Camp Preschool

The kids in one of my classrooms are packing their bags, coolers, and flashlights and camping out! Well, pretending anyway.

One of my coworkers was kind enough to lend her tent and our team set it up in the Dramatic Play center. The tent is equipped with two sleeping bags, flashlights, and a box of books related to our current unit theme.

We also added a DIY Coleman camp stove and created a little miniature campfire for grilling lots of play food. Preschoolers work on sequencing ("first, next, then, last") and giving/following directions while making s'mores. During play, I can get in some great wh- questions; these are probably some of the easiest goals to address in an inclusive setting.

The "camp stove" was made using green poster board and some clear packing tape to attach an inexpensive wire cooling rack. I glued on circles (included in the set of visuals below) to indicate where the condiments belong. The campfire consists of two real pieces of cut wood with crumpled paper for the "flame". We used packing tape to enclose it so that the pretend food would sit easily on top.

As always, I labeled bins holding materials with Boardmaker pics to help address vocabulary objectives and show students where items belong during clean-up. I am big on visuals for many reasons, but mainly because most of my population is not reading yet. We're also working on receptive and expressive categories and sorting at our little campsite.

Sometimes it's fun to do some articulation therapy or other small-group/one-on-one practice in the tent (try using the flashlights as pointers!).  What's more motivating than a little change of scenery?

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