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When Christmas is over, the summer holidays really begin, and many families load up the car and head off camping. But often, children still want to engage with their digital devices. Would you like to see your children engage with the natural world more, but don’t know where to start?

The books listed below will not only teach your children about the natural world around them but will also have your children engaging in a different way when you’re out and about. No more, ‘I’m bored’. They might even stop reaching for their phones.

Instead, your kids will be spotting birds along the way and telling you what they know about them. These books will nurture young bird nerds, teach kids about trees, encourage an understanding of environmental issues, introduce them to nature’s most peculiar couples, and have kids hunting for treasures around the camp site.

This is the perfect holiday reading list for happy young campers… and for those kids who need a little more encouragement in that area. In fact, these books are perfect for everyone in the family. If you’re going camping in the wild this holiday season, or even if you’re pitching a tent in the backyard, then this is the book list you need.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Peculiar Pairs in Nature by Sami Bayly

Did you know that some species have evolved to form relationships with some of the most unlikely partners, and they couldn't live without them? This stunning illustrated hardcover introduces you to 60 of the most unlikely and peculiar pairs. It is an eye-opening guide to the natural world.

The Boy Who Made Things Up by Margaret Mahy, ill. by Lily Emo

Margaret Mahy's wondrous story The Boy Who Made Things Up is now available as an illustrated picture book. Take a leaf out of Michael and his dad’s walk home, with your own fun-filled adventure around your campsite.

The Book of Australian Trees by Inga Simpson, ill. by Alicia Rogerson

When you first stand in a forest, the trees all seem the same. But if you look more closely, they are each a little different, like people. Trees tell stories about places, and Australia has some of the tallest, oldest, fattest and most unusual trees in the world. This book is a love song to Australian trees and will have your young camper spotting trees all day long.

Backyard Birdies by Andy Geppert

This is a handy, somewhat factual, and highly entertaining first field guide packed full of fascinating facts (some of them are even true) about Australia's most common backyard birds. Pack this in with the tent and the esky. The kids will love it.

The Good Old Looky Book by Donovan Bixley

Let award-winning illustrator and author, Donovan Bixley look after the kids for a while. The Looky Book series continues with a hilarious 24-page puzzle book that journeys through the history of New Zealand, and is perfect for digital free downtime while camping.  

A Stick and a Stone by Sarina Dickson, ill. by Hilary Jean Tapper

A stick, a stone, a feather, a bone... Reminiscent of We're Going on a Bear Hunt, the simple style of A Stick and a Stone makes it the perfect book to take camping. It will have children exploring and spotting treasures around the campsite. This one is sure to delight parents and children alike.

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