June is National Camping Month. Explore the great outdoors with these exciting books and fun activities!

Books to Inspire 

Camping by Cindy Jenson-Elliott 

Describes the equipment, skills, and knowledge needed for camping.

Camping chaos by Franklin W. Dixon

Frank and Joe are excited to go camping with their friends in Bayport State Park for the annual “Fun With Camping” event. They are ready for hiking, bonfires, and s’mores–and especially for the tent decorating competition, which the boys are determined to win. But just a few nights into the trip, decorations start to go missing. First Frank and Joe hear strange noises outside their tent. Then they see a set of unique footprints at the campsite. It seems like someone–or something–is out to sabotage the decorating contest. Can Joe and Frank figure out who the campsite culprit could be?

Camp out! : the ultimate kids’ guide, from the backyard to the backwoods by Lynn Brunelle

Whether you’re planning an overnight in the backyard or a weekend in the wilderness, this book is packed with stuff to know. The basics, from gearing up to choosing a site, to building a tarp tent. Tasty outdoor recipes: Solar Oven Pizza, Chow Down Chili, and s’ more’s of course—with 8 variations.

Kids camp! : activities for the backyard or wilderness by Laurie Carlson

Intended for inexperienced campers, this guide provides directions for making camping equipment, projects, outdoor games, and snacks and meals, and offers safety tips

Kids’s Guide to Camping: all you need to know about having fun in the outdoors by Cherie Winner 

If you’re like most kids who love the outdoors, you want to do more than go on picnics or hike a nature trail. You don’t want to go home at the end of the day. You want to stay out in the woods, mountains, or desert. You want to camp. With Kids’ Guide to Camping, you’ll learn how to make roughing it easy. You’ll find great tips for choosing the best campsite and setting up your home away from home. You’ll even find recipes for great fireside dishes, like mac and cheese, biscuits and dumplings, and s’mores, of course!

 Sleeping in a sack: camping activities for kids by Linda White

An introduction to camping, including the types of gear needed, safety tips, activities, games, songs, and recipes.

Nature calls by Jessica Young

Finley and her friends are all heading to overnight camp, and Finley plans to prove to herself and her older brother that she is tough enough to get back to nature–but unfortunately her bunkmate is fussy Olivia.

Scaredy squirrel goes camping by Mélanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel’s not too comfortable with the idea of camping– unless it’s on his couch. There will be no mosquitoes, skunks, or zippers to worry about when he watches a show about the joys of camping on his brand-new TV. But first Scaredy must find an electrical outlet, and that means going into the woods. Will the nutty worrywart’s plans prepare him for the great outdoors, or will his adventure end up as a scary story told around the campfire?

Kit and Kaboodle go camping by Michelle Portice 

Hit the trail as Kit and Kaboodle head up a mountain on their camping trip in this Level 2 Highlights Puzzle Reader. Kids can help the duo by finding items for their journey in six Hidden Pictures puzzles that double as story illustrations.

Backyard adventure: get messy, get wet, build cool things, and have tons of wild fun! 51 free-play activities by Amanda Thomsen

Amanda Thomsen encourages kids to create kingdoms of their own making, right in their own backyards. With whimsical projects for every season and any setting, from forest to pavement, fun-seeking kids and their families will rediscover the yard as a place for inspired play, using repurposed materials and existing features of outdoor spaces. Whether they’re creating tiny gardens inhabited by action figures, weaving a secret hideaway out of a loom of twine and twigs, or setting sidewalk cracks on fire with Coffeemate. Backyard Adventure lets kids of all ages turn their yards into a place they can call their own.

S is for s’mores : a camping alphabet by Helen Foster James 

introduces camping from A to Z using poetry, prose, and illustrations in a children’s picture book. Includes information on beach camping, canyons, foliage, camping gear, John Muir, Juliette Gordon Low, and more.

Fatima’s great outdoors by Ambreen Tariq 

Excitedly joining her family for an outdoor camping trip in a Midwestern state park, Fatima Khazi helps set up a tent, build a fire, and fend off a daddy longlegs before settling down to sleep surrounded by the near-magical sounds of the forest.

Into the outdoors by Susan Gal

A child describes the wonders observed during a family camping trip to the mountains in a story that introduces the reader to prepositions.

The camping trip by Jennifer K. Mann

Ernestine is beyond excited to go camping. She follows the packing list carefully (new sleeping bag! new flashlight! special trail mix made with Dad!) so she knows she is ready when the weekend arrives. But she quickly realizes that nothing could have prepared her for how hard it is to set up a tent, never mind fall asleep in it, or that swimming in a lake means that there will be fish — eep! Will Ernestine be able to enjoy the wilderness, or will it prove to be a bit too far out of her comfort zone?

Camp Rex by Molly Idle

Cordelia and her troop of dino-scouts enjoy a camping trip in the great outdoors.

Camping Activities 

Create an outdoor art kit that you can grab while on the go. Fill your kit with supplies like paper, crayons, markers, tape, and ziplock baggies for collecting and storing. It is also helpful to bring a blank journal to illustrate and describe what you see. 

Night Time Stargazing

On a clear dry night, layout under the stars. Without the city’s lights, the stars shine bright and put on a show. Make sure you take a star chart with you to identify as many constellations as possible. 

Nature Rubbings 

Creating nature rubbings is a great way to make a written/picture record of your findings. You will need the following items from your outdoor kit.

  • Paper or journal 
  • Crayons

Creating the rubbing is super simple. Put your leaf or flower between two pages and color on one side of the paper covering the leaf. The outline and veins will show creating a copy of the leaf.