Today was my Camping and Animal Habitat preschool storytime.
Now my kid has been itching to go camping, with it finally getting cooler here in Oklahoma, he might actually get his wish….if mommy can remember where she put the dang tent.
In any case, I thought, if my kid is interested in camping…why wouldn’t other kids? Plus, I hadn’t done a storytime on camping yet.
So I go book hunting…. and there are a great many books about camping. Yay! Now how can I incorporate a nonfiction aspect into this? Thats kinda a goal of mine this year, to incorporate more nonfiction into my storytimes… the whole S.T.E.A.M. concept. Which gets me thinking- I know, frightening concept; how can I do camping and nonfiction? We had great camping books…but they weren’t real good for toddlers. They were for older kids.
Then I thought, animals! Part of camping is being in the great outdoors, where theres a chance you could see wild animals in their natural habitats!… wait! Thats it! Habitats! Animal homes!
At 2-4 yrs old, they’re starting to learn about where things live. Least, my kid was. They’re learning to identify animals and associate them with places (ie. Polor bears = cold and snow).
So I order a bunch of books from other branches on camping, hiking, and different animal habitats; think I went a wee bit overboard to be honest.
Finally, settled on Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer, Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing Animal Habitats by Jim Arnosky, and Scare a Bear by Kathy-Jo Wargin.
Then, after I read, Crinkleroot’s…. we have our game. This time I decided to try and test what the kids knew about animals and their homes.
I printed off several pictures of different habitats -a forest, a beach/ocean, artic tundra, rainforest, desert, lake, grasslands…. and then several different animals that live in that type of environment.
I tried to pick animals that most kids know on sight…. though there are a few ‘harder’ ones. Again, think I mighta went a wee bit overboard.
For our craft, I decided to do animal clip magnets… very simple. Used wooden clothes pins, some magnetic strip-though old leftover magnets works great too, and glue dots.
I printed several different animal coloring pages out on card stock – I had a bear, porcipine, alligator, macaw, frog fish etc.
Putting it together was very simple. Use a glue dot to stick the magnet to the clothes pin. Flip it over, use another glue dot to stick the pin to the back of the animal. Ta da! Done.
And, of course, have them color it however they want.
For their take home packet, I sent them home with a Camping Journal.
In it, I had a camping/hiking list of essential gear to bring. A few journalling pages and drawing pages, and a page to help them identify some come animal tracks, then two recipes. One for regular s’mores and another for Banana boat s’mores.
After doing this, now I want to go camping. Lol.
Gotta think of my next storytime now…. something Halloween related? Monsters? Scary stories? Ghosts? Or maybe spiders? I’ve got a really great spider ring craft that we could do….. oh decisions, decisions.