pretend CAMPING props

I received a great response to the Pretend Play Grocery Store post I did a while back, so I decided to show off another pretend play experience we’ve been LOVING this past week.  Camping is one of our favorite family activities, so naturally pretend camping has been a big hit!  I keep adding new props, I just can’t help myself.

what you need:  tent ~ fire ~ s’mores ~ roasting sticks ~ fishing pond

I made all of these props with stuff I’ve been saving.  Check out my how-to on building a fake fire.

I wanted the kids to be able to roast food over the fire so I used a hot glue gun to attach empty thread spools to some thin dowels.  (They are marshmallows, by the way).  I used some of the left over beads from my free beaded seat cover to make a hot dog.  And a construction paper cut out worked as a fish…until I had the great idea for a fishing pond.

We’ve had quite a few visitors in our little campground.  Cousin TJ being the first.  Hubs made the tent using a large box.  He folded and taped the back to make the top stay in a V shape.  For us this simple design works best, but there are a lot of ways to make a tent.

And of course….what would pretend camping be without a little fire side sing along?

Want more camping ideas? How about tips for camping with kids

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  1. ‘Fake’ camping is a great idea, and something I will definitely be trying with my 7 and 4 year old when stuck for something to do in the upcoming summer holidays! 🙂
    One question though – what is s’mores? (I’m British that’s my excuse!) and have heard of them but don’t know what they are!

    1. Marshmallows (usually roasted and melty) with chocolate sandwiched between gram cracker. You should try it! =)

  2. Fun stuff! We’re going camping this Thursday. We use my mom’s motorhome. We still have a small tent my husband and I used to camp in before kids. Sometimes we set it up in the basement when one of our kids has a friend sleep over. It’s a fun way to make a sleep over special. If we zip it up it keeps our cat from waking them up.
    I found your post at We Teach.

  3. Another idea we do in our classroom for camping week is to make s’mores using graham crackers, marshmellow fluff and chocolate frosting. I work with Toddlers, so its a great way to have them for some of the younger ones you can’t do big marshmellows yet.

  4. I have a few suggestions of books I have for elementary children for the theme of camping or vacation. Enjoy! ;o)
    “Curious George Goes Camping” By Margret & H. A. Rey’s (Scholastic, 1990)
    “Camping Out” from The Busy World of Richard Scarry (Simon Spotlight,1994)
    “Nathan’s Fishing Trip” By Lulu Declacre (Scholastic, 1988) About an Elephant and a mouse that go fishing and all the things that can happen.
    “When I Go Camping with Grandma” By Marion Dane Bauer & Illustrated by Allen Garns (Published by BridgeWater Books a trademark of Troll Communications L.L.C., 2001)
    “Berenstain Bears & too Much Vacation” by Stan & Jan Berenstain
    (Random House-New York, 1989)
    “The Night Before Summer vacation” By Natasha Wing & illustrated by Julie Durrell (Scholastic, 2003)

  5. My creative juices are starting to flow now! LOL For a craft with Camping, you could make musical instruments to use around the campfire.; shakers, rattles, tambourine or bell shakers or bell bracelet, for the wrist or ankle. Shakers can be make with beans, rice, sand, pebbles, or beads in a film container, toilet paper roll (covering the bottom & top) or an empty Pringles potato chip can, etc.
    Another book could be Rainbow Fish, I could look up the author if you need. Then for a craft you could make rainbow fish with 1 or more sequins, depending which fish they want to make. I hope these ideas help. :o)

    1. LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your ideas! I’m going to the library asap. I shared you book list on Facebook. Thank you!

      1. My preschoolers love our camping center! I have a children’s size tent, firewood, tree stumps for seating, a lantern, a cooler, and two small pans. The kids use stick fishing poles with magnets attached to “fish.” then they cook them over the “fire.” They love trying to flip the fish in the air! Also, stick a large marshmallow on a stick and let it dry out…roast em!

        1. Jenn,
          OH that sounds fantastic! I can just picture your mini campsite and it makes me wish I was under the stars! Thanks for sharing.

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