Books take us on adventures that help our imaginations soar beyond our everyday lives. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, it’s the perfect time to teach kids about loving the planet and reminding them that they can take care of Mother Earth in so many ways. What better gift for your kiddo this Earth Day than a book that teaches them to be stewards for mother nature and empowers them to make a difference with their small hands every day? We’ve found heartwarming fiction and nonfiction gems paired up with real-life outings to help you explore nature with your kids. Click through the slideshow for a fun exploration, where reading and adventure go side by side.

Clean Up the Beach

Read this: All the Way to the Ocean, by Joel Harper, illustrated by Marq Spusta

Two young kiddos, Issac and James, share a treat on their way home from school, and one boy throws trash on the sidewalk. This inspires a conversation with mom that answers the question, "Will the storm drain will carry the trash all the way to the ocean?" The story provides easy-to-understand facts about what types of waste end up in the ocean and how it affects humans and sea creatures. Inspired by their talk, the boys lead a clean up at their school. The story helps kids a understand the link between their actions and caring for the earth without being preachy.  In the back of the book, you'll find online resources with games and educational materials to learn more about keeping our oceans clean.

Do This: Gather friends and be part of a local clean up that helps keep our oceans and neighborhoods free of debris. I Love a Clean San Diego will host their annual event Creek to Bay Cleanup on Sat., April 23 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. With over 100 clean up sites at local creeks, beaches, and canyons, you’re sure to find a place to help out in your neighborhood. You can sign up online, or check out a San Diego Coastkeeper monthly beach cleanup. Held twice each month, these events are free and open to the public.

Photo: I Love a Clean San Diego Facebook Page

What’s your favorite book that celebrates the earth? Do you have fun activities you do as a family?

— Cherie Gough