Welcome to the classroom! We love to play, learn, create and sing together in the classroom, and we’d like to encourage our classroom friends to keep learning and playing at home once Caitie’s Classroom is over. We’ve put together activities and resources so the playing, learning, creating and singing doesn’t have to stop once Caitie says goodbye. Try these out at home or in your own classroom, and have fun!
This episode is all about camping! I (Caitie) was super lucky growing up and was taken camping maybe times with my dad. It really fostered a love for the outdoors that I still have today. I love camping! That was a big inspiration for making this episode. But even if you can’t go camping, there are TONS of fun ways you can recreate the experience at home and still foster that love of the outdoors. Read on ideas to create the camping experience at home, and for tips to build off of those activities for more learning and fun!
Camping Small World
Even though we are in a classroom, we can still go camping with our camping small world. This small world was inspired by our dinosaur small world that we used in our older Dinosaurs live episode. You can make one at home too and go on a mini camping adventure!
- We used plasticine to make the dirt, grass and water in our camping small world, but any kind of colored dough would work. We built the small world in a tray from a dollar store – you can use a tray or a large plate would work well too! You can add in other elements, like rocks and sticks from outside. We used plastic trees, but you could also use sticks with some leaves still on them and stick them into the dough.
- We created our other small elements, like the animals, tent, campfire, canoe and Caitie figure using a 3D printer and painted them. But other items would be just as fun! Use some small toys you have around the house, or draw a face on a small rock to be the figure. You can make a small tent and boat by folding a piece of paper in half, and crumple up a small piece of red paper to be a campfire.
- For animals, print out some animals you might see on a camping trip from our animal flashcards. You can have them pop up throughout your mini camping experience. Have your little one identify the animal and if they make a sound, have them make the sound too!
- Once you have all your elements of your camping small world, it’s time to let your imagination run wild and go on a camping adventure! Let little ones make up their own story as they go camping in their small world.
- A grown up can narrate a camping story for the little ones to go on. Little ones can listen and act out the story in the small world.
- Try playing some songs about the outdoors in the background and have your little one listen and act them out in the small world. Songs like I Love The Mountains, Walking In The Forest, Let’s Go For A Walk Outside, The Bear Went Over The Mountain, and Row Row Row Your Boat are great for this activity.
- Don’t forget to clean up everything once you are done. A good camper always leaves the campsite and outdoors cleaner than they found it.
Packing A Backpack
When we go camping, we have to bring everything we need including food, clothes, a place to sleep, and important items like a flashlight and sunscreen.
- Bring out a real backpack and pretend to pack for a camping trip. Ask your little ones what you should bring. Suggest some silly items like a couch or big screen tv and see what they say!
- This is a great time to reinforce some important things that can sometimes be tricky with little ones, like wearing sunscreen and hats when it is sunny, and a jacket when it is cold or rainy. All important things to take camping!
- Make a list of all the things you would need to pack together with your little one, writing each one down. Then go around the house and find those items. Once you find the item, let you little one cross the item off the list.
- Once your backpack is packed, try counting all the items that are inside for some counting practice!
Camping With Tobee
Even if you aren’t really camping like Caitie and Tobee, you can still do many of the activities they did while camping around your neighborhood. In this episode we show a shortened version of our camping trip. You can watch the full version here!
- Go for a walk around your neighborhood and see what you can see. Pay special attention to the plants, the clouds and sky, and the smells.
- Try bird watching! Using binoculars, play binoculars or just your hands to make binoculars, look up in the sky and see what birds you can find. Sit somewhere very still so the birds come up close. Try making a bird feeder and the birds will come to you!
- Go on a hunt for some interesting rocks! Look for certain shapes, colors or sizes of rocks. Once you have your collection of rocks, count them and see how many you found. Sort them into shapes, colors and sizes.
- When it is dark, try star gazing. How many stars can you see? Can you see any constellations? Watch the Caitie’s Classroom episode The Magnificent Night Sky for more on stars!
- If you are able where you live, try canoeing! If not, fill your bathtub and pretend to paddle while in the bath! Paddle forward, backwards, fast and slow!
- If you are able to have a campfire where you are, gather sticks for a campfire. If you have a fireplace, try making one in the fireplace and letting your little one get involved safely in the process. If not, you can always make your own crafty campfire – more on that down below!
- Try sleeping on the floor! Even if you don’t have a tent, you can make a cozy place to sleep on the floor in your bedroom with blankets and pillows. Pretend you are camping and sleeping on the ground outside!
- Make shadow puppets! Try making the shadow puppets Caitie and Tobee make in their tent by shining a light on a wall, and moving your hands between the light and wall to make a shadow!
- During our camping trip, Tobee really wanted to see an owl. He was always on the lookout in case there was one around. You can go searching for an owl too! Print out the owl flashcard from our animal flashcards, and hide it somewhere in the room. Have your little one go searching for the owl, like Tobee! You can also purchase our owl plush toy for something more like the real thing!
Make Your Own Crafty Campfire
One part of camping that can be hard to have at home is a campfire, so we made a craft that lets you do just that – a campfire inside!
- Follow our step by step instructions to make your own crafty campfire!
- Once your logs are ready to make your fire, try scattering them around the floor of the room for your little ones to find and pick up, so they can gather the sticks for the fire just like we do when we go camping. Have them count the logs as they pick them up!
- Once you are done playing with the fire, be sure to remove all the flames. It is important to put out all our campfires properly when we are done with them.
Roasting marshmallows is a wonderful camping activity! You can pretend to do this at home, and use this activity as a way to practice counting and fine motor skills!
- Have your little ones push a marshmallow onto a stick. This is great fine motor skill practice.
- Give your little ones a number and have them put that many marshmallows on the stick.
- Put a number of marshmallows on a stick or draw a picture and have your little one count how many marshmallows there are.
- If you have marshmallows that are different colors, you can practice patterns with your little one. Give them a pattern to copy by placing different colored marshmallows in a certain order. Once they have recreated it, ask them what comes next!
I Love The Mountains
In this episode we sing I Love The Mountains, a wonderful song for a campfire sing along!
- Watch our animated music video for I Love The Mountains and see what the bear family does on their camping trip!
- Make our I Love The Mountains play set and act out the bear family’s camping trip along with the song!
- Have your little ones draw a picture inspired by the song. Play this song in the background as they draw.
Campfire Sing Along
You can always have a sing along no matter where you are! Try singing some songs around your pretend campfire! Here are some suggestions for great songs to sing during a campfire sing along.
- Songs about nature like I Love The Mountains and The Bear Went Over The Mountain.
- Repeat after me songs like And The Green Grass Grew and My Happy Song.
- Sweet, lullaby songs like Skidamarink and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
- Silly songs are always a hit at campfire singalongs! Try Down By The Bay and Apples & Bananas.
We hope you have fun singing, playing, learning, and creating! We love to see photos of our friends having fun in the classroom and of their wonderful creations! You can share them with us through social media or by sending us an email to hello@SuperSimpleOnline.com.
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