several small pop-up tents
several sleeping bags
four to six small fishing poles with no hooks
several small- to medium-size plastic fish
small twigs and branches
several small- to medium-size stones
red, yellow, and orange tissue paper (optional)
one or two camp skillets
camp dishes (optional)
small pitchers of apple or white grape juice
healthy snack foods such as grapes, dried fruit, and pretzels
1. Remove most of the materials from your housekeeping area. Set up one or
two tents with sleeping bags in the housekeeping, block, and reading areas.
2. Use masking tape to mark off a “river” in the block area.
3. Attach a small magnet to the end of each fishing line, and attach a small
magnet to the mouth of each plastic fish.
4. Put the fish in the “river” and place one or two fishing poles by each tent.
5. Place snack foods in an easily accessible place by the housekeeping area.
6. Demonstrate how to use small stones to make a fire ring. Arrange small
sticks in the ring to simulate a campfire. If desired, make a flame for the
campfire using yellow, orange, and red tissue paper. Tuck the paper in and
around the twigs in the campfire.
7. At large group time, explain the concept of camping to the children. Tell the
children that campers catch fish and cook them over a campfire, sleep in
sleeping bags in tents, swim in lakes and rivers, and explore the natural
world around them.
8. Lead the children around the room and explore the camping area. Point out
the “river” and fish and the “campfire.”
9. Let the children help themselves to the juice and snacks, but remind them
that they must eat while seated around the campfire. Watch this area to
prevent children from eating too much, and to emphasize sharing.
10. Encourage the children to use the materials freely during center time. They
will have a great time building with blocks and reading books inside a cozy
tent! The children can catch fish in the river and use the camp skillet to cook
their fish over the campfire. Sing songs around the campfire!
More to do Literacy: Enhance the fishing experience by affixing a letter of the alphabet, a
color swatch, or a shape to the fish. As the children catch fish they can identify
what they have caught.
Outdoors: Set up some tents outdoors on a nice day.