Grab your copy of my multi-award winning book!
My book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, from Quill Driver Books, is all about how nature can help your family feel happier and calmer.
Raise calmer, happier, healthier children with these fun, hands-on nature activities for parents and kids to enjoy together.
Are your kids stressed? Are they feeling a bit down? Do your children — and you — need a break from screens? Nature can help. What we all suspected intuitively for generations, science has now confirmed: spending time connecting to nature is a safe, effective tool to help improve our health and happiness.
In Finding Ecohappiness, author Sandi Schwartz guides families in building regular habits of experiencing nature to reduce stress and boost mood. She explores key positive psychology tools from a nature-loving perspective. You will learn some simple, practical tips for incorporating these tools — awe and gratitude, mindfulness, creative arts, outdoor play and adventure, volunteering, food and animals — into your daily routine to help your children thrive and live a happy, balanced life.
Finding Ecohappiness will introduce you to all kinds of engaging nature activities you can do with your kids, from hiking and bike rides to visiting nature centers and science museums to volunteering outdoors to embarking on ecotourism adventures. In addition, you will discover unique nature relaxation activities like cow cuddling, animal yoga, forest bathing, float therapy and earthing.
A must-read for all families, Finding Ecohappiness will help you protect your children from feeling stressed and overwhelmed; manage your children’s current issues regarding stress, anxiety and mood; and expand your time enjoying nature as a family. Nature isn’t just for kids, either — doing these activities with your children will tremendously improve your own well-being, too.
Finding Ecohappiness has received rave reviews:
“Anxiety and depression are spreading among children and teens, particularly in the midst of the pandemic, racial inequity, and political turmoil; screens are dominating children’s lives, between online classes and time spent at home, isolated from peers, journalist Schwartz argues. She cites studies that suggest that connecting with nature on a regular basis reduces stress and boosts mood, and proposes here that spending time outside is a good antidote to anxiety and depression in children (and their parents). The book’s main topics are mindfulness, awe and gratitude, outdoor play, creative arts, animals, food, and volunteering, and it suggests that parents and children spend time together in nature, via activities like outdoor labyrinths, walking meditations, forest bathing, and float therapy. Each chapter ends with an activity checklist and a list of resources and organizations for digging deeper. Caregivers of all kinds are sure to find a nature-related activity they can enjoy with children, and Schwartz’s scientific data is both fascinating and enlightening. VERDICT: A fun resource for adults and children who love the outdoors. Those who want to start making regular time for nature and the outdoors in their household will find this an easy guide.—Library Journal
“It’s a stressful world out there, especially for many kids. Schwartz, who suffered from anxiety herself as a child, looks to the natural world for relief. Being outdoors has been shown to slow breathing, lower blood pressure, and sharpen focus in adults, and the author contends that kids will experience the same benefits. Schwartz focuses on seven different practices and offers clear suggestions on how parents, grandparents, teachers, or youth leaders can incorporate nature into each. She begins with mindfulness, suggesting outdoor yoga, meditation spots, breathing into flowers, and walking barefoot in grass or sand to calm one’s thoughts. The author encourages awe and gratitude by exposing children to rainbows and waterfalls and promotes outdoor play and exploration. Creating nature pictures and journals can make kids more aware, interacting with animals promotes calm, fresh fruits and limited sugar balance the body, and volunteering nurtures the soul. Each chapter ends with a checklist of activities and a list of related books and organizations. Colorful illustrations and practical suggestions make this book a handy parenting resource.”—Booklist
“With the publication of Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, parents wanting to raise calmer, healthier, happier children of all ages are now provided with a thoroughly ‘parent friendly’ combination of parenting guide and manual for protecting children from feeling stressed and overwhelmed; managing their children’s current issues regarding stress, anxiety, and mood; and utilizing nature driven activities, exercises and projects to improve family togetherness and harmony. Impressively written, organized and presented, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, family, and community library Parenting, Family Activity, and Child Psychology collections.—Midwest Book Review
“Finding Ecohappiness is therapeutic. It goes beyond the typical parenting book, providing the science behind the activities it recommends for families. Activity checklists offer up suggestions to parents who might be “stuck” coming up with ideas for engaging play. Highlighted in call-out boxes are sample questions meant to help make teachable moments easier to identify and implement. Links to helpful resources are included throughout, as are beautiful full-color images that align with the author’s message of how tapping into nature and its healing benefits can bring calm to even our little ones in ways that affect their wellbeing from the inside out. The awe of childhood as it should be experienced is found on each page from beginning to end. Schwartz’s book is an exciting and meaningful guide sure to help its audience navigate this important, life-affecting part of the parenthood journey. Highly recommended!—Nonfiction Authors Association Book Awards Program
“As a mom, I saw first hand how connection with nature lightened everyone’s mood. Finding Ecohappiness is a beautiful and informative guide to calming our mind and replenishing our souls in nature for ourselves as well as our children.”—Kyra Sedgwick, actor/director
“In a time when children are under unprecedented environmental and social stress, Sandi Schwartz makes an impassioned and practical case for focusing on nature connection as a way to build their mental health, resilience and happiness. Finding Ecohappiness is, in short, a prescription for reducing the loneliness of our species.” —Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, Vitamin N, and Our Wild Calling
“Finding Ecohappiness opens our eyes to the healing, transformative and healthy influences nature has ready for us. Bring this into your life, read it carefully, the secrets to our happiness are all around us.”—Elisha Goldstein, PhD, author of Uncovering Happiness
“From float therapy and meditation gardens to tree hugging and forest bathing, Schwartz makes a strong case that anybody can find happiness, peace and joy in nature—and she will show you exactly how!”—Linda Åkeson McGurk, journalist, blogger, and author of There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather
“I highly recommend this book to any family interested in accessing the many benefits of the natural world. Sandi Schwartz’s writing style is enjoyable and easy to read while also providing a thorough introduction to how nature is so good for people. She guides the reader through the extensive research and theory in a way that is informative and accessible. The tips and activities are practical and simple to adopt, while also being assured to help any child or family gain the full health and happiness benefits nature provides.”—Dennis Kiley, founder, EcoPsychology Initiative
“Finding Ecohappiness is a welcome and needed addition for every home and classroom. This book is thoughtfully and carefully crafted. It is a comprehensive and practical guide that advises and shapes opportunities to incorporate nature into families’ lives in ways that will make sense for each individual family. Tools and tips are shared throughout, and the checklists and resources at the end of each chapter are ready-made for busy parents, teachers, and caregivers. Bravo!”—Harriet Shugarman, award-winning author of How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change
Finding Ecohappiness has won multiple awards:
- GOLD book award from Foreword Reviews
- GOLD award from Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Award program
- GOLD Nautilus Book Award
- GOLD award by Nonfiction Book Awards, via Nonfiction Authors Association
- BRONZE Living Now Book Award
- Arlene Book Award: Books That Make a Difference from American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
- National Indie Excellence® Awards (NIEA) finalist
- Environmental writing/journalism Indigo Award from Sierra Club Florida Chapter