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Nature Advent Calendar: Read 24 Picture Books about Nature

One of my favorite blogs is This Picture Book Life written by Danielle Davis. As you can guess from the blog's title, Danielle writes about picture books. She often includes a craft or recipe with each book review. Recently, Danielle created a picture book advent calendar with a printable template. The calendar in this case is a cup of paper flags attached to candy canes; each flag is printed with the title of a seasonal picture book and a related activity (ex: Day 6: Read The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers and Fold a paper airplane). I was so taken with Danielle's advent calendar that I thought I'd create one for this blog.

I've chosen picture books that are fairly popular. If you don't have a title in your home library, you can probably find it at your local library. Each title has a corresponding activity. Print the Nature Advent Calendar and cut out each book + activity slip. Place all 24 slips in a container of your choice. Pick a slip each day. Enjoy! Optional: Fill the bottom half of the container with a seasonal object to make it festive. I used acorns, nuts, and seeds.

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins + draw your hand or foot and transform it into a plant or animal

A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna + look for a statue of an animal in your community
Alternate: Sidewalk Flowers by JonArso Lawson

And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano + draw your dream garden

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett + make a meal with the entire family

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd + go on an evening/night walk

Flotsam by David Wiesner + draw or paint an underwater adventure (via HMH Books)

Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss + eat a "new" fruit or vegetable

Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis + invent and draw a nature superheroine/hero

Night Song by Ari Berk + sing/listen to "animal songs" 

Outside Your Window by Nicola Davies + observe life outside your window for 5 - 15 minutes

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle + draw the shape of the moon on the day you read this book

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett + dig a hole

Some Bugs by Andrea DiTerlizzi + draw your favorite bug (or look for bugs outdoors on a 45 degree Fahrenheit day)

Stone Soup (any version) + do something nice for/say something nice to someone

Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle + make a rain stick (PBS DIY video)

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak + write all the nature words you know on a sheet of paper
Alternate: The Umbrella by Jan Brett

The Carrot Seed + go on a scavenger hunt in your grocery store to find carrots & other root vegetables (how many can you find?)

The Clever Stick by John Lechner + find a stick and use it make or do something
Alternate: Sticky Burr by John Lechner + watch this video about the burdock plant

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss + volunteer in your community

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats + make footprints in the snow, sand, or mud (via This Picture Book Life)

The Water Hole by Graeme Base + visit your nearest body of water
Alternate: Rain, Rain, Rivers by Uri Shulevitz

There Was a Tree by Rachel Isadora + take a tree walk (how many different trees can you find on your block?)

Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner + explore a local garden (it could be your own!)

Where Does Kitty Go in the Rain by Harriet Ziefert + jump in rain (or muddy) puddles
Alternate: Little Could by Eric Carle

You can view all the books on the Nature Advent Calendar board on Pinterest.

If you can't commit to a book a day, how about a book a week? On the same day each week for four weeks, pick a slip and read the book and complete the activity. Here are 4 favorites:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett + make a meal with the entire family

Ladybug Girl by David Soman + invent a nature superheroine/hero

Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle + make a rain stick (PBS DIY video)

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats + make footprints in the snow, sand, or mud (via This Picture Book Life)

Plus one more!

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd + go on an evening/night walk

P.S. Let us know if you plan to read all 24 or 4 or some number of books in between.


Love this take on the idea! Hooray! And thanks for the shout out. Happy reading! :)
Georgia | Local Ecologist said…
I'm so glad you created this kind of calendar, Danielle! We look forward to choosing a book each morning!