The great outdoors, a magical place where nothing but the sounds of nature to surround yourself with and let all your troubles slip away. Sound familiar? That is the image of a kid less dreamer, or is it? Camping before kids and camping with kids are two vastly different trips but this does not mean parents can’t get some r & r and kids be entertained too. Follow these 10 tips to make your next camping trip fun for the kids and let mom and dad catch a break while they we are at it.
10 Tips for Camping With Kids
10. Pack a game box
An small old suitcase or a lidded tub, fill it with coloring stuff, deck of cards, travel games, playdough, glitter glue, scissors, scrap paper, paint set and even a small container of Lego pieces. Those early mornings or after supper wind down opportunities are now taken care of. With the opening of this box the kids can create collages with some if the pieces in nature, paint rocks to hide the next day, entertain themselves with a board game or have a lively evening of go fish by the fire, sure we go camping to get away from our daily activities but the reality is kids thrive on some sort of schedule and bringing a little of sense of home schedule with you for the kids can help keep the homesick anxieties at bay.
9. Mom and Dad hit the dollar store before you head out
Stock up on foil pans, paper plates and cups ( burnable ones not the plastic) these are so cheap and easy to use for cooking and makes clean up a breeze, instead of spending time cleaning and washing dishes after a meal it’s a simple toss. Yes, regular dishes and pans are better for the environment but we only get so many days out there enjoying the backwoods and the kids are just going to get whiney waiting around for the dishes to be done so take the break and be extra diligent with reducing your footprint when you get back home.
8. Research your campground
Check out travel blogs and local town websites to get some ideas and see what is going on around where you are going to be. Most provincial and federal parks will have a visitors center to check out, some may offer activities or lend out equipment for you to entertain the kids with. (ie: the national parks all have a junior ranger program the kids can pick up and it will be filled with scavenger hunts, critter dipping kits, and etc. These can be lots of fun for the whole family.)
Throughout the summer most campgrounds, or small towns and resort locations will also have activities going on you can join in on from yoga on the beach to late night movies in the park, tubing down a local river or whatever is going on its always worth the few minutes of research to see what options are available for you.
7. Pack a first aid kit
Make sure it has kids Benadryl and calamine lotions, gravol (dramamine) and Pedialyte. Being away from home and in nature can bring on some anxious feelings and different reactions for the kids. Being prepared for everything from an allergic reaction to tummy trouble, and dehydration in the heat, will not only keep mom and dad at ease but make the kiddos feel better quicker too.
6. Bring outdoor games and activities
Ladder ball, washer toss, football, volleyball, soccer or whatever your kids are into making sure you have things for the kids to do while you either can join in or kick up your feet for a bit and watch the action will definitely keep everyone entertained.
5. Bring the kids a treasure box or bag
They can bring some stuff home in. Every kid likes to collect things from seashells to feathers and rocks having a box or bag they can fill will make nature walks, beach walks, scavenger hunts, etc. that much more exciting.
4. Plan a put together your own supper event
Also known as foil dinner packets. Mom and Dad have a variety of precut veggies, and whatever meat you choose let the kids load up their package with whatever they want everyone wraps up their package and throw it on the fire while those cook make some bannock and cook it on a stick over the fire for a predinner appetizer while enjoying each other’s company.
3. SNACKS !!!
Need I say more? Camping food is the best and those camping treats not only make the to much more fun some of them are a life saver for mom and dad too J Smores, campfire donuts, trail mix, chips, even those little boxes of sugary cereal will make a early riser quick breakfast while mom and dad enjoy there coffee a breeze. Life is all about balance so on your little getaway loosen up some of the rules when it comes to snacks and have fun.
2. Use nature as a playground that it thrives to be
Let the kids climb a tree or hang from a branch, build a fort with dead fall, go on a hike and see the sights. Just enjoy nature with all the screen time and action packed schedules these days just being free in the outdoors can be a breath of fresh air for our kids and ourselves.
1. Don’t lose sight that camping itself is FUN for the kids
Don’t forget that just getting away from home and having some time with the family is a whole lot of excitement in itself, so don’t over plan and fill your trip with a schedule, leave a lot of time to just be and do whatever strikes the mood in the moment.
Now take these tips for camping with kids out in the wild and go explore nature!