Hike along the majestic Grand Canyon, stopping along the way to enjoy the view, snap photos, and take a much-needed water break!
We read In the Canyon, written by Liz Garton Scanlon, and illustrated by Ashley Wolff (Beach Lane Books, 2015). Join a little girl and her family as they hike down the Grand Canyon. The clever rhymes, bold illustrations, and depictions of nature and wildlife make this the perfect read-aloud for story time!
- 1 toilet paper tube
- Construction paper
- 1 small box (ours was 2.5″ x 3″ x 4″)
- Aluminum foil
- 1 tape core
- 1 canyon photos template, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ white card stock
- 1 canyon game (more on this later!)
- Scissors and tape for construction
- Markers for decorating
First, the camera! Any small box will do, you’ll just need to cut a slit in the front of the box for your “photos” to slide into. Luckily, we had a whole bunch of recycled OcuSoft lid scrub boxes that made perfect old-school Polaroid cameras. We covered the box with tin foil, add a tape core lens, made a flash out of a large gemstone on a large plastic button, and used a little patterned tape to add some color!
Next up, the hiker! We encouraged kids to use construction paper and patterned paper to make mini versions of themselves. Since you should never hike without a hat, we had the kids fashion one out of trimmed 3.5oz plastic cups with construction paper brims.
Notice the little paper clip sticking out the back of the hat? If you’re going to play the canyon game, you’ll need to tape a small paperclip to the back of the hat. And speaking of the canyon game, here it is…
This is a huge flat box we wrestled out of the recycling pile. I hot glued crumpled brown packing paper to create a hiking trail back and forth across the box. I also hot glued little “rest stop” boxes along the pathway. This is a rest stop in the middle of the path:
Later, I covered the rest stops with paper, and added photos from the template to signal that this was a “photo op.” Here’s the photo op at the very end of the trail.
We fashioned a fishing pole out of PVC pipe, and attached a paper clip to the end of the string. To play the canyon game, hook your tp tube person onto the fishing pole, and walk him/her up the canyon path, taking time to pause at the rest stops and snap a photo with your camera. We also had a “water break” station and gave kids a little sample cup of water.
Every time the camera “snapped” a picture, we would give the kids a matching photo from the template to slide into their cameras.
When you’re done hiking, you can color in your photos! Oh, you’ll notice the template has one blank photo. That’s so you can draw whatever photo you’d like. We recommend a well-deserved canyon selfie!