Summer is here, which means travel and vacation season is upon us! While beaches and resorts may scream summer vacation, there are plenty of ways to get in a good adventure that will bring your family memories for years to come! Let the following books inspire you for an adventure-filled summer.
Backpacker ABCs by Heather Legler
Backpacker ABCs is a great way to introduce your young ones to adventures in backpacking, and it encourages them to, “Hike your own hike.” Whether or not you want to backpack with young children, this book is a great way to introduce this adventure to your child. From packing up the car to a quote from John Muir, this book will show your young hikers all the beauty that a backpacking trip can offer. Filled with beautiful illustrations and rhyme, Backpacker ABCs makes an excellent read aloud for children from birth through preschool and beyond.
For free printables, coloring book, read-along video, and parent and teacher resources, visit backpackerABCs.com.
Author Heather Legler is also the host of The First 40 Miles, a podcast especially for those new to backpacking.
National Parks Guide U.S.A. by National Geographic Kids
Is your summer traveling taking your to a national park this year? If so, grab a copy of National Parks Guide U.S.A., the kids’ companion to National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the U.S.
In this guide, you’ll be able to read about the different regions of the country and the national parks that find their homes in each region. Within each region, there is a guide for the specific national parks where readers will find pictures, history, and websites. The individual sections also provide ranger tips, where to find the best views, checklists for what to do, and maps showing some of the sites you don’t want to miss! Readers will also be able to discover what plant and animal life to expect in each of the parks.
This guidebook would be especially helpful in getting older children excited for a trip to a national park, and it will have them planning trips for the future too!
Kids’ Guide to Camping by Cherie Winner
If you’re taking a camping trip this summer, this book will be great for your older kids. Focusing on answering questions including Where Can I Go?, What Will I Eat?, and How Do I Make Camp? allows readers to be prepared for their wilderness adventure. Pictures and lists accompany each section of the book as well as tips (including not offering food to raccoons and what gear to include in your first aid kit). Recipes are also provided so you can bring the comforts of home to your campsite. The book also includes a real working compass to help guide you on the trails!
Oregon and Washington 50 Hikes with Kids by Wendy Gorton
If you’re a Pacific Northwest family, or traveling out West this summer, this helpful and beautifully designed trail guide will inspire you to explore all that Oregon and Washington has to offer. This colorful and engaging trail book covers 50 hikes in Washington and Oregon for families with kids. All hikes are easy to moderate hikes under 4 miles, and it includes fun scavenger ideas for each hike!
The author provides an estimated time to hike and explore, an elevation gain map, fee and bathroom information, and fun things to look for on each hike. However, the times to complete the hike seem to be more geared toward older kids, so be sure to add more time on to the hike if hiking with young walkers.
Hike It Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers by Shanti Hodges
No matter where your travels take you this summer, or any time of year, keep this resource handy to help you find toddler-friendly trails anywhere in the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska. With vivid photos and recommendations provided by locals from each state’s Hike it Baby community, you’re sure to add these trails to your family’s bucket list. In addition to trail reviews, 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures also provides tips for families, such as how to use the restroom on trail, nursing during a hike, making homemade granola bars and more, and inspirational stories from families who also share the love of the outdoors.
“Oregon and Washington 50 Hikes with Kids” review by Christina Merhar, and “Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures” review by Vong Hamilton.
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