Preschool At Home: Summer Camping

preschool at home Camping
Image via flickr/ jaygooby

As summer approaches, many families will be planning camping trips for their summer vacation. My 3- and 5-year-old have been pretending to go camping for a few weeks now. Although we don't have any tentative plans to actually go camping out this summer, I thought it would be fun to teach them all about camping in with some books, activities, and of course, snacks. It's safe to say these dirt-loving boys had a blast!  

camping children's boks
Images via Amazon

My favorite way to introduce a new learning theme is with some fun books. Here are a few of my favorite camping-themed books.

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee  This is a wonderful rhyming story about Mr. Magee and his little dog, Dee. The two find themselves in all sorts of camping adventures including bears who eat marshmallows and a runaway camper. My favorite part of the book is the colorful illustrations that will grab any young child's attention.

S is for S'mores  This book is a fun alphabet book with beautiful illustrations. This book teaches children about a wide range of camping topics from national parks to camping necessities.

Curious George Goes Camping  My boys love all the silly antics Curious George tries to pull off. This book is no different. George wanders off into the woods away from the Man With the Yellow Hat, and gets into mischief throughout the entire book.

When We Go Camping  This is my favorite camping book for children. The book is about a family who goes camping and is busy from sunrise to sunset. From chopping wood to exploring the animals in the woods, the author tells the story of a day's work in the woods. My favorite part of the book is that each page highlights a track of a different animal by curving from the text into the illustration.

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questions
Image via Mindi Stavish

Using the book A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, spend some time while reading the book to your child to build language concepts. Choose one or two concepts to focus on per reading. Your child will quickly lose interest in the book if you ask too many questions.  

New Words: brook, snitch, hitch, rapids, ledge, bank, brook, coals, embers, dozy, spree, bank, stranded

Rhyming: Have your child sing the rhyming words as you read the story. If he or she is just learning about rhyming, explain to them that rhyming words sound the same at the end. As you read, make it a point to repeat the rhyming words and tell your child, “Look the words ______ and _____ rhyme.”

WH Questions

Answering questions is an important pre-reading skill you can work on with your child during book-reading time. Here are a few questions to ask and have a discussion with your child about before and while you read the book:

  • Where do you think Mr. Magee is going to camp?
  • Where would you camp out if you could?
  • Why did Mr. Magee leave out the marshmallows?  
  • What do you think Mr. Magee will do next?  
  • What would you bring if you were going camping?

Sequencing

After you finish reading the story, review with your child what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Flip through the pages that show the most important element of each part of the beginning, middle, and end.  

Predictions

Help your child begin to think creatively about possible solutions to the problems Mr. Magee encounters as you read the story. Don't forget to ask about how the characters feel during certain points in the story.

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handprint campfire
Image via The Playful Garden

I love this hand-print campfire craft from The Playful Garden. This project could be done on a large piece of paper, a brown paper bag, or an art canvas. Other materials used are construction paper, cotton balls (marshmallow), bamboo stick (roasting sick), and empty chocolate bar wrappers.

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Does your family go camping during the summer?  Tell us about your favorite camping adventures.

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What do you think?

Preschool At Home: Summer Camping

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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