At the beginning of the week we set up our dramatic play corner as a campsite. I have a large tent that was too big to fit in the corner so we used a little beach tent instead. The benefit of the beach tent is that it is very open so we can easily see what is going on. We placed a couple of sleeping bags inside, some camping stools, a lantern and a little cellophane campfire outside.
To the side of the tent we set up a table with a tablecloth, a tub and sponges to wash the plates with, some plates, saucepans, a kettle, spoons, egg flips etc. We also placed a little toy barbecue next to the table for the children to do their camp cooking on.
A few days later we added some sticks in a box with some cotton wool balls so the children could use them to roast marshmallows on the campfire. We also decided we needed a tree so we searched outside for a large branch. We stuck the branch in a large bucket filled with sand and placed it next to the campsite.
To encourage writing we also added some pencils and postcards to the table beside the tent. The children asked what they were for and I told them that I thought they might be homesick and like to write home to their parents or grandparents while they were away camping. They were enthused with the idea and a lot of writing happened during the week.
The campsite has been very popular during the week. There was a group of children cooking at the barbecue while another couple were snoozing in the tent. I’m going to put the campfire in the middle of the mat during a mat session next week and get the children to share some campfire stories.