Raise your hand if you love doing camping speech therapy activities for a FUN summer theme!? I do! Many children go camping during the summer months with their families and friends. As speech therapists, we have an opportunity to bring in camping-themed therapy lessons that are relatable to student experiences. This process helps them use context to access vocabulary words and build skills with narration, accessing background knowledge and more. In this case, camping is often filled with fun and adventure, so chances are high that this theme will keep your students engaged!  Today, I want to inspire you with some camping speech therapy activities that are stress free and highly rewarding for your students! Pick a book a week for up to four weeks while targeting goals and focusing on the fun of camping!

Camping Books for Literacy-Based Speech Therapy

Get ideas for camping books to use in your speech therapy sessions!

When picking a camping-themed book for your literacy-based sessions consider your students attention span, the goals you are trying to target and your students ages. For example, if I have a lot of goals for verb actions and describing, I would use Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer. This book has a lot of descriptive pictures with many verb actions. Here are some of my favorite camping books for speech therapy organized by age:

Prek-1st:

2nd-3rd:

4th-5th:

What’s great about these books is that they have summer elements, so they easily fit in a summer theme. When reading books to your students, you want to do some pre-teaching strategies before diving into the story. And, while reading, using shared book reading strategies packs a big punch for language goals!

Camping Theme Speech Therapy Resources

Have your camping speech therapy activities planned and ready-to-go with Themed Therapy SLP.
Fun camping sequencing short stories.
Camping speech therapy homework pages

If you love using a theme-based approach but don’t have time to scour the internet looking for books, printables, videos, etc. for your camping unit, use the Themed Therapy SLP membership. We provide an entire camping unit for preschool and elementary in the month of May. For our annual members, you get access to all the themes at once, so you can do this any time of the year!

Camping Play-Based Speech Therapy Activities

Here are some camping play-based speech therapy activities that you can do to work on articulation, fluency, grammar, vocabulary, wh-questions, and social pragmatics:

  • Use camping vocabulary to play “Who has the marshmallow?” Give some kids a marshmallow and have them hide it. Then, other kids have to ask “Do you have a marshmallow? Students can work on using names, answering yes and no questions and answering who questions.
  • Play Simon Says or verb charades with camping actions.
  • Play a guessing game using camping vocabulary. You can use the free game Mystery Word Game to put in camping images. You or the student can give a clue and students have to make a guess what the item is. 
Learn toys and pretend play activities for a camping themed unit.

Camping Speech Therapy Activities For Older Students

Get ideas for planning a camping unit for your older speech therapy students.
  • Watch a YouTube video or use how-to-make-s’mores sequencing cards to work on sequencing steps of a process. If you are up to it, make real s’mores! You can target so many language skills.
  • Find reading passages, YouTube videos about forest animals, How Wildfires Help by Scishow Kids, or anything related to camping, such as “How To Set Up A Tent.” With these topics, you can target the main idea, vocabulary, grammar, answering wh-questions, sequencing, fluency-enhancing techniques, and articulation carryover. These are great “camping” topics for older students.

Make a Google slide presentation that has real pictures from camping. Work on answering wh-questions, and acting out camping actions such as “fishing, roasting, building, eating, sitting, hiking, etc.”. Put links to your favorite camping videos I have a Google slide presentation all set up in all of the grade levels in the Themed Therapy SLP membership.  We include book read-alouds, brain breaks, songs, and videos that align with the grade level. Talk about the social situations that might happen when you go camping. Work on what you need to pack for camping and what might happen if you don’t bring that item! Role-play social situations that might happen while camping, such as when your dad asks you to help set up the tent. You can cover problem-solving, conversation, and executive functioning skills with this lesson idea.

Camping Lesson Plan Ideas With Crafts

S’mores are the iconic sweet treat that many families make when camping. Why not make a s’mores craft in speech therapy? You can work on following directions and sequencing the steps for the craft and cover a lot of goals in your mixed groups. We have a s’mores craft in the membership, too!

Make a camping lantern and talk about when/why you need a lantern when you are camping. Write or glue speech words, verbs, nouns to the lantern to cover students goals.

Need a video tutorial? Check out the tutorial I did for making Chinese New Year lanterns. It is the same craft!

We also provide camping crafts using tissue paper or torn-up paper that comes with AAC CORE boards in the membership.

Pair these crafts with any camping themed book and you have an easy camping lesson plan for your mixed groups!

Plan easy camping lesson plans using crafts for speech and language therapy.

Camping Sensory Bin Ideas

Get ideas for making a camping sensory bin

Make a camping sensory bin for your extension activities. Throw in some dried beans, shredded green paper or kinetic sand with camping figurines from your toy sets. We provide printables to make a fun s’mores sensory bin in the Themed Therapy SLP membership. If you can to get more elaborate with your bin like B-Inspired Mama made.

What camping activities do you plan for your preschool and elementary caseload? Share in the comments. 

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