It’s only 10 days till the official first day of summer! If you’re like us, that means camping season is in full swing. Even though we have woods right in our back yard, we love to get away to unknown forests, unplug, and enjoy nature without distraction.
Fishing, hiking, swimming, and hanging out around the campfire top of our list of ways to spend a fabulous weekend. But you know the Lit Mama, I never go anywhere without a book or two add to the enjoyment.
There’s always downtime on a camping trip. You know what I mean. You’ve gotten up with the sun, fished the lake, taken a hike and a swim, and you’re back at the campsite pleasantly exhausted and in need of a break. The kids are too old or too hyped up for naps but you know they need a few minutes to just chill.
What’s a mama or dada to do?
I mean, break out the books. Obviously. Read aloud together or read separately. Either way, chilling out with a good book is a great way to relax, soak up some shade, and stimulate little brains while their bodies rest. Because books.
Books to take camping
This gem is like all the Little Critter books–full of hilarity and sweetness. When Little Critter goes camping with his dad, he gets into all sorts of scrapes, and though his dad may roll his eyes sometimes and even lose his temper, he’s always there to save the day. Check out my Story Time for this adorable book if you want some camp activities to go with it.
Curious George is always getting into trouble. He’s just so… curious. Like most young littles, he wants to know about everything and he wants to know it Now, and we mamas and dadas know that can be a recipe for disaster. Poor George. He’s only trying to help, but he ends up making a nearby camper angry. When he runs into the woods to hide, a whole new set of adventures awaits. This might be a good one to warn littles about wandering off in the forest.
I crush so hard on this book. Lyrical text coupled with interesting illustrations makes this one of my favorites. Mr. Magee and his dog, Dee, go camping in a beautiful spot and have all kinds of fun. This would be a great bedtime story, but be warned–a bear shows up. A kindly bear just looking for a treat, but if you have littles who are worried about bears… well, you know what might happen.
This book has beautiful illustrations, and it is so much more than an A-Z alphabet book. The main picture gives your littles the A-Z, but side panels give wonderful details of camping and all the different ways to go about it. This book can be enjoyed two ways–just for the alphabet or for a great comparison to your own camping trip.
Because you can never have enough Mercer Mayer. If you have a little one who is afraid of the nighttime noises at camp, reading about Little Critter and Gator and the noises that frighten them might put him at ease.
If you’re looking for a book you can enjoy together throughout your camping trip, a short chapter book like this one is just the ticket. And who doesn’t love The Boxcar Children?! This mystery finds our favorite siblings camping, but it seems like someone is trying to scare everyone away. Will they solve the mystery in time to save Grandfather?
Any Gary Paulsen is amazing for a camping trip, but Brian’s story of survival in the Canadian wilderness may well be the best. This is one of those books that can actually teach your kids something–like how to survive in the wilderness. Plus, it’s really, really good. Obviously.
Kids can explore nature, make crafts, play games, and create their own snacks, meals, and even equipment with the detailed directions in this book.
From what to pack to how to set up, this guide shows your littles everything they need to know to make camping fun. Crafts, nature projects and experiments, knot-tying, and more are included in this fun book. It will keep them busy. And likely you, too.
This book says it’s for boys, but we girls can have fun with it, too. We use this book all the time for fun ideas and many of them can be used for camping. It has fishing and knot-tying tips, a section on insects and spiders, hunting, tanning, how to make a water bomb or a paper boat, and oh, so much more. I mean, it even has some Shakespeare. Be still, my heart.
I mean, right? Not only are you cracking up together as a family, you’re getting in some very sneaky grammar practice.
I spent part of my weekend at Thomas Jefferson’s estate, Monticello, so I’m going to leave you with my favorite of his quotes:
Not even while I’m camping.
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