Camping provides parents with an opportunity to share many wonderful moments with their children. Unfortunately, as children are easily bored, it’s important to create memories for all the right reasons. To help keep your little one entertained and ensure they embrace the experience, here are 15 top tips for camping with children.
- Avoid Primitive Camping
Primitive camping can be a fantastic experience, as it allows a camper to enjoy the quiet wilderness of the great outdoors. However, this is the last thing a child will want on a family holiday. Ensure they have access to their creature comforts by driving up to a commercial campsite so they can enjoy restrooms, electricity and a comfortable bed.
- Camp in Your Garden First
Unsure whether your child would enjoy a camping experience? Embark upon a test run first, try sleeping in your backyard to see whether your child will embrace sleeping under the stars or will kick up a fuss at being unable to sleep in their bed. Also, take notes of any complaints they may have, so you know the best items to pack when you head off on a real camping trip.
- Rent Camping Gear
If you’re unsure whether the whole family will enjoy a camping experience, you will probably not want to spend a considerable amount of money on camping equipment. Fortunately, many public parks allow you to lend or rent camping equipment. If the whole family fall in love with the outdoor adventure, you can then invest in camping supplies.
- Pack for All Weather Conditions
Don’t make the mistake of believing the weatherman and pack for all different weather conditions. Even if temperatures soar during the day, they can become cool or cold during the evening. Always pack an extra layer for all the family to protect them from harsh weather conditions. Don’t forget waterproof clothing!
- Follow the Same Routine
You can guarantee your little boy or girl will want to stay up late when camping. However, one late night can ruin the whole experience the next day. Follow the same sleeping routine to ensure all children are well-rested throughout the experience so that they won’t be moody, emotional or too tired for the next day’s activities. It is no fun hiking or kayaking with sleep deprived children.
- Turn Off Your Devices
Nowadays, most kids love nothing more than texting their friends, posting stories on social media or watching videos. Camping provides an opportunity to get away from modern technology and to connect with one another. So, turn off all electronic devices so you can have their attention throughout the trip. Leave mobile phones, tablets and laptops and smartphones either at home or in the car. However, we do recommend that either Mom or Dad keep at least one phone on them in the event of an emergency.
- Pack Toys and Books
Let’s face it; your children probably will not be too happy you have taken away their electronic devices. For this reason, allow your children to pack their favorite toys and books to keep them entertained.
- Cook Together
One way to entertain your children during a camping trip is by teaching them how to cook. Gather the little ones around the campfire to show them how to cook vegetables, meat or s’mores. If you are struggling for ideas about how to prepare food in the wilderness, check-out camping recipes for kids and get some ideas for fun, engaging recipes.
- Allow Your Children to Help
Kids will want to be involved in the camping experience just as much as Mom and Dad. Don’t deny them the chance to pitch a tent, build a fire or set up the cooking equipment, instead allow them to help when it is safe to do so. By involving the children, they are more likely to embrace the experience and feel confident in the outdoors.
- Play Outdoor Games
Camping is a great way to get your children off the couch or away from their computer games. Ensure they enjoy plenty of exercise by taking a range of outdoor games that they will love. For instance, take a swingball, football and even your bicycles with you. They will have hours of fun playing outside, and you can guarantee that as a result they will sleep well during the night.
- Zip Tent Doors
The last thing you will want is for your child to go exploring on their own in the middle of the night. Ensure your son or daughter remains safe inside the tent by buying or renting a tent with zip doors, with the zip located at the top of the tent. By zipping them in, you can prevent your child from leaving the tent while you are asleep.
- A Black Fitted Bedsheet
Flashlights and daylight can cause your child to wake up unexpectedly. Ensure they enjoy a good night’s sleep by placing a black fitted sheet over a tent to make it a little darker at dawn; this will ensure they are well-rested for the day ahead.
- A Camping Bucket
No parent will want to walk their child through the dark to use the bathroom. Keep a camping bucket/toilet close by for any midnight bathroom emergencies. Remember, it’s all part of the camping experience.
- Family Board Games
Poor weather conditions can cause you to scrap any activities you had planned during the trip. Keep boredom at bay by having a backup plan. Don’t allow rain to ruin your holiday and play everything from Jenga, Monopoly or Cluedo to ghost stories in the tent. It will be fun for both you and your children.
- A First Aid Kit
Children are prone to accidents as they are always burning off energy. Ensure you prepare yourself for any cuts, scrapes or accidents with a first aid kit. Carry everything from plasters and bandages to after-sun cream and antibacterial sprays – and ensure you carry the first aid kit with you at all times to protect the health of your family.