Montessori-inspired Practical Life Camping Activities

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Technically, we have been taking a break from homeschooling this summer, or at least the kiddos think so.  I on the other hand have been sneaking in as much learning as possible without them knowing.  And let me tell you, it's going very well.

Last week we went camping.  We'd practiced camping in our living room and in grandparents' backyards over the past year.  But this was the real deal, at a local state park camp site.  Our camping experience provided so many practical life learning opportunities.  I just couldn't resist sharing

How to Set Up a Tent
Jason has always been the one to set up our tent when we've practiced camping.  This time the kiddos wanted to help.  Before leaving we watched a youtube video about how to set up our specific tent and then practiced the steps using a sequencing activity.  
Both preparation activities were part of an amazing therapy camp activity pack for children with autism from And Next Comes L.  

Once we arrived at camp, the kiddos took turns helping Jason and knew exactly what to do.
Everyone's favorite part was hammering in the stakes.  Little did they know how challenging this would be with such dry ground.
This didn't stop them from trying though.  I love how Bulldozer sticks his tongue out when he's concentrating.

Building a Fire
On our camping trip, Bulldozer was absolutely fascinated about the process of building a fire.  He begged to help Jason every night.  Bulldozer gathered sticks. He helped place the logs where they needed to go.  Our last night, after watching Daddy several times, Bulldozer even lit his first match.
As you can see, Bulldozer was closely supervised the entire time.

Cooking Over a Campfire
Princess was all about preparing and cooking dinner over the fire each night.  Whether it was helping to prepare a foiled dinner or cooking hot dogs and bacon on a stick, she was all for it.  She had such an enjoyable time doing this.

Making S'mores
Our kiddos love S'mores, but usually they don't get involved in the process further than roasting their marshmallows.  This time, they did everything from start to finish.  Before leaving, Sunshine watched a step by step video about making a S'more found on youtube.  Then we practiced sequencing the steps of the activity.  Once again these two preparation activities were part of a therapy based, camp themed activity pack for children with autism from And Next Comes L.  (I can't recommend this enough!)  While at camp, everyone had their chance to make their own S'more from beginning to end, with close adult supervision.
If you think about all of the steps involved in making a S'more, each and every one one is a fabulous practical life activity.

Washing Dishes
What better way to practice washing dishes then outside while camping!  Dinomite, who usually despises the chore of washing dishes, asked to help every day.  Sunshine was his side kick each and every time, rinsing each dish before being dried.

Hanging Clothes to Dry on a Clothesline
Camping provides plenty of opportunities for hanging clothes out to dry.  Sunshine and Princess loved helping me put clothes on the clothesline.  They became quite proficient at it!  Such a great practical life skill to learn.

Changing Batteries in a Flashlight
You never know when you're going to need to change batteries in your flashlight.  It's best that you know how when the time comes while camping! The boys did well with this.

Zipping and Unzipping a Tent (or Sleeping Bag)
If there was one practical life skill that the kiddos practiced over and over and over while camping, it was zipping and unzipping.  Whether it was the tent or their sleeping bags, they clocked in so much practice!  The best part was that it was fun, because we were camping!

Practical life experiences can be incorporated into any vacation or adventure you decide to go on with your children.  You just need to look for the opportunities and be willing to take the time to allow them to watch you, then teach them, and then help them practice and succeed.

For more outdoor activities be sure to visit this post!

4 comments:

  1. I'm taking my 1 and 4 year old on their first camping trip next week and can't wait. Never realised there was so much learning involved. I hope mine like washing up as much as yours!! Thanks for linking up to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

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  2. This is wonderful! We do 'lazy camping' in an RV/camper thing here usually (now especially convenient because I'm in a wheelchair and all), but even so, this post has some wonderful ideas that I'm sure we'll be able to use! It looks like such a fabulous trip!

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  3. These are all great skills for them to learn and a great idea to prepare them before they actually went camping, it sounds like all that preparation really paid off for you. I love how each child enjoyed helping out in their different ways too. Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather :) x

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