Choosing the best kids books about protecting the environment is becoming more important than ever before. Let’s face it, our kids are inheriting a bit of a mess! We’re trying our best to get the world back on track, but it’s going to be up to our kids to pick up where we leave off. Teaching them about protecting the environment at a young age and getting them involved in our efforts now sets the groundwork for a much cleaner and brighter future for all of Earth’s creatures. With thousands of books available, though, it can be difficult to know which are the best kids books to share with your child. The key is to choose books that educate about why it’s so important to protect the environment as well as those that offer practical tips that your child can do today.
Our Picks for the Best Kids Books about Protecting the Environment
Before you can start teaching your children about how to protect the environment, take some time to show they why it’s so important. Choose books that tell a story about what happens to people and animals when the environment becomes unsustainable. Like adults, children need to understand why something matters so much before they can get into how to fix it.
Best kids books to explain why it’s so important to protecting the environment is so important
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss – Way back in 1971, Dr. Seuss saw the potential for a problem in the future and tried to reach our generation while we were still impressionable. Now, his timeless story about the dangers of destroying the environment and driving away everything that makes an area unique and beautiful still resonates. The beauty of The Lorax is that it uses colorful illustrations and fun made-up words to really engage young children. After over 40 years, it still remains one of the best kids books about protecting the environment. It is a great book to start your conservation journey, as it gives a good overall picture of why it’s so important.
I Wonder Why The Dinosaurs Died Out: and Other Questions About Animals in Danger by Andrew Charman- Charman has written dozens of “I Wonder Why” books addressing questions on every child’s mind. His updated I Wonder Why the Dinosaurs Died Out gives theories on what happened to the dinosaurs while at the same time giving a bigger picture of endangered species today. It’s a great way to engage your dinosaur fan in a discussion about other animals that need help right now.
National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia: 2,500 Animals with Photos, Maps, and More! by Lucy Spelman- National Geographic is well-known for their stunning photographs of nature, and this book is packed full of animals from all over the world. What better way to get kids involved in protecting the environment than to show them fabulous pictures of exactly what they’ll be saving? The 304 page book is packed not only with pictures, but also interesting animal facts, cool maps, and more, making it one of the best kids books for all ages!
Backyard Biology: Investigate Habitats Outside Your Door with 25 Projects by Donna Latham- While the previous best books for kids about protecting the environment teach kids on a much larger scale about the world around them, Backyard Biology brings it all much closer to home. The projects in the book are designed to teach kids about their local habitat and how even the smallest creatures have an impact on the environment. It’s a great hands-on way to get kids motivated to save the planet.
Now that you’ve given your children a great overall picture of why it’s so important to preserve the Earth, it’s time to give them the tools to go out and really make a difference.
Our favorite picks for the best kids books filled with tips on protecting the environment
I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (Little Green Books) by Alison Inches- The Little Green series is filled with great books for younger children, and this one in particular will resonate with preschool-age kids. Max, the Little Monster in the title, isn’t exactly doing a bang-up job of protecting the planet. He hoards toys, wastes toilet paper, and consumes so much electricity that he causes a power outage! When he’s stuck with nothing to do, he finally learns the error of his ways and embarks on a journey to become more environmentally aware.
365 Ways to Live Green for Kids: Saving the Environment at Home, School, or at Play–Every Day! by Sheri Amsel- While Amsel’s book is designed for kids age 8 and up, it’s also a great way for parents to come up with fun ideas to enable younger children to get involved. The book is divided into several categories, from learning about the environment to stopping air pollution. Some activities, such as “draw the environment,” are easy enough for even the youngest environmentalist to do. With 365 activities, there’s something to do every single day of the year!
The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth by Sophie Javna- I remember the original 50 Simple Things You Can do to Save the Earth from way back when I was barely a teenager. In fact, I think I still have it in storage! I used to love reading the tips because they really were so simple. I learned so much back then from this book, and with the updated version, it’s just as beneficial to today’s kids. The activities are fun for young children because the author turns them into a game. For example, there is a challenge to eat a trash-free lunch, an activity to become a recycling detective, and more!
101 Ways You Can Help Save the Planet Before You’re 12! by Joanne O’Sullivan- This book is geared towards elementary school to middle school kids, but again, the activities can be altered in many ways to work for preschool kids. For example, you can get your preschooler involved in creating a compost, or come up with craft ideas to reuse “trash” and turn it into treasures for holiday gifts!
While these best kids books about protecting the environment can give you a great start in helping motivate your child to make the world a better place, remember that you are your child’s best teacher! Make sure to follow the tips yourself and let them see you trying to make a difference too! Get involved with your kids in great Earth Day activities, show them how to recycle, and reduce the amount of trash you put out into landfills. It’s going to take all of us working together to ensure a brighter future for our children!