I was wondering if others in the community would be willing to share their favorite books and/or products that were useful in either a) helping their children reconnect with nature or b) have enabled others that you know to reconnect with nature.
Hi, Mike! I think those interested in the movement to get more kids involved in outdoors activities would be interested in this book (disclosure: I'm the editor of Crickhollow Books!).
Saving Sailing: The Story of Choices, Families, Time Commitments
and How We Can Create a Better Future
by Nicholas D. Hayes
Crickhollow Books (Oct. 2009)
It builds a case for choosing how to spend free time better, using it to seek quality outdoors experiences with families and friends through lifelong pastimes like sailing . . . and similar recreational / cultural activities.
For more, can check out the Saving Sailing website -- lots of ideas and discussion for folks trying to plan programs for youth. www.SavingSailing.com
The author, Nick Hayes, is currently involved with the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center to develop low-cost, participatory youth programs to get kids out on the water and learning to love it . . . as a lifelong interest.
1) I'd second the suggestion about magnifiers. It can be helpful to carry an assortment of shapes and sizes.
2) My favorite is containers to keep found objects - seeds, stones, shells, whatever. I always carry some paper bags, and a few small metal containers (re-purposed from a popular brand of peppermint candy) for fragile items.
At home, containers with multiple sections are popular for storing "exhibits" for later study. I use cardboard egg cartons. If you are okay with plastics there are containers sold for keeping rubber stamps, scrapbook items, etc. (Be sure to test the latch mechanism with your kids before buying. It's important to be able to open the cover without spilling everything on the floor.)