Summertime for many families means packing up the tent, rolling up the sleeping bags, and setting out on a camping trip. While there’s a lot to enjoy in the great outdoors, the ideas of sleeping outside and cooking over a fire may also be a little overwhelming to kids who have never camped before. These books will help kids learn more about camping and spending time outside, whether it’s their first trip or their tenth. From picture books for first time campers to camping guides that will help older kids feel involved, these camping books for kids will help set your family up for a successful trip!
Picture Books About Camping
The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann
The perfect picture book to introduce your kids to the idea of a camping trip. When Ernestine is invited to go camping with her Aunt Jackie and cousin Samantha, she’s so excited! But then, Ernestine finds out that some parts of camping, like swimming in a lake and sleeping in a tent, are out of her comfort zone. She learns to overcome her fears and have fun, and this book will help young campers do the same.
Llama Llama Loves Camping by Anna Dewdney
Everyone loves Llama! In this adventure, Llama goes camping for the first time ever and learns something very important: while new things might seem scary at first, they can lead to some great memories!
The Dowd’s Adventures: Summer Camping by Dineo Dowd
Based on the Dowd family’s real life experiences, this is a story about a girl taking her puppy camping for the first time. It’s a great choice for school aged kids who want to learn more about how they can help their families when camping.
Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
This wordless picture book helps kids who might be scared of the darkness outside the tent. The boy in this story has lots of fun using his flashlight to find out what’s out there in the night on his family’s camping trip.
Let’s Go on a Hike! by Katrina Liu and Heru Setiawan
Get kids interested in spending time outdoors by reading them this rhyming picture book about a family and their pet corgi going on a hike. Kids will learn about all the cool things they can see and do outdoors.
S Is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James and Lita Judge
With an alphabet theme and beautiful illustrations, this book will build young readers vocabulary about camping as well as showing them campsites across the United States. A great addition to the bookshelf of any outdoors loving family.
A Campfire Tail by Sarah Glenn Marsh and Ana Gómez
If you know a kid headed off to summer camp, this book would make a great gift. Dragon is SO EXCITED to attend Camp Wildwood, but he can’t seem to fit in with the other campers. Instead, Dragon keeps overturning boats and setting the arts and crafts on fire. Read this book to find out how Dragon manages to make friends at camp!
Camp Tiger by Susan Choi and John Rocco
Every year a boy and his family go camping at Mountain Pond, where the boy likes to watch the fish and birds near his campsite. But this year, his mom is encouraging him to be more independent and explore on his own, which leads to him finding a tiger in the woods! This is a sweet story about adventure and growing up from Pulitzer Prize and Caldecott winning author-illustrator team.
Camping Guides for Kids
Camp Out!: The Ultimate Kids’ Guide by Lynn Brunelle
Older kids will love using this book to help their families prepare for a camping trip. From basic tent pitching to camp recipes, it’s packed full of wilderness skills for kids to learn and fun activities for the whole family.
America’s National Parks by Alexa Ward and Mike Lowery
If your family plans to visit a National Park this year, be sure to grab a copy of this book for kids from the Lonely Planet team. It’s full of facts about each park as well as maps and pictures to help get kids excited about the trip.
Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival by Denise Long
If you’re a camping family, it’s great to have your kids practice some basic safety and first aid skills, just in case. This book provides age appropriate tips for dealing with wild animals, avoiding injuries, and what to do if you get lost in the woods.
Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Camping: All You Need to Know About Having Fun in the Outdoors by Cherie Winner
Chock full of packing lists, a compass, and instructions on how to make your camping trip as fun as possible, this is a great all over guide for older kids or families looking to get in to camping. With an engaging and chatty writing style and plenty of illustrations this book will help kids pitch in on family camping trips and teach them how to safely enjoy the great outdoors.
Wherever you’re headed this summer, be sure to pack one or more of these camping books for kids along with you. Itching for more nature reads? Check out these great picture books about nature!