In this blog post: Want to plan a FREE end of the year camping day for your preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, or first grade class? Find everything you need for this end of the year theme day in this blog post!
I don’t know about you, but in Michigan, nothing screams SUMMER like camping! Students are excited to head up North to explore the great outdoors, so why not bring some of that excitement into the classroom?
End of the year theme days are an easy way to keep your students engaged and learning those last few weeks of school.
These don’t have to cost an arm and a leg or require a lot of time and prep. They can be as simple as adding some thematic activities into your regular curriculum!
To help you jump right in, this blog post is packed with free resources you can use to plan your end of the year camping theme day for preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, or 1st grade.
Let’s walk through what your end of the year camping day can look like with these free activities. You will be able to download all of these activities together at the end of the blog post.
This blog post contains Amazon Affiliate links.
Morning Tub Activities
You already know we had to start off the day with morning tubs! For your camping theme day, students will have camping themed morning tub activities!
These camping day morning tubs were designed to fit right into my Pre-K morning tubs for the year, Kindergarten morning tubs for the year, or First Grade morning tubs for the year.
I decided to keep this morning tub activity simple and predictable so you don’t have to teach anything new. Really, does Roll, Count, and Cover ever get old?
This morning bin has three options: roll and count, roll and add two dice, and roll and add three dice.
Students will roll the dice, count the dots, and cover the matching number. If you play with a partner, they can race to see who can cover all of their fish first.
After morning tubs, we jump right into morning meeting and then whole group literacy with an interactive read aloud.
For your camping theme day, I planned activities for two different read alouds depending on your grade level.
For preschool, pre-k, or Kindergarten, you can read the book Maisy Goes Camping by Lucy Cousins. In this story, Maisy and her friends are going camping. But they run into a problem when they all try to fit in the tent!
I’ve included a few different reading response sheets you can use after reading, including identifying the characters, identifying the problem and solution, and filling out a story map.
If you teach Kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade, you will LOVE the book Camp Tiger by Susan Choi. In this story, a boy is going camping with his family at the end of summer. He’s worried about moving up to first grade and he doesn’t want this camping trip to end. However, he meets a special friend while camping.
For this story, I planned reading response sheets you can use to retell the story, retell the ending, or make connections to how students are feeling about starting a new grade.
In 2nd grade and up, I think that you could also discuss and infer how the boy’s feelings about the new grade change from the beginning to the end of the story. We can infer at the end that he is starting to feel hopeful. However, I think this will go right over students’ heads in the younger grades.
Want more camping themed pictures books to read aloud throughout the day? Check these out:
- Pete the Cat Goes Camping by James Dean
- A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
- Curious George Goes Camping by H.A. Ray
- Tacky Goes to Camp by Helen Lester
You can add these no prep phonics worksheets into your literacy centers or use them for independent practice during your whole group phonics lesson.
For CVC words and up, students will read the words and illustrate a picture that matches. This is a fun way to add comprehension to your decoding practice!
Preschool and Pre-K teachers, I didn’t forget you! You have two options. The first is a rainbow write alphabet sheet. Students will color or rainbow write the letters.
The second is an alphabet hunt! You can use this two different ways.
First, students can grab a clipboard and search the room for letters. When they find one, they will write it on the correct section of their sheet.
The second option is to use this for a magazine hunt. Students can cut out letters and glue them on the page.
Camping Day Writing Activities
Similar to our end of the year Bubble Day, for our Camping Day we also have how to procedural writing. It just fits so well!
For this writing activity, students will write all about how to make s’mores.
If you want to really get into the fun, you can even let students make their own s’mores step-by-step before or after writing about it.
However, if you don’t want to write about how to make s’mores (or you just want to add more writing into your day), you can also write an informational piece all about camping.
Together, you can brainstorm things that you need, things you can do, and things that you have when camping. Then, students can write all about it!
The end of the year is often filled with testing and assessing, and you need a way to keep students engaged and busy – that hopefully doesn’t require a lot of prep from you.
That’s why I’ve planned no prep partner games for each of our end of the year theme days!
For our end of the year camping day, the partner game is Lock It.
If you’ve ever played Bump games, the idea is basically the same.
HOW TO PLAY: Each player will need their own color cubes. Partner 1 will spin and cover a matching spot. Then, partner 2 will spin. If they spin the same number, they can bump player 1 off that spot and cover it with their own cube. However, if player 1 spins that number again before player 2 does, they can “lock” their spot by placing another cube on top. The player with the most spots covered in the end wins.
This is a little complicated for our youngest learners, so if you think it’s too much for them, you can also just use these as Spin and Cover or Spin and Color games!
Students can just spin a number and then cover or color a match. The player with the most spots covered or colored wins.
- Number ID to 5, 10, 15, and 20
- Place value with teen numbers
- Addition and subtraction to 5
- Addition and subtraction to 10
- Addition and subtraction to 20
Camping Day Activities
For our camping day, we get to extend the fun in so many different ways!
For camping themed math fun, you can ask the question, “Have you ever slept in a tent?” and have students create a graph with the results.
Finally, if you have enough flashlights, break them out for Flashlight Reading! Turn off the lights and let students read in their “tents” (under their desk or table).
After reading, students can write about the book they read.
For a few more camping ideas, try:
⭐Marshmallow Measurement: Give each student a marshmallow and a straw. Tape a line on the floor or a table. Students will use the straw to blow their marshmallow. Then they will measure the distance it traveled using nonstandard or standard measurement tools.
⭐Marshmallow Painting: For this process art project, just stick toothpicks in marshmallows (I suggest leaving them out overnight to get stale). Students can dip in paint and then stamp or use the marshmallows as paint brushes.
⭐Tent Building STEM: Give students any building supplies you want, such as cubes, popsicle sticks, and tissues. Students can build a tent.
Download your free camping day activities!
Ready to plan an end of the year camping day for your students? You can download all of these hands on bubble day activities for free! Just enter your email below and they will be send straight to your inbox.
TIP: Make sure that you use a personal email address. School districts often block emails with outside downloads. Have any trouble? Email me at [email protected].
I hope you have a wonderful end of the year!
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