Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Early Literacy in Everyday Places: The Campground

Going camping is a favorite summer pastime in many families, and it's a great way to take a break from the stresses of regular everyday life, including technology. Bond with your kids during this screen-free time by sharing some of the following early literacy activities.

  • Tell stories around the campfire. Besides eating s'mores, this is the best way to enjoy a campfire. Though it might be traditional to tell spooky stories, if these are too much for your little guys, try telling your own versions of fairy tales, funny stories from your family's own history, or round-robin stories, where each member of the family takes a turn adding to the story. 
  • Look up the names of the plants and animals you discover. Borrow or buy a field guide for the region you will be visiting. This will help you identify unfamiliar animals and plants you may encounter at the campsite or on a hiking trail. (This is actually a fun activity to do at home, too. My husband and I still talk about the day a brown thrasher popped out of a neighbor's bush and scared us half to death!) 
  • Talk about the names and stories of the constellations. On a clear night, without the light pollution of more heavily populated areas, you might be able to show your kids some of the constellations. Identify the ones you know, and tell their associated myths, then have your child look for his or her own pictures in the stars and make up stories to go along with them. 
  • Sing call and response songs on hikes. Though I never went camping as a kid, I did go to Girl Scout day camp, and I can remember singing many call and response songs as we walked the hiking trails. Here are some good ones to get you started: 
For more outdoor early literacy activities, check out my posts about early literacy in The Backyard, The Mud, and The Park.
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