Get Outside the Orchestra: Music Activities for Camping with Kids

If you’re like many Coloradans, there’s a good chance your family will be spending some quality time this 4th of July weekend enjoying some s’mores around a campfire. Whether you’re venturing out for a weekend in the mountains or pitching a tent in your backyard at home, we’ve put together our top suggestions for making your outdoor experience a little more musical on our Pinterest page.

Classic Campfire Songs

Due to the relatively recent advent of summer camp for kids, many campfire songs are commonly associated with children and children’s music. However, the tradition of the campfire song is much older. In the 1800’s when the National Park Service was created, one of the most popular forms of entertainment for adults and kids alike was to sing along around the home or community piano. As Americans began exploring the newly established National Parks all across the country, this pastime was adapted and brought to the great outdoors.

The best campfire songs are fun, upbeat, and inspiring. They often feature call-and-response lyrics that are easy to remember and have a consistent, steady beat. Many also incorporate easy dance moves or funny noises to get little ones engaged. They can be silly, or even spooky, but they are always fun.

Classic Campfire Song Medley from the StoryBots

Need a refresher on some of the most popular campfire songs? Watch this short video from the StoryBots before you head outside to introduce these songs to the little ones in your life.

On Top of Spaghetti or The Meatball Song

Who doesn’t love this classic tune about the misadventures of a poor meatball?

The Littlest Worm

This is a personal favorite of mine made popular by the Girl Scouts that’s fun for all ages.

Outdoor Drum Circle

If you’re going camping in an isolated spot, this is a great time to encourage your little one to drum their hearts out (without disturbing the neighbors).

When camping it’s important to pack light. So for this activity we recommend that you use an empty paint bucket or two. No drumsticks? No problem! You can use sticks that you find outdoors, and experiment with how striking the drum with sticks of different sizes changes the sound.

Sound Scavenger Hunt

Music exists all around us, sometimes in ways we don’t expect. The sounds we find in nature reinforce many musical concepts, such as pitch, tempo, and rhythm. Talk with the child in your life about these musical concepts and then head out for a hike (or a walk around the park).

Do you hear any sounds with a high pitch? Does the woodpecker peck at a tree in a consistent rhythm? Does the water in the creek flow at a fast or slow tempo?

You can create your own scavenger hunt chart at home or use this one here.

Let us know what music you are making at the campground! Message us directly or use the hashtag #outsideorchestra. Happy camping!

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