I remember the first time I went camping – I was in boy scouts and was merely 13 years old. That was the first time I’ve learned how to build a campfire and cook outdoors. Frankly, the food was quite terrible; however, it had provided me a scent of adolescence and independence. Whether you are a parent, a teacher or an older brother – this article will be useful for you and provide you with some excellent ideas on camping activities for kindergarten kids, or preschool in general.
There are quite various things you can do when you go camping with your little ones.
You could make a spiderweb maze, hike in nature, sing campfire songs or even watch the beautiful birds in the sky. You could also take advantage of the night by telling some scary stories, gazing at the stars, or by having fun with a few hand shadow puppets next to your bonfire.
These are just a few examples – keep on reading to find out some more!
1. Make a Spider Web Maze
This is a fun outdoor game to keep the kindergarteners entertained. Ensure each kid has a ball of yarn with different colors and let them unwind the balls in and out of various objects in the campsite including bushes, trees, and posts.
Once they are done, challenge them to untangle the maze. This will be a precious way to pass the time and get the kids to take on a simple yet exciting test.
Give the kids a cardboard tube to hold on to while rewinding the balls of yarn.
2. Go on a Nature Hike
Most campsites have nice trails where people can go for a walk. Find a beautiful park or forest near your campsite and mobilize your mini-troop to go on an outdoor journey of discovery.
Get the kids to explore the different Flora and Fauna and engage in some useful exercise. A hike is an excellent way to keep the kids healthy while getting them acquainted with Mother Nature.
Make sure you avoid some common hiking mistakes – you may read all about it in both my articles: “Is Trekking Dangerous?” & “15 Mistakes That I Did During My First Hike”.
3. Sing Campfire Songs
Once you have made a campfire at night, songs are a great way to spend time around it. Make the little ones think of fun songs they learned in class or back home that they can sing around the campfire.
Of course, nothing complements a song better than a dance! Get them to sing and dance to as many songs while holding hands; this is a great way to entertain them and get them to interact with one another.
Not only that, but it will also ensure that they sleep like babies at the end of the day.
4. Bird Watching
There are many ways to interact with nature and bird watching should be among the top ones. Take the preschoolers to a park nearby and make them look for different species of bird.
Tell them about the different natures of the birds-feeding habits, habitat, – and make them listen to the unique bird sounds.
You can make this even more interesting by getting them to try and imitate the different bird sounds they hear. Bird watching is not just educational but also adventurous and exciting; something the kids will definitely beam at.
Gazing at the stars at night is another relaxing and fun activity you can do. Wait for a clear night and find an open patch near the campsite where the kids can lie down on their backs in a circle.
Make them watch the shiny stars in the clear sky and educate them on the different constellation. Ensure this is more interesting by getting to them to identify the intricate star formations you’ve just told them about, e.g., The Big Dog, Southern Cross, The Plough.
This is a great way to mix a fun night at the campsite with a science lesson about the solar system.
6. Tell Scary Stories
Every kid loves listening to stories! You can introduce to them a new kind of storytelling by giving them adrenaline-filled horror stories.
Ensure the setting is just right by switching off all the light sources and getting your flashlight. Get the kids to sit in a circle around you inside the tent and start telling your thrill of a story.
This will prove to be top-notch entertainment for the children. Just make sure there is nothing too graphic in your narration; you don’t want to scare anyone in their sleep!
7. Go Fishing
Fishing is another great outdoor adventure you can indulge the kids in. Look for any shallow pond, stream, or brook close to the campsite to fish. Ensure that you get the kids to find their own bait by showing them how to catch worms and other relevant bugs.
This will be an excellent way to teach them a new skill and make them appreciate the art of fishing. Many parks will allow campers to fish for fun without a license.
8. Card & Board Games
These are games you can either choose to play inside or outside the tent. Either way, these games are both fun and exciting. Pull out a game of scrabble with huge moveable letters.
This will help the kids in spelling out words as well as improve their vocabulary. Alternatively, you can pick a simple card game to teach the kindergarteners. I’m sure the kids will be glad to partake in this.
9. Make Hand Shadow Puppets
This is another fun game that you can get the kids to play when it’s dark. Ensure the tent is pitch dark and shine a flashlight on the different patterns you are making with your hands so that the shadow appears on the other side of the tent.
Teach the children to make animal figures like rabbits, birds, goats, etc. and ask them to come up with any that they can think of. This is a great game that fosters creativity among the kids.
10. Teach Them Outdoor Artwork
Make cool pieces of artwork using natural items like stones, twigs, leaves, etc. that you can find outside the camp. You can get the children to make stone sculptures or paint differently shaped stones with various colors to make interesting stone figures, smiley faces, etc.
Kids can also use tiny, flexible twigs and leaves to make friendship bracelets or crowns and tiaras. These are precious memorabilia that the kids can take back home to their families.
11. Scavenger Hunting
A scavenger hunt in the bushes and forest will be both adventurous and exciting for the kids. Tell them about the little insects, animals, and plants to look for then set them free to go and hunt.
There are many fascinating creatures such as butterflies, fireflies, crickets, and hoppers that will give the kids a fun challenge to catch. A scavenger hunt involves physical activity and having fun at the same time.
12. Storybook Reading
Make the kids choose any interesting storybooks they may know of or find great ones for them. Find a nice and quiet place outside where you can sit and start your book reading session.
Make sure everyone is involved by allocating each person a section of the storybook to read. This is a classic way of keeping kids entertained and an excellent way to spend a beautiful, calm day in the outdoors.
13. Build a Campfire
Getting the kids to make a campfire is a fabulous way to get them involved and make them feel needed. Tell your troops to go to the nearest bush and search for any dry twigs and fallen branches to bring back to the campsite.
Find a nice area to build the campfire and make it fun for the kids by allowing them to roast marshmallows.
If you camp in damp areas, make sure that you learn how to light wet firewood. Also, you should read my articles on how to make a campfire burn all night and how to keep a fire going in the rain – I’ve spent a couple of days to gather you the best tips on those matters.
14. Play Outdoor Games
Kids have immense activity needs, and a great way to make them spend this extra energy is to play outdoor games. Think of any contact games like “tug-of-war’, “tag,” or even “hide and seek” that the kids will have a blast playing.
However, make sure that you find a safe area where there is little risk of accidents.
15. Map & Compass Reading
Teach the kids some boy-scout lessons on how to read a map and use a compass. Get a map and show them on the map the location you are in presently.
Look for any noticeable landmarks on the map that can be found near your campsite and see if the kids can locate them with the help of a compass.
A lesson in navigation will go a long way to teach the kids about outdoor survival.
What Should I be Careful of?
When you are camping with youth and kindergarten kids, you should make sure they keep relatively quiet, especially when you camp in the woods.
The loud noise would attract animals and if you are unlucky – perhaps even bears. On that matter, I’ve explained genuinely what to do when you are facing a black bear outside your tent.
Also, I suggest that you pick leftovers and make sure your campsite is clean, especially during nighttime. Food may be another attraction for bears, not to mention obnoxious insects and snakes.
Know your surroundings and learn about dangerous plants – one of the most common is Poison Ivy – I suggest that you learn know how to recognize it .
You should also make sure you bring enough water and food – each kid should drink at least 2 liters of water a day, and even more in hot climates.
Is There an Age Limit For Camping?
Frankly, it’s a hard question, mostly because it depends on the kids themselves and the adult who is watching them.
If you are trained with kids and know how to manage them – there is probably no age limit for camping. If you are not sure how you are going to handle them – maybe you can take some preparation in outdoor activities close to your neighborhood.
The key here is behavior – if young ones know how to behave in places far away from home – things should be okay.
What Should I do With Hyperactive Children?
If you are familiar with a kid who you consider hyperactive – you should consider whether or not he should even join the journey.
This may sound harsh, although the most critical priority is to keep the little ones safe. Besides, a hyperactive kid may also danger the rest of the group.
If you decided to take them along, you should make some activities to keep hyperactive children calm. The key here is to keep occupied – find them an activity they like and stick to it.
When kids are bored, they tend to entertain themselves by making a mess and noise. Pick one of the suggested activities and make the problematic kid its manager – this way he would be forced to stay focused and most certainly won’t get bored.
What is The Right Activity For my Group?
I’ve presented you here with 15 different activities – picking the right one could be a little hard. If you ask me – the best way to go is by letting the kids choose.
Print down the different ideas and bring the paper to your campsite. Sit the children down and make a vote – go with the crowd and pick the majority’s choice.
Still, make sure not to ignore the other kids who would like to do something else – you could sometime split the groups and make two activities at ones (although you should put another adult as a supervisor).
I believe the best activity is the one who involves many children at ones – be flexible with your attitude by listening to their hearts.
Camping could be enjoyable for both youth and adults, although you should be prepared upfront when you go along with kindergarten kids.
Improvising along the way could waste your time and get the children bored – for that I suggest you print the ideas above and implement them the very moment you have some dead time.
Keep the little ones occupied, especially the trouble makers who make a lot of noise – they could easily attract bears or other dangerous wild animals.
Know your surroundings and learn what is crucial to avoid – including poisonous plants and harming insects. It is best to camp in preorganized campsites, avoid wild-camping as much as you can.
I hope my article had provided with some original ideas. If you have any insights of your own – let me know all about them, and I will surely add them to the list!
- 10 Wonderful Summer Camp Activities For Kids – momjunction, 2017
- FANTASTIC ACTIVITIES FOR A PRESCHOOL CAMPING THEME – fun-a-day
- THE BEST CAMPING ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS – coffeecupsandcrayons, 2014