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Preschool Camping Activities Theme

This Preschool Camping Activities Theme will help your preschool children experience camping!  This is great for the children who have camped before and for those who have never been camping! Bring the experience to them!  This theme page is filled with preschool lesson plans and activities to help your children learn that camping is fun!

Let the Theme Planning Begin!

You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your Preschool Camping Activities Theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.

Art Activities 

Block Area

Circle Time Activities 

Cooking Recipes

Dramatic Play Ideas 

Easel Ideas

Gross Motor Games 

Library and Literacy

Math And Manipulatives

Music and Movement

Sand and Water Table 

Science Activities

Writing Activities

Preschool Camping Activities Theme Art

Mini Campfires

Materials Needed: small twigs from outside (the children should have 3 or 4 each); glue; heavy cardboard or posterboard; small pebbles

The children should glue the twigs next to and/or on top of each other. Then glue the pebbles around their "campfire".

Extension: They can glue on red, yellow or orange paper for the fire, small white pom-poms on craft sticks as marshmallows, etc.


Materials Needed: One paper towel tube per child, stickers, markers, paint, hole puncher, yarn

Cut each child's paper towel tube in half. The children decorate the tube (paint, markers, stickers, etc.).

Staple the tubes together. When dry, hole punch and add string for the children to hold them by their wrist (I don't recommend long enough strings to go around their necks, too much potential for injury.)

Nature Collage Wreaths

Materials Needed: Collect items on a nature walk such as leaves, twigs, etc. Place them all in a large bag while collecting them with the children.

Use these items to make a group collage. Draw a wreath/circle shape onto large poster board. The children then glue their items on!

Leaf Painting

Materials Needed: MANY large leaves from outside, paint, paper

Provide the paint in shallow trays. Show the children how to press the leaf into the paint and then press it onto the paper.

Or, the children can paint the leaf using a paintbrush and then press it onto the paper to make a leaf shape.

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Block Center Ideas


Add small stuffed animals to your block area. You may also want to cover the area with a dark sheet from the ceiling to help the area to go along with your Preschool Camping Activities theme!

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Circle Time Ideas

Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!

A Camping We Will Go!

Bring a backpack with different camping items to circle time (such as flashlights, boots, binoculars, a tent!). Talk to the kids about camping. Have they ever gone camping? What did they do, see, etc.

End the discussion with a song about the items you will have in your dramatic play area:

A Camping We Will Go (sung to the tune of the Farmer and the Dell)

A camping we will go. A camping we will go.

Hi ho the derry-o a camping we will go.

Miss Cheryl will bring the tent. Miss Cheryl will bring the tent.

Hi ho the derry-o Miss Cheryl will bring the tent.

Now lead the kids to name an item that you have all discussed:

Joey will bring the flashlight. Joey will bring the flashlight....etc.

Continue until all the children have had a turn!

Campfire Stories

During this theme, have a makeshift campfire to have in the middle as you read during circle time. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish!

We have had real logs (check for bugs on them first!) and we've made it with wooden unit blocks.

Add orange, yellow and red paper cut into flames and some rocks around the outside of the logs. (If you don't have rocks, you can crumple up gray or black tissue paper).

Camping Safety

Use circle time to discuss the safety precautions the children should take when camping such as:

ALWAYS wear a life jacket when on a boat (bring one to circle for them to try on).

Wear bug repellent and sunscreen.

Do NOT touch any bugs or snakes unless a grown up says it's ok to do so.

Do NOT eat anything from bushes-discuss poisonous berries, etc.

Campfires are fun, but we should not get too close and grown ups should always put the fire out before leaving the campground.

5 Little Campers

Five Little Campers sitting in the sun.

The first one said, "Let's have some fun!"

The second one said, "Let's go for a swim."

The third one said, "I'll ask a grown-up to watch while we go in."

The fourth one said, "Let's get our safety vests."

The fifth one said "We are the best!"

O-KAY said the grown-ups! YES said the kids!

And the five little campers began to swim!

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Cooking Ideas

Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!


OK, not so healthy, but---c'mon, it's Camping Time!

The children place one large marshmallow on a square graham cracker.

Place some mini chocolate morsels on top.

Heat in oven (250 degrees F.) for 3-5 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately cover each with another square graham cracker.

Let cool and serve warm.

Trail Mix

Provide healthy snack foods in separate bowls. They place one scoop of each in their baggie for snack time.

Suggestions: Cheerios, raisins, pretzels

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Ideas for Dramatic Play

Camping Gear

Place a tent in your dramatic play area. Include camping gear such as:

back packs


empty water bottles

empty bug spray bottles

hiking boots

a mess kit and/or play food

sleep bags

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Ideas for your Easel

More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom)!

No Paintbrushes!

Try using items other than paintbrushes at your easel during your preschool camping activities theme! Try items such as:

Rocks (use for stamping the paint with), leaves, twigs, flowers, etc.

Use any items you can think of that would be fun to paint with based on a camping theme for your easel preschool lesson plans!

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Large Group Games that help build the children's muscles while they have fun together!

Scavenger Hunt

Have the children hunt for and find these items. You can do this as a group or give each of them a picture of what they need to find to look on their own.

Choose items that go along with this preschool camping activities theme such as:

a bear, backpack, binoculars, owl, tent, etc.

EXTENSION: Have the children use the binoculars they made in the art activity above to help search for their items!

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Ideas for your Library Area

Book Suggestions for the Library

Bailey Goes Camping by Kevin Henkes

The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp by Jan and Stan Berenstain

Camping Out by Usborne Books

Curious George Goes Hiking by Margaret Rey and Alan J. Shalleck

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Oswald's Camping Trip by Dan Yaccarino

The Very Quiet Cricket [Hardcover] by Eric Carle

When Peter was lost in the forest by Hans Peterson

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Preschool Camping Activities Math and Mainpulatives Theme Ideas

to help your preschoolers develop their math skills and those small muscles in their hands!

Tackle Box

Materials Needed: Egg carton, paper clips (opened)

Use the egg cartons as a tackle box! Add paper clips (opened) to look like fishing hooks for the children to sort.

They can sort by color (using the large, colored paper clips) or count out by number. Write a number in each egg section and the children should count THAT many clips into the section.

Bird Feeders

Provide pipe cleaners and cheerios. The children string the cheerios onto the pipe cleaners practicing counting as they do this.

Hang these bird feeders outside for your bird friends!

Campfire Rock Sorting

Provide a large assortment of rocks of different colors, shapes and sizes. Provide several cups or bowl (mess kit bowls would be great for this preschool camping activities theme!) and magnifying glasses. You'll be surprised at how many attributes the children decide to sort by!

Ants In The Pants

This is such a fun game and allows for the children to practice using their small muscles. Don't require that the children "get the ants in the pants" as most of your children won't have that kind of control. We don't even use the pants part...we just have fun making them hop, guessing how far they will hop, etc.

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

Going On A Bear Hunt

There are some great versions of this song. My favorite is by Greg and Steve. Dr. Jean also has one. Set up your area (inside or out) to have each of the areas listed in the song.

Preschool Camping Activities Songs!

Look up the lyrics to some of your favorite camping songs. Some suggestions:

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain

Home on the Range

On Top of Old Smokey (or, On Top of Spaghetti!)

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

This Little Light of Mine

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Ideas for your Sand and Water Table!


Provide plastic fish and fishing nets to your water table today!

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Science Ideas for your Preschool Scientists in Training!


Yes, real crickets! You can purchase these very inexpensively at a local pet store. Place them in a fish tank (with a cover of course). Find out from the pet store what to feed them!

Provide magnifying glasses, clipboards and crayons for the children to draw what they observe.

Worm Time!

Really! What is more fun and exciting to preschoolers than worms???!!!

Fill a fish tank with dirt and add earthworms! There is special dirt that can be used, I think a garden center or bait store will know what it is! You have to do this, it is cool!

You can also purchase your crickets and worms, as I have in the past, from Amazon:

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Preschool Camping Activities Theme Writing Center Ideas

Fishy Names

Encourage name writing by providing fish shapes to your writing center and encouraging your children to print their names. Each time the do, they hang them in your fish pool! (Blue paper taped to the wall as a pond!)

Letter Match

This is an extension of the previous activity. On your fish pool wall, place fish that have letters printed on them (which ever letters you are working on with your children).

At the writing table, the children should practice printing letters and then matching them to the letters on the wall. OR, if you have upper case letters on the wall, encourage them to print the lower case letter of each one on their own fish at the writing table and then hang it on the wall!

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