Kids and camping – Practical Life activities

Are you planning a camping trip this summer? Montessori learning champions outdoor adventures and with the sun out, there is no better time to dust off the tents and stock up on marshmallows.

learning montessori on a camping trip with kids

Whilst camping is a wonderful escape from city life, let’s be honest; it can be hard work. The packing, and setting up, the toilet trips and mountains of food. Phew! It’s also lots of fun and a great opportunity to get the children involved – to practise the practical life skills they learn at school.

We’ve put together a list of Montessori-inspired practical life camping activities that will keep children participating at camp (and help you out, too!):

  • Setting up the tent: if it’s your first time camping, you could do a practise run in the garden with the children or watch a couple of YouTube videos so everyone has a general idea. You could chat about the sequence/steps involved with the set up and even designate jobs: feeding poles through sleeves, hammering in the stakes and securing the guy ropes.
  • Planning and preparing meals, unpacking and storing food at camp: there are some great conversations around what kind of food is practical and still nutritious when you might be without a fridge. Also let the children help with preparing the food: cutting, mixing – whatever’s on the go.
  • Washing dishes: what better time to practise the routine of washing, rinsing and drying than in the great outdoors?
  • Washing clothes: even if you’re not doing your laundry at camp, there will undoubtedly be a scenario when wet clothes (after a trip to a river/beach or simple fun with water) need to be hung out to dry. This might involve pegs and a makeshift washing line.
  • Zipping: there is tons of zipping that goes on when camping: tents, sleeping bags, hoodies. Children will be pros after a couple of days.
  • Making campfire: fires are an essential when camping. Children can help collect firewood or kindling, stack it and then help with lighting the fire. It’s also a good time to teach them about fire safety and also have fun cooking over a campfire. You could do hotdogs on a stick, wrap a potato/corn in foil or even an apple/banana, and marshmallows of course (s’mores if you’re feeling extravagant). Again, there’s an opportunity to chat about sequencing/steps in both fire-building and cooking.
  • Changing batteries: when the torches lose their light, let the children help you change the batteries.

These practical life activities that naturally form part of the camping experience can be incorporated into many outdoor summer activities, whether it’s going for a walk or picnic, spending time at the seaside or simply playing in the garden at home.

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash