Camping with the kids can be a fun adventure for the whole family. It’s a good breather after a year of studies and work. It can be very beneficial for kids too. At an early age, they will develop a sense of adventure, and most especially, a love for nature.
Some think having kids on a camp can be a handful but it can be great fun if you prepare the right activities and materials and have a little patience. If you’re new to this, take note of our ultimate guide to camping with kids!
CHOOSING A CAMPSITE
The most important consideration when camping with kids is where to camp. If you’re new to this we strongly advise you to camp at a child-friendly campground or van park.
You may want to find one close to where you live this will lessen the anxiety and still provide you with an amazing choice of interesting things to do.
Once onsite choose a site that is fairly close to the amenities if possible this alone makes camping with kids much easier. This is especially necessary for those small children that need to go quickly while playing.
When choosing a site, you might also want to consider how close the sites are next to each other. You wouldn’t want an overly crowded place because the noise may keep your kids up at night.
Another thing about camping close to home is that you are close to help if it doesn’t work out. Maybe a closeby National park will provide a little more outdoor excitement.
SLEEPING IN TENTS
One of the most common concerns of parents is the kid’s sleep. Sometimes, when they are in an unfamiliar environment, it’s not easy for them to sleep soundly. To help ease your worries, here are some sleeping tips that work for many families:
Be sure your tent is big enough to accommodate everyone in the family. Perhaps, do a trial run at home. That way, you’ll have more time to plan your sleeping arrangements or decide to get another tent.
Prepare your sleeping arrangements. Yes, they’re tired and they have a warm bed to sleep, but does the tent provide the comfort you need? is it fully enclosed with no damage, are the screens in good order to keep the bugs out?
If the entire tent isn’t comfortable enough for the four of you, then it might be impossible to get a good sleep.
Keep them warm. Before going out on a trip, be sure to check the weather. It’s best to go camping in summer so the chances of rain or cold weather are less likely.
There can be a cold breeze at night, so be sure to bring extra layers. If you have young kids or babies, a sleeping bag made for them is ideal. It will help regulate their body temperature, especially at night.
Let them get tired. Kids and even adults easily fall asleep when all our energy is worn out.
The good thing about camping is there are so many things you can do outside – hiking, swimming, running, fishing, riding bikes, etc. All of these will surely knock your kids off to bed.
Forget sleeping rules. Camping is a time to enjoy and get extra snuggles at night. Be flexible when it comes to their regular sleeping schedule, be prepared to lighten the rules a little.
Let them stay a little extra late for bonfires, smores, and perhaps 3 more bedtime stories.
FOOD, FOOD, FOOD
Any activity won’t be fun without enough food. Be sure to bring plenty of snacks! Create a meal plan ahead of time. There is a lot of fun and kid-friendly camping recipes you can find on the internet.
Aside from the three regular meals, be sure to bring snacks like cookies, sandwiches, biscuits, and chips that everyone can munch on while on the road or just waiting for the meal.
BUILDING A CAMPFIRE
Always supervise the littlies around any fire and the importance of safety while teaching them a basic life skill. lighting a fire is a simple task but in challenging environments, or when the adventure goes wrong it could be a lifesaving skill.
What’s camping without an outdoor bonfire? So, yes! It’s important that you successfully build a campfire. Pro tip: it’s sometimes easier to buy wood at the campsite than to find your own.
Don’t forget to bring old newspapers, firestarters like matches, lighter, or an effective DIY firestarter. these simple items add a lot of excitment to an outdoor campsite.
First, make a square with four large pieces of wood. Pile up the crumpled newspaper in the center. Build a tepee shape using smaller wood pieces. Light the bottom edge of the crush papers. You can add more wood pieces if you want to keep the fire going.
Don’t forget to drown the fire with water when breaking camp.
ACTIVITIES THAT YOU CAN DO
- Nature Scavenger Hunt
Planning a scavenger hunt for kids is fairly easy and it doesn’t require much at all. In fact, you can use things that you already have at home.
This game will nurture your kids’ natural urge to explore the outdoors. Limit your play area in the campground to ensure safety and to not disturb other campers around.
- Camping Olympic Games
Kids are active and are naturally competitive. They love to do something that ignites their competitive spirits. Setting up Camping Olympic games can be your best activity to spark their interests.
This is especially a great camping activity if you have lots of kids with you. Modify your games according to your kids’ ages. The Olympic games may include sets of outdoor games such as a sack race, a mini baseball, and a tug-of-war.
You can also include adults in your Olympics. Set up teams in such a way that there’s an even proportion of adults and kids in each group. This can be an incredible and memorable bonding moment for you and your kids.
- Spy Game
It’s also good to prepare an activity that does not require so so much of your physical strength. A spy game is a perfect example of spending a relaxed time around the campground.
Although this game is obviously more relaxed than the other two above, this does not mean that this is less exciting. This is a classic activity that can keep your kids busy.
Every player will give clues on a particular item that they will choose. For example, if it’s your turn to act as a spy, you can say something like “I spy with my eyes, something soft and yellow.” The person who guesses the item right wins.
To add excitement, consider giving a consequence to those who’ll get the lowest points. Perhaps, you can have the losers prepare your next meal or collect wood for your bonfire.
- Camping Bingo
A camping bingo is a classic game that’s easy to play. This activity can even be a supplement to your scavenger hunt. For example, using printed bingo cards, a player will mark off their bingo square when they find the item that’s in it. Be creative on what items that you will include in the bingo cards.
- Campfire S’mores
Of course! You should not forget the sweetest ingredient of your camping experience – campfire s’mores. With your guidance, let your kids be involved in preparing and making them.
If the weather does not permit you to explore outside, then it can be helpful if you will come prepared with some activities that can be done inside your tent. You can bring your kids’ favorite books or you can also prepare some flashlight activities to keep everyone entertained.
Get The Kids Involved
The most important tip that you should consider is to get your kids to be involved as much as possible. Include them in the early stage of planning and encourage them to give their suggestions.
This will keep your kids engaged and enthusiastic. With your supervision, have them pack their own bags. And when you arrive at the camp area, assign chores to every one according to your kids’ ages.
Have your kids help make dinner, put up the tent, and roll out the sleeping pads. With a few tips and a little planning, you’ll discover that camping with kids is easy and fun for everyone.