A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen

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We are so excited that Fall is finally here! Fall is Jan’s favorite time of year. She loves watching the changing leaves, gathering around the campfire, and sitting down with a blanket and a good book. Fall is also the perfect time to get in some camping on the weekend. In honor of fall camping trips, we chose a book about a delightful camping adventure with Mr.Magee and his dog Dee.

In “A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee,” Mr. Magee takes his dog, Dee, out on a relaxing camping trip. When a marshmallow loving bear finds his way into their camp, crazy things begin to happen! This book is a fun read along book for young readers who enjoy laughing, cuddling up in a blanket and reading a good books on crisp fall days, and finding adventure in the great outdoors.

We selected a few activities to do with your young readers at home or at their book- club meeting. In our experience, one or two activities are enough to keep your child engaged after the story. So, we recommend that you only pick one or two activities listed.

Book and Activity Benefits: 

  • Reading Skills
  • Listening Skills
  • Strengthening Memory
  • Practice Cutting or tearing paper on a line
  • Practice Gluing
  • Learning Colors
  • Motor Skills
  • Tying a knot
  • Cooking Basics


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 Supplies needed

  • White Cardstock paper
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Macramé cord, yarn or string
  • Sticker maker or glue. We use the Xyron Create-a-sticker Machine Max
  • Scotch tape
  • Artificial leaves
  • Printable Bookmark Page 


  1. Print the Bookmark Page on white paper or white cardstock. For instructions with pictures, Click Here.
  2. Cut the two pieces on the printout apart. Next, tear around the border of each piece of the bookmark to give it a jagged edge.
  3. Put the peach piece through the sticker maker and place it on the top of the red piece. If you are using glue, glue the back of the peach piece and then place it on top of the red piece.
  4. Punch holes around the outside of the bookmark. You will thread the cord through these holes. Make sure there is a hole punched at the top and at the bottom of the bookmark directly across from each other.
  5. Tape the ends of the cord – this will make it easier to lace through the holes. Make a loop in the cord and push it through the hole at the top of the bookmark. Feed the two ends through the loop making the cord secure in the hole.
  6. Start with your cord at the top hole in the bookmark. Tie a loop in the top. Next, lace the cord down each side of the bookmark pushing the taped end of the cord through the holes (you will be “sewing” the bookmark. The cord should be at the bottom hole after you finish lacing.
  7. Tie the leaves onto the cords at the bottom in a double knot and then tie the cord in a bow.
  8. Cut off the excess cord at the taped ends to leave a small tail on the bow.
  9. You are done! Enjoy your new bookmark!

Book Discussion

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Reading a book and talking with a friend or a parent about your book is half the fun of reading.  Discussing books with your children when they are younger will help prep them for participating in school book discussions, school book projects, and book reports later in life.

After reading A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, print the book discussion cards, cut them apart, and review the book with your young reader by pulling a card off the pile and answering the question.

  • Click here for printable book club discussion cards.
  • Are you having trouble printing the cards on your one-sided printer? If so, these directions for printing them might come in handy.


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Walking Stick craft project inspired by choosecartons.com

Supplies needed

  • A branch from a tree or a wooden dowel (if you use a wooden dowel, drill a hole in the top so there is a place to tie the cord onto the dowel).
  • Acrylic paints (your chosen colors)
  • A painting apron or an old shirt so your child is covered when painting
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper plate or a plastic lid (something to put each paint color on)
  • Scotch tape
  • Craft feathers
  • Craft beads (in colors, shapes, sizes that you like)
  • Two pieces of Yarn, string, or macramé’ cord- 12 inches long (something to string the beads and tie the feathers on)


  1. Paint your branch/wooden dowel in the color or colors of your choice with the acrylic paint. Let the paint dry for about 1 hour. For instructions with pictures, Click Here.
  2. Cut a piece of cord/string (or what you are using for the beads) at least 12 inches long. Tie a knot in one end, tape the other end of your cord/string. The tape will make it easier to string the cord through the beads.
  3. String the beads onto the string/cord to your preference. You may have as many or as few as you would like. As you string beads you can also tie feathers onto the string/cord. The feathers can be in between beads or at the end. Be creative and make it just the way you want it.
  4. Tie the string onto the branch/wooden dowel
    NOTE **** I used a wooden dowel for my grandkids and I had my husband drill a hole in the top for the cord decoration. A wooden dowel is smooth, and I had a tough time getting the cord to stay in place because there were not any bumps to hold the cord at the top.
  5. Your hiking stick is ready. Now you will be able to push branches, spider webs, and plants out of your way while you hike. Enjoy!


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Camping Concentration Memory Game

Supplies needed:

  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • 32 – 7-inch paper plates (colored) if you want. I used yellow for one set and orange for the other set for two games. Make sure all of them are the same color for one game. NOTE* paper plates must be used. Plastic and Styrofoam plates show the image through them.
  • Two copies of the memory game pictures

Assembling your game:

  1. Print 2 copies of the memory game pictures.
  2. Cut out each picture on the lines and glue them onto the middle of the “eating side” of a 7″ paper plate.
  3. Let them dry. Make sure you don’t pile them on top of each other while they dry or they will stick together.
  4. When they are dry, your Camping Concentration game is ready to play!

Click here for Camping Memory Game playing instructions.


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For our snack, we made these cute campfire snacks with cheese, grapes, and pretzels. These are so easy for your little chef to help prepare, and if you do your reading at bedtime they make for a lovely bedtime snack! We know they are not S’mores, but if you want to make S’mores over a campfire too, we fully support that decision (and we request an invitation to your campfire cookout)! We can’t claim this snack as our creation. The original campfire snack idea is here at City Girls and Country Pearls.

You will need;

  • 7-inch colored paper plates (Make sure you choose ones that aren’t see through. I used brown paper plates to make it look like the ground/dirt).
  • Cheese – I would use a hard cheese or a deli cheese that has been sliced to the thickness that you can still put a cookie cutter through.
  • Campfire cookie cutters – this is the cookie cutter I used (Etsy – KatoBakingSupplies Campfire Cookie Cutter ) if you do not have a cookie cutter campfire flames can be cut freehand.
  • Thin stick pretzels
  • Red seedless grapes

To make your snack: click here for instructions with pictures.

  1. Take the large fire and small fire campfire cookie cutter and cut the shapes out on each piece of cheese. Stand the cheese up in the middle of the plate to make it look like campfire flames. I stuck my two pieces together, and it was thick enough to stand up. If you do not have a cookie cutter, the campfire flames can be cut freehand.
  2. Wash your grapes and cut them in half. Place them around the edge of the brown plates.
  3. Put the pretzels around the campfire to make it look like sticks.
  4. Enjoy your snack while you, your friends, and your family read your camping books!