The fireflies are out. The weather’s warm. The sky is full of stars. Now is the perfect time to pack your bags and set up camp. Kids will love to pretend going camping with sheet forts or play tents in the living room or go camping for real outdoors this time of year. Capitalize on their excitement and make and play this camping theme muffin tin reading game.
It’s a fun little game to strengthen fine motor skills and develop phonemic awareness.
Muffin Tin Camping Theme Reading Game for Kids
Say and count syllables in this self-checking camping theme-muffin tin syllable counting game. Sneak in a little fine motor practice and boost early literacy skills while picking up pom poms. Fine motor practice helps strengthen muscles for writing. Challenge your fine motor skills with the addition of a grabber. It makes it just a wee bit more difficult that way. We like these mini grabbers for their price per unit. They are small enough for little fingers to pick up pom poms.
Skip printing the game board. Let the kids help draw the game pieces and you tie in art and creativity too.
Focus Skill: counting syllables in spoken words
Best for Children ages 3-7.
Materials for Muffin Tin Camping Theme Reading Game
- 2″ (5-cm) circle template (a can or cup bottom works well)
- Crayons or markers
- 12 cup muffin tin
- Buttons or pom poms
- Optional: Game Board Printable
Directions to Make the Muffin Tin Camping Theme Reading Game for Kids
1. First, trace around the 2-inch (5-cm) circle 12 times on the card stock.
2. Then, draw a picture of a person, place or thing inside each circle. Cutting pictures from magazines works too! Some summer beach themed examples are: waves, shovel, shell, castle, sand dollar, pail, sandal, ball, umbrella, sun, boat.
3. Next, color and cut out each picture.
4. Finally, turn the circles over and make a dot for each syllable in the word. The back of the circle with the fence picture would have one dot; scarecrow would have two. A yellow highlighter or light pencil circles work best so they do not bleed through the paper. Here’s a sample below. PLEASE ignore the purple circle. I promise you that the color is birth and clear when you download the printable.
Unfortunately, my printer is not working… I’m so sad, but will be looking for a new one soon.
Camping Theme Words and Syllable Counts
These are just suggested words. Your child may identify the girl as a hiker rather than the word girl. Review the images and words before you begin as it will change the syllable count AND develop vocabulary.
tree = 1 syllable
leaf = 1 syllable
sign = 1 syllable
moon = 1 syllable
sky = 1 syllable
mountains = 2 syllables
squirrel = 2 syllables
lantern= 2 syllables
tent = 1 syllable
boy = 1 syllable
Directions to Play the Muffin Tin Camping Theme Reading Game for Kids
1. First, place the pictures, image side up, in the muffin tin. The player names the picture out loud and counts the number of syllables in the word.
2. Then, the player drops the same number of buttons or pom poms as syllables in the tin.
3. Next, play continues until all compartments have been filled with buttons. When this happens, the player self-checks and corrects the number of syllables by turning the picture over and comparing the number of buttons in each compartment with the number of circles on the back of the image.
Bonus Game Variations Muffin Tin Camping Theme Reading Game for Kids
We used the letters from this Melissa and Doug puzzle —> Get it here.
When the child has played the game several times, tape the game pieces to craft sticks. Encourage them to make up a story and create a little camping theme play, cardboard theater is optional.
Bring writing into this fun literacy activity. Turn all the camping theme game board pieces upside down. Let the child pick three and write a story using those three things.
Print 2 copies of the camping theme muffin tin game board. Cut and use for a classic game of memory.
Teacher or Homeschooler? Put the grabbers, pom poms, and game board pieces in a small bag. Store with other related items (books, puppets, puzzles ext) in a container for easy set up next year!