Preschool Camping Theme

Book List

Arthur's Camp-Out - Lillian Hoban
Arther Goes To Camp - Mark Brown
Doctor Rabbit's Lost Scout - Jan Wahl
Giants Go Camping - Jane Yolen
Huff and Puff Go To Camp - Jean Warren
The Berenstein Bears Go Camping - Jan Berenstein
Three Days On A River In A Red Canoe - Vere Williams
When I Go Camping With Grandma - Marion Dane Bauer

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Songs & Fingerplays

A-Camping We Will Go... - Sung to "The Farmer in the Dell"

A-camping we will go,
A-camping we will go,
Heigh-ho, off we go,
A-camping we will go.

First we pitch our tent
Then we chop our wood
We light our fire now
We cook our dinner now
Time to go to sleep

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare

Camping Song - Sung to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin?"

Let's go camping
Let's go camping
Pack the tent
Pack the tent
We will all go hiking
We will all go swimming
We will have fun!
We will have fun!

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare

Raccoon - Sung to "Kookaburra"

Raccoon sleeps in a hollow tree
While the sun shines on you and me.
Sleep, raccoon.
Sleep, raccoon,
Warm and cozily.

In the darkest part of night
Raccoon has the best eyesight.
Look raccoon,
Look, raccoon,
My, your eyes are bright.

Raccoon hardly makes a sound
When he prowls all around.
Hunt raccoon,
Hunt raccoon,
Find food on the ground.

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare

Never Play With Matches - Sung to "Frere Jacques"

Never, never play with matches,
If you do, if you do,
You might burn your fingers, you might burn your fingers,
Shame on you. Shame on you.

We would never play with matches, and it's true,
Yes it's true. We are Smokey's helpers. . .
He says, Thank you. He says, thank you.

Another possible ending:
You might burn the forest, you might burn the forest,
That won't do. That won't do.

Did You Ever Go A-Camping - Sung to the tune of "Did You Ever See a Lassie?"

Did you ever go a-camping,
a-camping, a-camping?
Did you ever go a-camping
and sleep in a tent?

2. ...and see a racoon?
3. ...and hike in the woods?
4. ...and fish in a boat?
5. ...and have a campfire?

Going Camping - sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot"

I am going camping.
(point thumbs proudly to chest)
Time to pack
(point to wristwatch)
My tent, my bedroll,
(Make tent with hands; then fold hands to cheek.)
And a snack.
(Pretend to eat)

I'll sit by the campfire ----
(warm hands over fire.)
Its glow so bright.
(Fan and wiggle fingers to resemble fire.)
Then snooze in my tent
(Pretend to snore.)
'Til the morning light!
(Open eyes wide, forming sun over head.)

Arts & Crafts

Nature Wreaths

Cut the center out a paper plate. Then have children glue on nature items that they have found outside. They can embellish their wreaths with glitter and ribbon and other odds and ends (if desired).

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

3-D Campfire

To make a 3-D campfire have each of the children paint a paper towel tube with brown paint. When the paint dries, glue 4 of the tubes into a square shape for the base of the campfire. Then glue the remaining tubes up towards the center, like a pyramid. When the glue is dry and cool, allow the children to glue pieces of yellow, red and orange tissue paper to the wood, representing the fire. This can be used in dramatic play as a real "fire". Watch out, it's hot! Also, a good time to talk about fire safety, cooking with fire...

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Nature Bracelets

Let the children create nature bracelets. Wrap a piece of masking tape with the sticky side out around each child's wrist. Attach the ends of the tape together so it will stay on the wrist like a bracelet. Take the children on a nature hike. Point out things for the children to see on your hike like: birds flying, squirrels climbing trees, clouds in the sky, etc. Encourage children to attach things they find on the walk, such as leaves, twigs, pieces of grass, etc.... to their bracelets.

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare


Provide two toilet paper tubes for each child. Allow the children to decorate their tubes using crayons or markers. Stand the tubes side by side and wrap masking tape around the tops and bottoms of both tubes to hold them together. Create a strap for the binoculars by punching a hole in the outside edge of each tube. Thread a 12" length of yarn through the holes and knot the yarn at each end. If desired trace both ends of the tubes onto colored cellophane and cut out the circles. Glue a cellophane circle to each end of the tube. Have the children take their binoculars on a nature walk and use them to observe the things outside. Encourage them to pretend bird watch, look for animals, using their binoculars.

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare

In the Kitchen

Sticks and Stones Cookies

1 cup vanilla milk (white) chips, butterscotch chips or chocolate chips.
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
5 cups Kix cereal
1 cup broken pretzel sticks
1/2 cup mini candy coated semisweet chocolate baking bits, if desired.

Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper, butter waxed paper or spray. Heat vanilla milk chips, corn syrup, milk, margarine, and vanilla in a 3-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and add Cereal, pretzels and baking bits until well coated. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto waxed paper. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Store covered in refrigerator up to 3 days.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Fishing Pole

For a camping snack-pretend your going fishing on your camp out. Take large pretzel rods, tie one piece of pull-n-peel red licorice to the end of pretzel and a gummy worm to the other end. The children can eat their own fishing pole.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Show the children how to build a campfire. Start by placing a small pile of coconut (tinder) on a small plate. Place small rod pretzels (kindling) in an "A" or square shape. Add larger rod pretzels (logs) on top following the base shape. Sprinkle chocolate chips (charcoal) on top. Yum!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Have the children make S'mores as a camping snack. Give each child two graham crackers, one marshmallow, and a piece of a chocolate bar. Let each child place the marshmallow and the candy on one graham cracker. Then have her/him place the other graham cracker on top. Place each graham cracker on a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 350* for 1 to 2 minutes or until the marshmallow begins to melt. Let the S'mores cool completely before serving.

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare

Banana Boats

Take a banana and leaving the skin on, slice it halfway through the long way. Place broken up marshmallows (or mini ones) and small bits of chocolate in the banana slit. Wrap the entire banana in tin foil and warm in the oven until chocolate and marshmallows begin to melt. When warmed, scoop out a banana with chocolate and marshmallow with a spoon. Very delicious!

Theme Ideas

Use measurement, estimation and counting with the gross-motor activity as you are hiking. Designate a landmark in the distance. Ask the children to guess how many steps it will take them to reach that landmark. Have each child count the steps s/he takes. Then compile the results. Are the numbers all the same? Why? Why not? Use other things for computing distance.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Flashlight Day

I had flashlight day during our camping theme in September. Each child brought a flashlight to school. We shut the lights off and closed the blinds. We lay on the floor in our own space and shone the flashlight around the room. We pretended that the lights on the ceiling were stars under which to sleep. Also, I brought some logs into school, and tucked red and orange cellophane and tissue paper in the middle of a pile. We had a campfire sing-a-long, sitting in a circle around the "fire". I brought in a pup tent, with 2 sleeping bags inside. It was an activity centre, 2 kids at a time.

~Submitted by Christy in Ontario

Talk about camping by asking questions as...
Where did you sleep?
Where did you eat?
What did you eat?
How did you fix your food?
Where was the bathroom?
Did you see any animals? What kind?

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare

Classroom Camping

Before this activity send home a note asking each child to bring in a sleeping bag or a blanket. Have extra blankets on hand in case some children forget to bring one. Bring in a large sheet or blanket to make a classroom tent. To make a tent, move a table into the center of the room. Be sure the area around the tent is clear. Drape the sheet or blanket over the table, leaving two ends of the table uncovered. Let the children sit under the table and pretend they are in a tent. Talk about some things they might do if they were on a camping trip.

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare

Take a camping trip

If possible, set up an actual tent on the playground. If a tent is not available create your own by using a large blanket or sheet. Attach the blanket to a playground fence using large clips or tape. Pull the sheet or blanket away from the fence. Use bricks or rocks to hold the edge of the sheet or blanket on the ground. Have the children pretend to be camping in the tent.

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare


Place several large rocks outside in a circle to resemble a campfire. Have the children sit around the circle and listen as you tell a story or read aloud a book about camping.

~ Submitted by Little Pixey Daycare


Preschool Camping Activities Theme - Preschool Plan It
Camping Centers and Activities - Pocket of Preschool
Camping Theme - A to Z Teacher's Stuff
Camping - Enchanted Learning
Preschool Camping Theme - Everything Preschool
Camping Art - Perpetual Preschool
Camping Snacks - Perpetual Preschool
Camping Ideas - Perpetual Preschool

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