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Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  577 ratings  ·  94 reviews
From the author of the New York Times bestseller that defined nature-deficit disorder and launched the international children-and-nature movement, Vitamin N (for “nature”) is a complete prescription for connecting with the power and joy of the natural world right now, with 500 activities for children and adults Dozens of inspiring and thought-provoking essays Scores of inf ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Algonquin Books
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Irene McHugh
If hearing the term nature-deficit disorder concerns you, then this brainstorm book of solutions for integrating more of the outdoors into your life is easy to read for those suggestions that apply to your life, and skim over those sections that don't.

If you want to know more about the research behind nature-deficit disorder, then check out the Research Library at the Children & Nature Network.

Richard Louv has written two other books on this subject as well. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our C
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, nonfiction
Vitamin N is common sense that has been forgotten or not taken. Great ideas, activities, and organizations shared. Definitely using/going to use some their suggestions. Great ideas for kids & families in this new technological age. ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really wonderful resource.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Excellent Excellent! My family loves being outside. We go camping once or twice a year and we are in the woods almost every month (sometimes more, sometimes less)... not to mention all of the outdoor activities in our own backyard. My friend gave me this book as a gift and there are so many great ideas here that I had never heard of. Every family... even those who are fairly active outdoors... can benefit from this book. Not only will you be motivated to go outside with your own kids, ...more
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book gives the reader a set of different ideas of how to become engaged with nature. Louv gives multiple examples and ideas but if you have read his book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, much of this book is repetitive. I would say if you are just looking for a resource to spark your imagination, this is a good book. He also supplies a multitude of further reading resources to expand his suggestions, which are a great addition.

I took my time with
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great ways to get outside and enjoy each and every bit of nature! 🍃🌾🌲
Reasons I love this book:
- Ideas. It is full of ideas to incorporate nature in child's lives.
- Benefits. It is full of reasons why it is benefit to children to be in nature, and these are
-Guilt free. No one can do all the ideas in this book. But you can pick one idea that feels doable and implement it.
-Easy read. You can jump in anywhere in the book and find ideas that fit your situation.
-For all ages. While it is geared to the benefits for kids, it becomes apparent that all ages benefit from
Katrina Clohessy
Full of great activities and ideas related to experiencing nature, with or without kids. Some of my favorite concepts/ideas included starting a community hiking club; the Norwegian concept of "friluftsliv"; and ideas about exploration of the natural world with young children and sharing their sense of wonder.

-read in quarantine-
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this book through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

“Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life” was a great read. There are “500 Ways to Enrich Your Family's Health & Happiness,” as stated on the cover. There are ideas in this book for all ages, from infant to adult.
The premise of the book is that we live in a society that has grown away from nature, that we are suffering from what the author has coined “nature-deficit disorder.” The book is full of facts that support the
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chalk full of suggestions to get outdoors and increase appreciation of nature. As a Charlotte Mason educator, I found it helpful since so much of the early years and afternoons are supposed to be spent out of doors. I suggest taking notes as you read.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, my-2020-list
Quick read. Great resource and inspiration to get outdoors!
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fabulous guide to incorporating more nature into your everyday life. My only complain is that I didn’t enjoy the voices and accents that the narrator did while quoting people.
Andi Gaywood
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book discussing the importance of nature and everything natural in our lives. It explores how we interact with the living world and why it is so beneficial to our health. Although it is mainly aimed at children it can just as easily be applied to adults who are possible lacking vitamin N. I do believe, as touched on in the book, we have an innate desire to be in nature, we are a product of nature and we are amazed by everything natural. A good resource to have for every health pr ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great collection of ideas for getting more connected to nature. I read the UK edition, which had a strange mixture of US- and UK-centric recommendations, which at times felt a bit disjointed. If not for that slight criticism, I would have awarded this 5 stars. I am now going to get some highlighters out and highlight the things I do now, and pick out my next steps for action. As a parent (of teenagers, so a lot of the tips were a little late for me) and a teacher, there is much that I can adopt.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods coined the term "nature-deficit disorder" to describe kids (and adults) who are increasingly prone to screens and staying inside. It painted a dismal picture, but was relatively short on antidotes. This long-awaited companion book makes up for that with 500 (!) ideas for connecting your kids, and yourself, to the natural world. This is a book I'll be recommending to parents.
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is great book for anyone who wants to get kids involved in the outdoors; through school, worship, or community. Written by Richard Louv, bestselling author of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder", this book systematically explores all aspects of nature, the outdoors, and children in one comprehensive format. I especially love the section dedicated to libraries and their importance to nature and the community.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
Everyone should read this book--parents, teachers, librarians, workers in all industries, young and old, healthy and sickly, seriously, everyone. A thorough explanation of why everyone needs to connect with nature, why it is essential for our spiritual, emotional, and physical health. LOTS of ideas for getting outside, especially with children. Lots of resources. Sometimes the lists of things to do can be a bit tedious, but they make for great references as well as jumping off points.
Sharon Mensing
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent and practical follow-up to "Last Child in the Woods." Here, Louv skips the philosophy and goes right to ideas the reader can use. It doesn't matter whether you are a parent, a teacher, a community member, or play any other role -- you will find some ideas to make getting out into nature. There are over 500 ideas listed and described, ideas that can be used in any setting from urban, to suburban, to rural.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, borrowed
This isn't a traditional book as much as it's an extensively annotated suggestion list designed to accompany Louv's better known "Last Child in the Woods". If that book spoke to you on a personal level, this is a great companion piece. You'll find here a wide range of suggestions for a huge variety of living situations which is always nice. I especially liked his flat refusal to vilify technology. He even includes a bunch of ideas for incorporating digital tech in nature-focused explorations.
Waverly Fitzgerald
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: skimmed
This is really a reference book and it's aimed at families exploring nature together. I skimmed it looking for ideas I could share with students in my current Year in Flowers class and found plenty. Also some ideas I want to try out, like taking full moon walks, although the full moon is often hidden behind clouds in Seattle, and taking a picture of the sky every day (I think I would take it at the same time and place, and I can imagine trying to make paintings out of those photos).
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
while Louv claims this book is for all income levels and dwellers of all kinds of landscapes, this book clearly favors middle and upper class rural or suburban folks. there's nothing wrong with that, but he should be more aware.

that said, I liked the layout of the book. it's super easy to read and you could open to any page and find a decent idea straight away.

I think I might like Louv' s earlier books on this subject more.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How much time did you spend in nature when you were a child? How many hours spent outside on bikes, in the trees or deep in the mud? Do you remember that time when you didn’t need to worry about falling, bruises and strangers?

Do you remember that want and need of adventure?

Continue to read here...
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What delight to find a book that is both educational and approachable! It was a treat to read through each section discovering the variety of ways to increase a child's time in nature with strategies and activities for every budget and time frame.

This book was provided as an ARC through NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Truly enjoyed last child in the woods and this book was just as good. Reinforced some of the ideas shared in last child plus shared numerous unique and creative ideas for involving your children and community in nature activities. My book is highlighted all over the place so I can refer back when the kids and I are ready to do some exploring!
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Written by the same author of Last Child in the Woods (a game changer for me), this book is an extension of the best parts: practical suggestions on integrating childhood with nature. My copy is riddled with bookmarks of ideas I want to share with my husband and I'm inspired to create a nature based playground in my backyard.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Vitamin N has many good, but general ideas about how to introduce/further your children's time spent in nature, whether it's in the backyard, local parks, schools, library, etc. It's a good starting point for parents and teachers, who can take note of their favorite ideas/activities from the book, and do additional research to turn them into plans.
Michael Halenar
Clearly I support the message being presented and I loved Last Child in the Woods and the Nature Principal (slightly less), but this book just doesn't need to exist. It just takes the same suggestions from those books and lists them out. It was very repetitive and did not contain any real good breakthrough ideas. Just read Last Child in the Woods and you'll be fine.
Dana Gisser
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I think for somebody who doesn't work in nature or do much in nature this book would have been great. For me it was a little too basic, I caught myself merely skimming and thinking "yeah duh" a lot while reading. I definitely expected more ideas that I could use in both of my jobs and it unfortunately fell rather short for me.
Erika Powers
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
500 Activities For CHILDREN should be the title. I knew it would be kid related but it was 100% kid stuff in my opinion. Probably an excellent book if you're a parent of a small to medium sized kid or a VERY active relative of a small kid. Thought I was going to learn something about nature and children, not just read new ways to entertain them outdoors.
Kimberley Shaw
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Practical little handbook for the urban family, with a shout-out to library resources. When the concrete and buildings begin to get to you, pull out this title and follow one or two of its suggestions! It's not yet published, but snag one when it comes out in April 2016.
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Richard Louv (born 1949) is a journalist and author of books about the connections between family, nature and community. His book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin), translated into 9 languages and published in 13 countries, has stimulated an international conversation about the relationship between children and nature.

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