Bookbug Detective: Taking Books Outdoors

The Bookbug Detective is here to help you with any questions you have about books and reading for your little one. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions so far. The Detective has selected a question to answer below. If you'd like some book recommendations or advice send the Bookbug Detective an email, or post your question in the comments below!

Now that the weather’s changing for the better, my children would rather be outside than indoors reading a book. Can you think of any ways to keep the reading going over the summer? Karen

Thankfully the weather is improving (fingers crossed it continues), and it’s obviously great for children to be outside in the fresh air exploring and having fun. However, I’d argue that there are various ways to take reading outside.

First of all, it’s great to have some quiet time when outdoors and reading can be a good way of doing this. You can basically read anywhere: in the garden, on the bus, in the park. This can be helpful for getting really young children engaged and settled.

How about reading some books that are about the outdoors? There are some amazing titles out there about hunting for bugs or exploring nature and they can really enhance the experience of being outside. I’ve suggested a few below:

We have loads of book lists on our website with story suggestions with outdoor themes. For example, why not have a look at our going to the park book list, books set in the garden, books about our environment or our Intrepid Explorers list

There’s also a great blog on the Children’s Books Guide website with suggestions on books about nature and the environment.

Finally, you can use the outdoors as a tool for enhancing and extending the story that you’re reading. It could be as simple as trying to spot and point out things from the story (e.g. different animals) or it could be more elaborate. For example, at our recent Bookbug Conference, Nick Sharratt described how you can use Shark in the Park outdoors. You could tell each other the story as you walk around the park, using your hands as telescopes. 

Have fun exploring! And remember, reading is also great for rainy days (I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of those over the summer).

Do you have a question for the Bookbug Detective? Email it to

Catch up on the previous Bookbug Detective blogs for advice on everything from introducing story books to reading with your baby. 

Kirsty Sinclair

Kirsty Sinclair is the Early Years Operations Manager and the Bookbug Detective for Scottish Book Trust.