A Dad and His Lad Go Camping – in the Garden…

With this beautiful weather we’re having this weekend, it seemed only right that J and Daddy should go camping!! To keep things simple for us all though, we decided they should ‘camp’ in the garden.  Whilst Mummy set up the role play outside, baby G had a nap and Daddy and J made themselves a packed lunch. J was VERY excited!!

Camping Role play

No surprise, in the tent, I put some stories! Well, it would be rude not to – surely! Any time reading can be put into play, it should be in my opinion!  Reading is the key! Read EVERY day!camping role play2

My mathematical element came in with the fishing game! I made this home-made fishing game over a year ago and J still plays with it now! He loves it!

To make this game:

1. Cut out some different size fish shapes, (on different colour card if you have it) I used card with a scaly pattern on!

2. Slip a metal paper clip on the tail of the fish and tape it down securely.

3. Make a fishing rod using a wooden spoon and piece of string!  Attach a magnet to the end of the string and secure firmly using knots and tape (depending on your magnet).

4. Finally, write a different number on each fish.

I put the game on a piece of shimmery blue material, to act as the ‘stream.’  This game is good for developing hand-eye coordination and can be played in a variety of ways!  Maybe you could catch the fish and your child says the number, ask your child to catch a particular number, catch as many fish as you can in 10 seconds and then add all the numbers up (for older children) or simply fish!

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The camp fire consisted of a plastic bucket filled with shiny foil material and a metal grill I picked up in the pound shop last week.  Finally, I gathered a few pieces of J’s plastic play food and a metal tin to eat from!

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To finish off the camp site, I added a ‘river!’  This was simply my beloved builder’s mixing tray filled with water! (I use this tray for a million and one things and once I get chance, I will post lots of ideas for these trays! They are SO useful!)  It doesn’t take much filling up and provides a nice shallow pool of water to splash and paddle in.  Finally, I cut up some very rough fish shapes with J from non-slip, rubber material and put them in the ‘river!’

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Campsite ready and J and Daddy were all set with their packed lunch, hats, sunglasses and a thick layer of sun cream!

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First, J and Daddy lit the barbecue and made themselves some pretend lunch.  There was lots of talk going on through this and role-playing cooking and lighting the fire!

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The boys then went to the stream to do some fishing!  Daddy told J he was looking for a special kind of fish and then proceeded to say, we need one called, ‘an 8 fish’ and J would then catch the number 8.

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All that pretend food and fishing, made the boys hungry and they sat by the ‘stream’ and ate their packed lunch.  It was SO cute and brought a tear to my eye when J said, “It’s great weather for camping Daddy!” They had a lovely chat!  Chatting like this is great for J’s speaking and listening development! Children need to be able to have a conversation and actually listen and respond to what the other person is saying!

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As you can imagine in the scorching heat, J couldn’t wait to whip his trousers and shoes off and get into the ‘river!’  At this point, G was now awake, so the girls joined in the camping too!  J and G paddled, splashed and played with the fish!

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J was desperate to catch all the fish for, ‘dinner later’ and put them in his lunch box!!  As he did so he counted each fish, with one-to-one correspondence! He decided we had, ‘plenty for later!’ As J had caught all the fish, I filled the builder’s tray with more water and put in something else for another sensory experience for G! See ‘Baby Paddle’ to find out what! After all the camping fun, J declared it was time to go back to his tent and read a book! J held the book facing out because he wanted to read it to G! Bless him!

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What did J learn?

  • J was able to give his attention to what Daddy said and responded appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
  • J rehearsed being able to express himself in a conversation and use past and present tenses appropriately.
  • Rehearse recall and recognition of numbers to 12.
  • Sharing stories and retelling a story from memory.
  • Counting objects to 6 (when counting how many fish he had caught.)
  • Used what he knows about camping to be imaginative and take on a role during a role play scenario.  J said we really needed some marshmallows for the camp fire tonight!

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