From wildlife spotting to campfire cooking to stargazing, there are so many memories to be made while camping. Whether they plan to pitch their tents atop a mountain, in the woods, at a favorite campground, or even in the backyard, get students excited to get back to nature with some of our favorite camping books for kids.
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1. Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars by Maria Gianferrari (PreK–2)
Penny can’t wait for Slumber Under the Stars night at the local community center, until she realizes she can’t bring along her beloved dog, Jelly. She tries several creative solutions before arriving at just the right one to solve her camping conundrum.
2. Don’t Feed the Bear by Kathleen Doherty (K–2)
When a bear and the park ranger get into a conflict over forest signage about campers sharing their snacks with the locals, hilarity ensues.
3. Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Melanie Watt (K–2)
Scaredy Squirrel would rather not deal with the perils of camping, but when crossing the “campground” is necessary, he lays out an extensive action plan. A surprise obstacle helps him learn to appreciate the simple pleasures of nature.
4. Bradford Street Buddies: Backyard Camp-Out by Jerdine Nolen (K–2)
When twins Jada and Jamal find their parents’ old tent in the garage, they plan a backyard campout with neighborhood friends. A rustling in the bushes leads to a big surprise!
5. Flat Stanley Goes Camping by Jeff Brown and Lori Haskins Houran (K–2)
Stanley is feeling down about being flat—until his unique shape helps him solve several campout crises.
6. A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen (K–3)
Mr. Magee and his little dog Dee load up the camper and head for the mountains in this rollicking rhyming classic. A marshmallow-seeking bear causes their peaceful camping trip to take a chaotic turn.
7. Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping by Peggy Parish (K–3)
Amelia Bedelia gets mixed up enough at home, but when she and the Rogers family hit the road for a camping trip, there’s a whole new list of tasks for her to tackle in her uniquely literal way.
8. S is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James (K–3)
Whether your favorite campsite is at the beach, in the woods, or in the desert, this installment of the popular alphabet book series highlights key aspects of the camping experience.
9. Humphrey’s Creepy-Crawling Camping Adventure by Betty G. Birney (1–3)
Charming little Humphrey, the class hamster, heads home with Heidi for a backyard campout. The boys next door are also camping out; whose pranks will be the scariest?
10. When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs (K–4)
This narrative pays homage to the magic of a day spent camping: waking up to the morning chill, quietly observing creatures from water striders to elk, boating, swimming, berry picking, and campfire cooking. Lush paintings and rich text capture it all.
11. Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems by Kristine O’Connell George (K–5)
This collection offers a range of poetic forms describing many quintessential camping moments, from “Mosquito Song” to “Moose Brunch” to “Two Voices in a Tent at Night.”
12. Our Great Big Backyard by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager (1–4)
Jane looks forward to spending the summer playing video games, until her parents announce their plans for a great American road trip. It turns out camping out under the stars at some of the nation’s most iconic national parks offers more excitement than any screen.
13. Mouse Scouts: Camp Out by Sarah Dillard (2–4)
The Mouse Scouts head out on a campout led by fearless (and domineering) Miss Poppy. When she unexpectedly disappears, thank goodness the scouts have their handbooks and survival skills at the ready.
14. The Three Little Pigs Go Camping (After Happily Ever After) by Tony Bradman (2–4)
With their run-ins with the Big Bad Wolf behind them, the three pigs take a camping trip. The third pig sticks to his carefully made plan for the trip until his brothers show him the value of being open to a bit of adventure.
15. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look (2–4)
There’s plenty for anxious Alvin to worry about when his dad suggests going camping: getting lost, starvation, bears, and more. With over-the-top preparation and a Batman ring with reassuring secret powers, Alvin conquers the great outdoors.
16. The Lost Lake by Allen Say (1–5)
Luke and his dad hike for days to find the perfect unmarred camping spot. This quiet story shows how time spent outdoors offers a unique chance for connection.
17. Cool Backyard Camping: Great Things to Do in the Great Outdoors by Alex Kuskowski (1–6)
How about making a glow stick ring toss game or a shadow puppet theater for your next campout? This how-to book will seriously up your camping fun factor.
18. Gone Camping: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger (2–5)
Lucy, Sam, and Grandpa pack the car and head to the woods for a camping trip. A grab bag of poetic formats chronicles their adventure, from the standard cinquain and haiku to lesser-known types of verse, like the what-if poem and the charm poem. Back matter includes an extensive and engaging guide to writing poetry.
19. Campfire Chef: Mouthwatering Campfire Recipes by Tyler Omoth (2–8)
Here’s a kids’ cookbook dedicated to one of the best parts of camping: the FOOD! Simple recipes for meals and snacks, like foil-wrapped burritos, pizza in a dutch oven, and even blueberry muffins baked inside orange halves, beg for an outdoor taste test.
20. Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping: All You Need to Know About Having Fun in the Outdoors by Cherie Winner (3–7)
For kids that like to know before they go, this guide answers all the essential questions, from tent assembly to the proverbial, “Where do I go to the bathroom?” Help newbie campers feel prepared and get excited.
21. Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival by Denise Long (4–8)
Written by a search-and-rescue volunteer, this guide uses a relatable and encouraging tone to teach survival skills, like finding food and drinking water, staying safe from animals and bugs, and building fires and shelters.
22. Spooky Campfire Stories: Outdoor Myths and Tales for All Ages by Amy Hoitsma (4–8)
Good old-fashioned ghost stories for telling around the campfire at night are a must-have for any camping trip. This compilation fits the bill.
23. Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol (4–7)
Vera begs her mother to let her attend Russian summer camp, thinking that it will be a place where she finally fits in. Between the mean tent mates and gross outhouses, it isn’t what she dreamed, though. Eventually Vera finds the friend she needs in this graphic novel.
What are your favorite camping books for kids? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers Helpline group on Facebook.
Staying close to the classroom this summer? Also check out these 27 Ideas for a Camping Classroom Theme.