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

By Helen Oxenbury

Summary: Full of delightful comedy and high drama, this tale of a brave family’s joyous romp through sweeping landscapes is sure to win new fans.

Age Recommendation: 2yrs – 5yrs

Mice Skating

By Annie Silvestro and Teagan White

Summary: For most field mice, winter means burrowing down and snuggling in. But not for Lucy! She loves snow crunching under her paws and wearing a fluffy wool hat. And most of all, Lucy loves to skate, and she’s just ACHING to show off her new skill with her friends. After all, a winter wonderland is twice as nice when you have friends to enjoy it with. But the other mice just don’t understand—and after a disastrous indoor snowball fight, it looks as if they never will. Can Lucy find a way to make the other mice come out and “mice skate” too?

Age Recommendation: 3yrs – 7yrs

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day

By Beatrice Alemagna

Summary: My mom says it’s a waste of time, but without my game, nothing is fun! On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong about that… This picture book with startlingly beautiful words and pictures will spur imagination and a break from boredom or screen time. All I want to do on a rainy day like today is play my game.

Age Recommendation: 4yrs – 8yrs

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee

By Chris Van Dusen

Summary: Mr. Magee and his trusty dog, Dee, are enjoying a peaceful camping trip when all of a sudden they find themselves plunging down a mountain and teetering on the edge of a huge waterfall! How will they find their way out of this slippery situation?

Age Recommendation: 4yrs – 7yrs

Island of the Blue Dolphins

By Scott O’Dell

Summary: Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches. Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply.

Age Recommendation: 7yrs – 10yrs

Crown and Weasel

By Barry Lopez

Summary: Long ago, when people and animals spoke the same language, two young men left their tribe to make an adventurous voyage through the wilderness, into the unknown northland. Set in the mythic past and inspired by the traditions of the North American Plains people, this fable of self-discovery follows Crow and Weasel as they face unfamiliar perils on a quest for knowledge and wisdom.

Age Recommendation: 9yrs – 12yrs


By Will Hobbs

Summary: No adults, no permit, no river map. After fifteen-year-old Jessie gets sent to Discovery Unlimited, an outdoor education program, she and six companions “borrow” the company’s rafting gear and take off down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on their own. Floating beneath sheer red walls, camping on white sand beaches, and exploring caves and waterfalls, Jessie and the others are having the time of their lives—at first. But when they’re pursued by helicopters, they boldly push on into the black-walled inner gorge, the heart of the Grand Canyon, only to encounter huge rapids, bone-chilling rain, injuries, and conflict within the group. What will be the consequences of their reckless adventure?

Age Recommendation: 10yrs – 13yrs

Give your child a sense of adventure and push their imagination with one of these books that sure to get them out of the house! Splashway – Texas Campground – will be waiting when you’re ready to explore and enjoy adventure as a family.