This week we have a little bit of a camping theme going! Making an art campfire, a scavenger hunt (with little ones in mind of course!), S’mores, building a tent… all such fun things to do together, getting all kinds of development and learning going!
This is almost as much a pretend play activity as it is an art activity. The point is for your child to have fun pretending to build up the logs inside the shoe box (glue together if needed) then glue in the red and orange tissue paper around the logs to look like the flames.
Stuff to have
-3 or 4 empty paper towel rolls
-Toilet paper rolls
-Orange, red, and yellow tissue paper
-Small shoe box, or other small box
Fine motor, pretend play
Hold a spoon with one hand. Place the golf ball on the large part of the spoon and demonstrate to your little one how it can balance if you keep it steady. Now, show them what happens with you tip it. It falls off. Let them try balancing the golf ball while walking around. Too easy for your older toddler? Let them try holding the golf ball on a smaller spoon or between a large pair of tongs.
Stuff to Have
-Cereal or soup spoon
-Golf balls (or similar size ball)
Fine motor, hand-eye coordination
What kids doesn’t love a tent. And tents are a big part of summer for some families. Why not set up a tent, inside or outside, but let you little one put their mind to work and figure out how to do it along with your occasional help. Ask questions that make them think, and offer suggestions to help them learn new ways of doing something. For younger children, you might have to do most of the work, but as the child gets older they will be more eager to have control over the tent building. Once it’s built spend some time in there, read some books or play with favorite toys.
Stuff to Have
-Sheet or light blankets
-Furniture, chairs (something sturdy to hold up the blankets)
Problem solving, planning, follow through
Early Science & Math
Use my scavenger hunt list to find things on a nature walk or in the back yard! This is a good, natural time to talk about colors, numbers of objects, textures, shapes, and all the other characteristics of things we find outside.
Stuff to Have
-Scavenger hunt list
Science, problem solving, follow through
Cooking & Baking
S’mores for a treat rounds out the “camping” focus of this week! Find a way to make s’mores that works for you and your family. If you have a way to build a fire to roast marshmallows, and you feel comfortable with your little one under close supervision roasting their own marshmallow, go for it. Otherwise you can roast marshmallows over a grill, in an oven, or even for a couple seconds in the microwave. (If you aren’t going to roast them over a fire, you can pretend roast marshmallows over their art campfire to get the feel of camping). Once the marshmallow is roasted or heated through sandwich the chocolate and marshmallow into two haves of the graham cracker, give it a little squeeze and enjoy the chocolatey gooiness!
Stuff to Have
-1 graham cracker
-1 large marshmallow
-1/4 full size chocolate bar
Fine motor, cooking
Along with these different activities make sure there is plenty of opportunity for large muscle movement, reading books, singing and rhyming every day.
To get large muscle groups working you can do things like jumping, kicking or throwing a ball, dancing, twirling, running through a sprinkler… get creative and have fun doing this together.
Get lot’s of reading in too. I’m sure you have a lot of favorite books, we do too! We also like to go to the library and pick up books that relate to what we are doing, and offer us something fresh and new from the books we have at home. Maybe this week since there are so many camping activities you could find some books where a favorite character goes camping. You could even get a big stack of books and read it in that cozy tent you are going to make! Read the books, talk about the pictures, the colors, and what things are similar to your child’s world.
And don’t forget music and rhymes! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be particularly musical to include music and rhymes in your day, your kids aren’t judging you and there’s no one else listening! The sing songy-ness of music and rhymes is instrumental in literacy and language development (think future reading), plus it’s fun, it gets kids moving, and it can be a great way to change a rough day into a happy one!