One of my all-time favorite storytime themes is camping! I’ve broken down what we did for you to enjoy!
Set the Stage: Perhaps the reason I love the camping theme for storytime, is that it gives you a perfect excuse to pitch a full campsite in the storytime room!
That’s right! It’s camping time! At a mini campsite! Can we climb in the tent at the end?! You bet your bookmarks we can!
Picture Book Perfect: I do storytimes for two age groups: preschool (3-5) and grade school (k+). Some of my favorite books to use are:
Storytime Bling: Along with books, I like to incorporate drawing stories, rhymes, and more. On this particular day in preschool we were working out way through the alphabet using drawing stories from a book I adore called “A is for Alligator, Draw and Tell Tales From A-Z“. I use this every other year as a way to teach the littles their letters and it works like a dream!
We also do a “counting / color / guessing game” that is basically the storytime classic “Little Mouse” that uses a pocket chart. This week we did “Little Moose, Little Moose, are you hiding behind the (color) caboose?”
Mad About Science: For my grade schoolers I do try to incorporate science experiments. I really love the Soap Powered Boat experiment, because it also serves as a story which goes like this (I usually do this on the floor with the kids around me):
“Once upon a time, I wanted to go camping on a lake so I could spend my days relaxing and fishing! So I traveled to a beautiful lake (show the kids the tub of water). The water was cool and calm and full of fish! I brought my tackle box and my fishing rod! I brought my fishing hat and my sunscreen! I brought everything except… a boat! Doh! But was that going to stop me? No! That meant I made to make a boat. So, I got out my axe (grab your scissors) and I found a tree (grab your rectangle of styrofoam plate or index card) and I got to work! I chopped this piece of wood (snip!) and this piece of wood (snip)! I cut (snip) and sanded (snip) and worked until it was perfect (show the boat)! I put it in the lake and…. nothing. The boat wouldn’t move! How am I going to get any fish if I can’t get to the middle of the lake?! Oh yeah, I need gas (add soap to boat)! * Tip: make sure you use a clean, soap-free batch of water each time or the boat won’t go.
Bust a Move: My kids weren’t jamming on the classic campfire songs (sorry O’l Smokey), but they are always down for limbo, a solid round of “Baby Shark”, or a game I made up called “Can You Keep Up” which is basically “Simon Says” without having to say “Simon says” over and over.
That’s Craftastic: When I first started story times, I went with very structured crafts, but since then I have transitioned to using more process art projects and stem activities that grant children the freedom to be creative individuals. We used marshmallows and spaghetti to build the campsite of our dreams. Total win.
As always, please share any feedback, tips, tricks, or comments below and thank you for reading!
Owls & Vowels