Where do you turn when you want to get your kids excited about an upcoming camping or RV trip? Books – always our first stop. They can teach feelings, potty training, diversity, colors, and in this case – a love for being outdoors. After doing extensive research for our own purposes, these are our favorite books about camping for toddlers that will also get them interested in being outdoors.
We are big fans of the All Aboard books and have a few of them from our travels. If your upcoming camping trip involves a national park, this is a good option. Or even if it doesn’t, this is a cute book to start them off learning about national parks. The illustrations are bright and creative. And with few words on the pages, this is perfect for toddler aged children.
If RVing is your preferred method of travel, the Brave Little Camper book is a classic option. A little camper spends the night in the forest for the first time. And bonus points because this book plays cute animal sounds. For some reason, sound books are always an instant hit with toddlers. It also comes as a board book, which is a bit easier for toddlers to tackle.
3. The Hike
The third book in our list of books about camping for toddlers is geared more toward older toddlers and preschoolers, The Hike will get them excited about exploring the outdoors. It follows three girls on their adventure through the forest. The artwork is beautiful and we love how there are labels next to a lot of the plants and animals. You can point them out and have your little ones guess what they are.
If you’re a fan of the Llama Llama books, this one’s for you. It addresses the concept of “you don’t need electronics to enjoy camping”. It also touches on hiking, tent camping, and important things like s’more making. Amazon usually sells it for under $3. But the one downside is that its paperback, which isn’t as toddler friendly as some of the board book options.
Toddlers who love lift the flap books will enjoy this chunky little book about forest animals. Under the flaps there are fun facts about animals. It’s engaging and educations. Perfect for toddler aged kids.
Another classic that follows a family’s adventure through woods, mud, a river, even a cave. It’s a popular story to not only read, but also listen to. We ask Alexa to play it and our 4 year old likes to recite the story along. You can choose from all three formats: board book, paperback, and hardcover. We went with the board book, which is perfectly sized for toddlers.
Mr. Magee and his dog, Dee, go on an eventful camping trip. It has bright illustrations, rhyming text, and a cute little storyline. A great option for little adventurers. And a little silliness that may get them giggling.
Our 4 year old received one of these Wonderbly books as a gift and it was a big hit. They are personalized to celebrate the individuality of every little boy or girl. And they teach about things like kindness, bravery, and curiosity. This version has an adventure theme for your little adventurer. They make great gifts!
From the “Good Night” series of books, this is one of our favorite books about camping for toddlers. And that’s largely because it walks them through popular camping activities to prepare them for an upcoming trip. Hiking, swimming, s’mores. They’re all part of the fun. And the cool thing is, you can also get the “Good Night” books at many of the National Parks to continue the collection.
Fittingly, this book is about an adventurous bear, owl, butterfly, and bulldog as they set out for a camping trip. It’s filled with beautiful illustrations about mother nature. And encourages the use of imagination. One of the coolest parts: every purchase supports a great cause – the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation.
Another from the sound book category, this book is full of classic campfire songs. The Bear Went Over the Mountain, S’mores Song, John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. All part of the fun. We also use sounds books for toddler entertainment in the car and they work like a charm.
While not directly related to camping, this made our list of best books about camping for toddlers because of it’s nature themes. A strict ranger asks Sasquatch to get dressed. Of course humor and wittiness ensue. And it all takes place in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
As part of a series centered around what princesses can do, this book aims to find out if princesses can also be happy campers. It features all kinds of outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and camping. And we love how it promotes the benefits of getting fresh air. It’s charming and full of whimsical illustrations.
The name says it all. This book is about a moose living life on the sidelines. Until he decides maybe there’s more to his life in the wild. It’s great for kids on camping and RV trips because it features wildlife and nature. But also because it encourages kids to try new things.
15. Run Wild
If ever there was a book for adventurous kids, it’s Run Wild. It follows a little girl who loves being outdoors. And inspires that same love for the toddlers who read it. It is another example of how sometimes it’s nice to turn off the screens and explore the outside world.
Many of the books on this list feature wildlife, but we love this one because it’s different. It’s about a pebble doing what pebbles do best: looking for their rock formation family members. It’s cute and takes a different approach to teaching kids about nature. Perfect for explorer kids as well as budding scientists.
While it may seem like the book has the opposite effect of eliciting a love for the outdoors, we all know how it ends. But your toddlers, they may not. It follows a city girl as her family takes a camping trip. And she’s not at all excited about being in the outdoors. Well, turns out, the outdoor world is pretty great. If you have a kiddo that isn’t quite sure about the whole nature thing, this is relatable story.
Written by former First Lady Laura Bush and daughter Jenna Bush Hager, Our Great Big Backyard teaches the importance of connecting with nature. It follows a family as they road trip around to National Parks. A going trend seems to be encouraging kids to put the ipad down and take in the beautiful sights around them. This book is no different and your toddlers may not be zombies on the ipad, but it’s always good to teach them young.
19. C Is for Camping
Get your kids excited about camping while teaching them the alphabet? Sounds like a win-win. This books is great for toddlers. The letters of the alphabet are big and bold. And each letter corresponds to a different camping word.
John Muir: Father of the National Parks. He was instrumental in the preservation of many beautiful places out west. And this book shares his love for Redwoods, Sequoias, wildlife, and all things nature. The message and cute illustrations are the perfect way to inspire little explorers and nature lovers (and also teach the importance about caring for the world around us).
If you’re familiar with Aesop’s fable, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, this is a spin on the classic. One mouse camps in his tent. The other mouse camps in his RV. And spoiler alert: they learn it’s ok to like different things. Both tent camping and RV camping can be fun!
And that’s our list! Do you have any favorite books about camping for toddlers that we may have missed?!