Outdoor learning

2019 – Books to inspire learning outdoors

Jan Homden has collated book reviews from Amazon which encourage learning outdoors. From Forest Schools, to simply building opportunities into the weekly timetable to take a lesson or two outdoors, find out how to help children understand that learning takes place everywhere and to experience the unique learning opportunities that arise from being outdoors.

Click on the book covers to follow links to the reviews. Also, listen to Sir Ken Robinson, as he discusses why you should encourage teaching outside. To read more about learning outdoors choose an article from a selection published by The Guardian.

Forest School Adventure: Outdoor Skills and Play for Children – Paperback by Dan Westall (Author), Naomi Walmsley (Author) released 7 May 2018.

‘Learn how to light a fire without matches, build a shelter to sleep in, cook on a fire, hunt for bugs and much more. From essential bushcraft basics and Stone Age survival skills to joyful outdoor play, this book is packed with ideas to bring your little ones closer to nature and all its magical offerings.’

‘Dan Westall and Naomi Walmsley run Outback2Basics from their patch of woodland in the UK where they provide unique experiences for school children and teachers to connect to nature.’


Forest Craft: A Child’s Guide to Whittling in the Woodland – Paperback by Richard Irvine (Author) released 7 Feb 2019


The Forest Club: A Year of Activities, Crafts, and Exploring Nature – Hardcover by Kris Hirschmann (Author), Marta Antelo (Illustrator) released 20 Jun 2019

National Trust: I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree: A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year – Hardcover by Fiona Waters (Author), Frann Preston-Gannon (Illustrator) published 6 Sep 2018

‘I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree, named after the first line of Judith Nicholls’ poem ‘Windsong’, is a lavishly illustrated collection of 366 nature poems – one for every day of the year, including leap years. Filled with familiar favourites and new discoveries, written by a wide variety of poets, including –

John Agard, William Blake, Emily Bronte, Charles Causley, Walter de la Mare, Emily Dickinson, Carol Ann Duffy, Eleanor Farjeon, Robert Frost, Thomas Hardy, Roger McGough, Christina Rossetti, William Shakespeare, John Updike, William Wordsworth and many more.

This is the perfect book for children (and grown-ups!) to share at the beginning or the end of the day, or just to dip into.’


The Stick Book: Loads of things you can make or do with a stick (Going Wild) – Paperback by Fiona Danks (Author), Jo Schofield  (Author)15 Mar 2012

101 Things For Kids To Do Outside – Paperback by Dawn Isaac (Author)– published 27 Mar 2014

The Outdoor Classroom in Practice, Ages 3–7: A Month-By-Month Guide to Forest School Provision – Paperback by Karen Constable  (Author) – published 15 Oct 2018

‘The Outdoor Classroom in Practice, Ages 3-7 offers guidance on how the outdoors can be used to teach and challenge children across a range of settings by drawing on forest school practice. Following a month-by-month format, it explores theme-related play experiences, planning, evaluations of how the ideas described were carried out and what impact they had on children’s learning and development.’


‘This fully updated second edition includes:

  • over 150 new full-colour photographs to illustrate practice
  • activities and objectives for both early years and KS1, including links to indoor play
  • discussion and support for those working with children with special educational needs
  • detailed information on the role of the adult and of the environment
  • sections covering health and safety guidelines and specific risk assessment in all chapters

Written by a leading authority on forest school practice, this book aims to inspire and help practitioners make the most of the outdoor environment all year round.’


The Little Book of Outside in All Weathers: Little Books with Big Ideas (Little Books) – Paperback by Sally Featherstone (Author, Editor), Sarah Featherstone (Illustrator) published 1 Feb 2003

Also have a look at the Little Book of Outdoor Play in the same series.

‘This book focuses on the environment for outdoor play, giving you hundreds of ideas for making your outdoor area into an exciting garden for all children.’



Jan Homden, Consilium Education
An early years teaching specialist and designer, Jan has taught in international
schools around the world and is now responsible for design and research at Consilium Education.


Sir Ken Robinson shares five reasons you should take your class outside. Nature is a powerful resource.

Click on the image to follow the link





To read more about Learning Outdoors choose an article to look at from The Guardian.

Click on the image to follow the link. 







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