Get outside. Enjoy nature. Connect.


Families ...Inspired by Nature!

As you journey through the wonders of the outdoors with these exploration tools, books, ideas, activities and programs as your guides, we hope that you have fun and develop a long lasting close relationship with the natural world! Find out more about this awesome program by watching this short video. It explains exactly what the Family Nature Quest Program is and how to implement. Want more?! Check out these awesome testimonies from teachers and parents!

Why Does Your Child Need to Be Outside?

The nature of childhood has changed. There’s not much nature in it. American childhood has moved indoors during the last two decades, taking a mental and physical toll on today’s kids. The negative impact of decreased time outdoors includes a doubling of the childhood obesity rate--accompanied by an incremental hundred billion dollar cost to our health care system--as well as declining creativity, concentration and social skills. Some say it takes a village to raise a child. We say it takes a backyard, a playground, a park. Watch this short video to learn more about why kids need to be outside and how it help improve their learning skills. 

Fast Facts About Outdoor Time and Children

  • Children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago.
  • A recent study found that children today spend an average of 6 hours each day in front of the computer and TV but less than 4 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play
  • Children aged 3 to 12 are spending 1% of their time outdoors, and 27% with electronic media.
  • In a typical week, only 6% of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own.
  • Today, a child is six times more likely to play a video game on a typical day than to ride a bike.
  • Sixty minutes of daily unstructured free play is essential to children’s physical and mental health.
  • Children who have frequent access to the outdoors gain competence in moving through the larger world; it also helps them to develop courage

How to Participate with Books & Activities

Utilize books to get you exploring outside!  

1. Check out a Nature Quest Backpack from the Charleston Falls Education Office

2. Check out and read Quest books (on the printable cards below) from your local library and do the correlating outside activities for each one.

3. Both student and parent need to sign and fill out a book/activity card (print out from this website - front of card, back of card - fill out both sides) 

4. After you have read 5 books and completed the outdoor activities that go with each book, bring your 5 completed Quest Book Cards to the Charleston Falls Education Office and you will receive a gemstone rock prize! Earn more gemstone rocks, arrowheads, fossil shark teeth, geodes and more for each additional 5 books and activities that you complete. Please make sure to contact the Charleston Falls Office at 667-1286 to arrange a time to turn in your cards and pick up your prizes!

Printable Quest Book Cards

The different seasonal books and activities are listed on the printable links below.  

All Season Book Cards (year round)

Book Card 1       Book Card 3

Book Card 2      Book Card 4

Fall Book Cards (Mid October - Mid December) 

Book Card 1       Book Card 2

Spring Book Cards (April - June)

Book Card 1

Spring-Summer-Fall Book Cards (April - October)

Book Card 1       Book Card 2

Winter Book Cards (December - March)

Book Card 1    Book Card 2