Camping with kids can be a great family time. The distractions of TV and video games are not around. So, camping gives the opportunity for teaching, bonding and generally having fun. Many parents know from their own childhood that camping is a fantastic time for building memories. And this is one of the reasons why camping is now an American tradition – parent remembering fondly their summer vacations spent camping.
There are number of different things you can do to make the most of your camping vacation with kids. Kids still do like nature and being outside, once the spell of the video is broken, so it can be a relatively easy to get them excited about the great outdoors, especially if you are enthusiastic about it too.
First off you do need to consider safety, especially as it is an unfamiliar environment. It is a time for relaxing, but camping can also be a dangerous time, so basic safety rules are a good idea to establish with your children. So talk to them about good camp safety – a few things to discuss are fire safety, water, the dangers of wandering off and types of plants to avoid.
On a practical note you need to consider your camping gear. You’ll need a tent that is large enough to accommodate you all and your gear which will depend on the resources of the area you are camping at. So be sure to check out what is provided before you go. One rule of thumb on tent size is to get one that is meant for one more than the number in your party to allow sufficient room for you all.
Kids do have short attention spans. There are a number of kids camping games and activities you can engage them in. During the day there will be short hikes, fishing, playing tag and other sports. At night there are traditional games like charades, card games and ghost stories. On a clear night you can partake in stargazing as you will see many more stars than are visible when you are at home in the city and towns because of light pollution. It is truly a wondrous sight. On top of these, the camp site you are at may have activities and entertainment specifically for children and/or families.
Camping is also a great time to involve children in the daily camping routines. One that most children seem to enjoy is camp cooking. There are lots of easy fun recipes they can help with like baked potatoes (potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in the embers of the fire) and camp bread. Be sure to get them to be responsible and help with the tidy up.
If you are using a campfire you can have them help with gathering the wood and setting it up. Once you’ve finished cooking the meal a favorite with our kids, is sticking marshmallows on a stick and roasting them over the fire – delicious.
Remember to take a camera or video camera and take lots of photos of them enjoying themselves or when they’ve done something they are proud of – like catching a fish. You could also consider buying them a cheap camera and letting them get lots of photos of their adventure in the outdoors.
One of the best books on camping with kids is Babes In Th Woods by Jennifer Aist – you can see it on Amazon here . It covers how to introduce your babies and young children to the outdoors. It covers sleeping outdoors, the right gear to take, going to the toilet, food, clothes, activities and more.
To summarize these tips for camping with kids to have the best time is to ensure you have discussed safety, have the right gear, have plenty of fun activities to keep your kinds entertained, and be sure to involve them in as much of camp routines as you can, such as cooking. In this way you are going to be creating treasured memories for yourself and your kids of the times you had fun camping.