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Looking Closely Outdoor Learning Kit


Available on backorder

Available on backorder


The Looking Closely Kit includes 10 curated books accompanied by resources & equipment to support K-7 emergent inquiry outdoors!

This kit was curated and created by teachers Megan Zeni, Sarah Regan and Lauren MacLean. Megan and Sarah are job share partners teaching entirely outdoors in a K-7 garden classroom. Megan shares these experiences of outdoor play and learning on Instagram and Twitter at @roomtoplay. Lauren is a K-7 mentoring support teacher who has a love for playing, learning, and teaching outdoors. She is the host of the Mentoring Nature Connections podcast and author of Me and My Sit Spot.

Each kit includes book specific lesson sparks, guiding questions, and curricular connections for looking closely outdoors. Spend less time planning and more time exploring outdoors with your learners!

This kit includes:

  • 9 curated picture books that support looking closely outdoors (see list below)
  • 11 page PDF that includes a conceptual overview of looking closely with lesson sparks and guiding questions for each book
  • 2 x Bugs & Slugs Nature Guide
  • 2 x Butterflies & Pollinators Nature Guide
  • 2 x Bees & Pollinators Nature Guide
  • 10 x Handheld Field Magnifiers (with ‘explore your world’ lanyards)
  • 1 x Two-way Nature Viewer
  • 3 x pair of National Geographic Student Binoculars
  • 3 x recycled backpacks to keep it all organized

If you want to order JUST the book bundle, you can do so HERE.

100% of the proceeds go back to non-profit outdoor learning initiatives, and a portion of this will go directly to the development of more great kits like this!

National Geographic 10x Student Binoculars × 3

Lightweight and rubber-coated, 10x32 National Geographic binoculars are a perfect observation tool for adventurers.

  • Lightweight and compact
  • 10x magnification
  • 32mm lens diameter
  • 315ft field of view at 1000 yards

Ethical Elements: Offered in partnership with National Geographic, with all proceeds going back into conservation efforts. Read more about our ethical policies & practices.

The Inside Scoop: We tested out numerous models over the years, and for the price, this is one of the best quality binoculars available. While they don't compare to your $200 binos, for students they are easy to use and the optics are quite good.

In stock (can be backordered)

Handheld Field Magnifier × 10

Help your students focus in on the incredible world of the small! This 3x magnifier is large, durable and user friendly for all ages. The magnifiers are sourced from a local supplier (see below). Read more about our ethical policies & practices.  Keep track of your magnifiers by adding a lanyard to make this a hands free carry and go item for your students.

The Inside Scoop: It kills us to see those cheap plastic magnifiers that schools tend to use that get so scratched up. As a result, after months of looking for a magnifier that was durable, strong, scratch resistant and super user friendly for all ages, we found one right under our noses! Our friends Jaye & Shelli carry this one at their local office supplies shop. And Jaye knows something about strength...he is a Canadian Paralympian for track cycling! Check him out here...

Lanyards are sold separately: 

  1. We offer an Every Child Matters lanyard with a breakaway function. These are designed by Strong Nations in collaboration with Algonquin artist Don Bonner. It features the message "Every Child Matters" and a feather design.
  2. We also offer an Explore Your World lanyard with a ‘breakaway’ function is made from organic cotton, so have been grown without pesticides from plants that have not been genetically modified. They are exceptionally soft and 100 percent biodegradable.

In stock (can be backordered)

2-Way Nature Viewer

Get up close with nature with our 2-Way Nature Viewer! Place an object into the viewer and see the magnified image top & bottom (bottom view from the side). Learning about nature, including aquatic invertebrates, is fun, easy, and clear.

“The two-way nature viewer is the ideal tool for making close observations of living and non-living things both in the classroom and out in nature! My students come alive with wonder and curiosity when they use these magnifiers to observe rocks, sticks, flowers, insects and even aquatic invertebrates using this magnifier (it has a shallow lip that can contain water). It is durable, easy to pack up and bring along on our learning adventures!” – Teacher, Rocky Mountain School District


In stock

Explore Your World Lanyards × 10

This lanyard with a 'breakaway' function is made from organic cotton, so have been grown without pesticides from plants that have not been genetically modified. They are exceptionally soft and 100 percent biodegradable.

They feature outdoor learning images and sayings such as 'Explore Your World' and can be paired with our handheld field magnifier.


In stock (can be backordered)

Basic Backpack (made from recycled pop bottles!) × 3

These lightweight & affordable backpacks allow each student to store & transport their outdoor learning equipment & resources.  The size of main pouch is 45cm high x 32.5cm wide x 25cm deep. Straps can be manually adjusted for length. They are suitable for grades 3+ (including teachers!) but can be adjusted to make shorter for younger/smaller students.

Care Instructions: Hand wash in cold water with like colors. Hang or lay flat to dry only. Do not machine wash, do not machine / tumble dry. Do not bleach.

Ethical Elements: Made from recycled pop bottles, and sourced for a socially ethical supplier. Read more about our ethical policies & practices.

The Inside Scoop: After looking at dozens of options, this one rose to the surface as one that was affordable, modelled sustainable practices, fit a variety of ages and had a adequate volume. And we were very pleased to work with a company that has very high ethical standards to source this!

Are your Basic Backpack straps a little long for the little ones? Never fear! The straps are incredibly easy to adjust! Watch how below!


Bugs & Slugs Nature Guide × 2

This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species of beetles, bugs, spiders, flies, aquatic insects and everything in-between. It also identifies the differences between different types of invertebrates, the eight major groups of insects and tips on identifying species in the field. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information.

Ethical Elements: Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Read more about our ethical policies & practices.

The Inside Scoop: We have used these guides for decades with students of all ages. And a few years ago we worked with our partners in British Columbia to get these out to test them with 200 classes, and had great reviews!

In stock (can be backordered)

Butterflies & Pollinators × 2

The familiar Monarch butterfly is one of over 5,000 species of butterflies found in the diverse ecosystems of North America. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 70 familiar and unique species and includes information on their life cycle and features illustrations of common caterpillars and pupae. This convenient guide is an ideal, portable source of practical information and ideal for field use by educators and learners alike.

Ethical Elements: Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Read more about our ethical policies & practices.

The Inside Scoop: We have used these guides for decades with students of all ages - teacher tested & approved! :)

In stock (can be backordered)

Bees & Other Pollinators × 2

This fascinating guide reviews the status of the world’s top pollinators, how they are built, behave and reproduce in the wild and in managed colonies. It also highlights some of the most familiar and unique species and what you can do to help conserve and protect these important creatures. This convenient guide is an ideal, portable reference for educators and learners of all ages.

Ethical Elements: Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Read more about our ethical policies & practices.

The Inside Scoop: We have used these guides for decades with students of all ages – teacher tested & approved! 🙂

In stock (can be backordered)

Flotsam by David Wiesner

In the extraordinary Caldecott Medal–winner and New York Times bestseller by David Wiesner, a beach day is the springboard to a wildly imaginative exploration of fantastical mysteries of the deep—and of human connections through time.

A young boy comes to the beach eager to collect and examine flotsam—anything floating that has been washed ashore. But nothing among his usual finds compares with the discovery of a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep. Meet unexpected underseas denizens and enter fascinating worlds within worlds in this entrancing celebration of imagination, creativity, and the impulse to share that which delights and amazes us.

Pages: 31

In stock (can be backordered)

Listen by Holly McGhee

Experience the power of listening to your heart, paying attention, love, and empathy in Listen, a simple and tender picture book by Holly M. McGhee and Pascal Lemaitre, the creators of the NYT bestseller Come with Me.

The buoyant verses and gentle art show you how to connect with the whole world. From exploring your sensorial surroundings—what you see, breathe, hear, taste, and feel—to becoming aware of our shared experiences.

"A sweet serenade to our shared belonging . . . To listen takes time, too—and to learn to hear and befriend the world within and hte world without, to attend to the quiet voice of life and heart alike."

—Brain Pickings

Pages: 22

In stock (can be backordered)

Small Wonders by Matthew Clark Smith

A moth with a sixth sense. A wasp that hunts beetles nearly twice its size. The lives of fascinating creatures such as these were unknown until one man introduced them to the world.

Meet Jean-Henri Fabre, one of the most important naturalists of all time. As a boy in the French countryside, Henri spent hours watching insects. He dreamed of observing them in a new way: in their own habitats. What he discovered in pursuing that dream was shocking; these small, seemingly insignificant creatures led secret lives—lives of great drama!

With its lively, lyrical text and richly detailed illustrations, this intriguing picture-book biography introduces the man who would forever change the way we look at insects, bringing to life the fascinating world of dazzling beetles, ferocious wasps, and other amazing small wonders that exist all around us.

Pages: 32

In stock (can be backordered)

What John Marco Saw by Annie Barrows

From the bestselling author Annie Barrows, What John Marco Saw is a captivating tale that celebrates the importance of slowing down. Sometimes the smallest people have the biggest things to say: John Marco is small and everyone around him is big and busy–too busy to stop and listen. The thing is, John Marco is busy, too!

Pages: 38

In stock (can be backordered)

Tiny, Perfect Things by M.H. Clark

A grandfather takes his grandchild on a walk in their neighborhood to enjoy the beauty of the small things around them. The simple text allows readers the opportunity to enjoy the details of the intricate illustrations and to find the “tiny, perfect things.” Some of the activities in this unit are making a unique illustration of tiny, perfect things, writing a letter to a "grand", and making a fairy garden.

Pages: 30

In stock (can be backordered)

Sidewalk Flowers by JoArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Illustrated Book

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year

In this wordless picture book, a little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter.

“Written” by award-winning poet JonArno Lawson and brought to life by illustrator Sydney Smith, Sidewalk Flowers is an ode to the importance of small things, small people and small gestures.

Pages: 24

In stock (can be backordered)

Puddle by Richard Jackson

One rainy day, a little boy is upset because he can't go out and play. His mom comes up with a way to keep him entertained--by drawing a picture of herself and him going outside, playing in the rain, and splashing in a giant puddle. They have so much fun drawing themselves that they decide to venture out and make the most of the rainy weather.

Pages: 37

In stock

Treasure by Mireille Messier

When two siblings go on a treasure hunt, they aren't sure exactly what kind of treasure they are looking for. What they do know is that treasures are shiny, mysterious and precious. And that all the really good treasures are hidden!

As they explore the forest, their curiosity pays off when they find the biggest, shiniest, most mysterious and precious treasure hidden just over a hill.

Told exclusively in dialogue, this beautifully illustrated picture book exudes a sense of wonder at the natural world and emphasizes the magical qualities of looking through a child's eye.

Pages: 31

In stock (can be backordered)

Finding Wild by Megan Wagner Lloyd

A lovely, lyrical picture book with gorgeous illustrations that explores the ways the wild makes itself known to us and how much closer it is than we think.

There are so many places that wild can exist, if only you know where to look! Can you find it? Two kids set off on an adventure away from their urban home and discover all the beauty of the natural world. From the bark on the trees to the sudden storm that moves across the sky to fire and flowers, and snowflakes and fresh fruit. As the children make their way through the woods and back to the paved and noisy streets, they discover that wild exists not just off in some distant place, but right in their own backyard.

Pages: 21

In stock (can be backordered)

Recycled & Weatherproof Clipboard (green)

Our clipboards are durable, weatherproof and made from recycled plastic!

This easy to write on surface provides a simple option for turning the outdoors into your classroom. :)

"The plastic clipboards are a game changer for outdoor ed." - Teacher, Southeast Kootenay School District 5

Ethical Elements: Made from recycled plastic, and sourced from a company that has exceptionally high social and environmental standards. Read more about our ethical policies & practices.

The Inside Scoop: After looking high and low for a recycled clipboard, we were so glad to find this one with a local company with such high standards. While a bit higher cost than run of the mill clipboards, we know it won't disappoint!



In stock (can be backordered)

Rings for attaching magnifiers and lanyards × 10


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