Camping may seem like hard work, but the outdoors can be a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Fishing, roasting, hiking and more provide endless opportunities to explore nature, so grab your flashlight or gather around the campfire and break out one of these books on camping for kids ages 1-9.

 

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee
By: Chris Van Dusen
Age Level: 3-7
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
Mr. Magee and his dog, Dee, decide to go on a peaceful camping trip. But their marshmallow roasting is interrupted by a bear with a sweet tooth, and their relaxing camp out turns into an adventure as they find themselves hiking across mountains and splashing down waterfalls. Simple rhymes make it easy to follow along with, regardless of age.

Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping
By: Peggy Parish
Illustrated by: Lynn Sweat
Age Level: 4-8
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
Amelia Bedelia may be an experienced housekeeper, but out in the woods all bets are off. This literal-minded character runs into problems before even getting in the car (when told to “hit the road,” she begins smacking the pavement). But her mix-ups are endearing and a great introduction to figurative expressions and wordplay.

Bailey Goes Camping
By: Kevin Henkes
Age Level: 4-8
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
When Bailey’s siblings go on a camping trip without him, he’s forced to stay home with his mother and think of other ways they can go camping without leaving their house. Makeshift tents and easy snacks not only satisfy Bailey’s adventurous spirit, but can also give parents ideas to create their own indoor campsite. Caution: your child may never stop asking to camp in your family room.

Cooking in a Can: More Campfire Recipes for Kids
By: Kate White
Illustrated by: Debra Dixon
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Intermediate Reader
Camping isn’t complete without a campfire and something to roast over it. This collection of recipes and activities will provide more than enough food and fun for your family on your next trip. The book also includes tips on how to keep safe while cooking your meals and how to clean up after you’re done.

Curious George Goes Camping
By: Margret Rey, H. A. Rey
Age Level: 3-4
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
Here comes another classic take on the adorably inquisitive monkey. This time, George travels to the woods to learn as much as he can about pitching tents, sparking fires and enjoying the wilderness. With endless opportunities to get into trouble, George once again teaches kids what not to do when they go on a family outing.

Flashlight
By: Lizi Boyd
Age Level: 2-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader
This book is an usual pick because it doesn’t actually have words in it. Instead, colorful illustrations fill the page as a young boy wanders through the woods at night. The contrast between dark and light highlight the beauty of nature normally hidden away, teaching kids that the dark is nothing to be afraid of. Let your child’s imagination create the words in this unique experience.

Fred and Ted Go Camping
By: Peter Eastman
Age Level: 3-7
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
These two friends have very different approaches to planning a night away from home: Fred likes to be prepared, and Ted likes to pack light. This book is a great introduction to opposites and working with friends despite their differences. Great for younger children and fans of Eastman’s previous children’s book, Big Dog… Little Dog

Just Me and My Dad (Little Critter)
By: Mercer Mayer
Age Level: 3-7
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
The Little Critter series is always full of fun surprises, and this entry is no different. Join the Little Critter and his father as they go on a camping trip and learn how to construct a tent, go fishing and safely interact with the local wildlife.

Maisy Goes Camping: A Maisy First Experience Book
By: Lucy Cousins
Age Level: 2-5
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
This simple book is great for kids who are just starting to read. The cute design of the characters and the adorably awkward encounter they find themselves in (trying to fit everyone into their tent, including Eddie, the elephant) makes for a funny story that’s easy to follow along with.

P.J. Funnybunny Camps Out
By: Marilyn Sadler
Illustrated by: Roger Bollen
Age Level: 4-6
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
P.J. Funnybunny and his friends plan a camping trip together, but when they tell P.J.’s sister and her friend that camping is only for boys, they set themselves up for an embarrassing night in the woods as the girls decide to make plans of their own. This clever book teaches kids respect and honesty.

S Is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet
By: Helen Foster James
Illustrated by: Lita Judge
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Intermediate Reader
This book’s simple rhymes make it a great introduction to the alphabet for younger readers, but the accompanying descriptions on the side of the pages are more suitable for advanced readers. Beaches, canyons, deserts and more abound in this look at nature and roughing it in the great outdoors.

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping
By: Melanie Watt
Age Level: 4-8
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
Scaredy Squirrel decides to camp out from his couch instead of braving the dangerous outdoors. But his plans of a cozy night in are interrupted by a problematic outlet – which means Scaredy Squirrel will have to venture outside and test his survival skills.

The Camping Trip that Changed America
By: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by: Mordicai Gerstein
Age Level: 6-8
Reading Level: Intermediate Reader
Teddy Roosevelt took a camping trip to Yosemite and was so amazed at the natural wonders he found there he decided to establish the first of the National Parks. This look back at history is still an appreciation of the outdoors, but it’s also a fresh take on one of America’s most interesting presidents.

The Kids Campfire Book: Official Book of Campfire Fun
By: Jane Drake, Mordicai Gerstein
Illustrated by: Heather Collins
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Intermediate Reader
This other guidebook is full of more activities and information on fun things to do while camping. Ghost stories, stargazing tips, songs and more fill out its pages to give kids ideas on how to have fun without phones or computers.

Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems
By: Kristine O’Connell George
Illustrated by: Kate Kiesler
Age Level: 4-7
Reading Level: Beginner Reader
The verses can dip into more advanced areas at times, but most of the poems are built around word play with simpler, shorter words. This book is great to break out while sitting around the campfire, but the large illustrations are just as colorful in the daytime.

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