Some people are just made for camping. If you all love being outdoors, have plenty of energy and you like living on the wild side, camping is about as close to being a caveman as you’re going to get.
But taking kids camping is a whole different ball game. While you might be content to lie under the stars impressing your partner by naming a few constellations, kids need much more entertainment. When you take kids camping, you need to sell the experience to them.
Make Camping an Adventure
Camping is a great way to give your kids a real sense of adventure and build some survival skills along the way. Kids love being active and learning new things so whether you are gathering some wood to make a fire or identifying edible plants, turn the whole experience into an exciting adventure to keep them entertained. The Prepared Bee is a great site for ideas along these lines.
If you are planning to go out walking, try to make your walk as interactive as possible by asking the kids to spot things along the way such as particular trees or markers. Playing games like I spy or poetry to go will also add some fun. Give everyone a chance to be the map reader too for an extra sense of responsibility.
Just remember: the more active they are during the day, the more likely they are to sleep!
Keep Them Occupied
The worst thing that can happen to any group of kids is boredom. Kids don’t do boredom very well and nothing makes them more grumpy than being sat around with nothing to do. So, while you are doing battle with the tent or making a meal, it’s vital that they have something to do too.
Toddlers can be kept occupied quite easily with coloring activities and a few of their own toys but do consider taking a truck toy they can dig and load with and a paddling pool to splash about in. Older kids will love exploring the site and making friends with whoever else is there but setting up a treasure hunt won’t take long and is a lot of fun too.
Take a Few Home Comforts
While the fun of camping is that it is so different from regular home life, you should take a few home comforts with you to make sure that everyone stays happy. For kids, this usually means a favorite toy to cuddle up with and comfy bedding including their usual pillow.
Food is another way to make camping more comforting. There’s nothing like toasting s’mores together or telling campfire stories with hot chocolate to calm everyone as the sun goes down. And if someone is scared of the dark, all you need is a glow stick.
Taking kids camping is a great way to get some family time together and to play more freely. This is a chance for your kids to develop a bit more independence while subtly dragging them away from screens.
What are some of your favorite camping activities to enjoy with your children? Share them in the comments below!
Disclosure – I have teenagers who constantly need something and a husband who thinks items like race cars and boats are toys. So, throughout the blog you will find affiliate links that enable me to buy a bottle or two or three of wine to keep my sanity intact.