Camping with Kids

family enjoying themselves

It’s funny how camping, an enjoyable activity, becomes so very daunting when you add kids to the equation. This is especially true for parents of young children under five years of age.

Even if other parents try to talk you out of it, you might feel brave enough to venture out with your kids. As you plan out your trip, you’ll have to consider the ages of your children, their individual interests and the duration of the trip.

Backyard Camping

For exceptionally young kids or inexperienced campers, it might be best to try camping in the backyard first. That way if it’s truly a heinous experience, you can call it quits and retreat to the house if needed. Also it doesn’t require too much planning, and your children will still feel this is a unique and fun experience. It might be hard to stargaze in the suburbs with the glare of city lights, but sleeping outside will still be fun and interesting.

Most importantly, don’t forget to a nighttime snack (like hot chocolate or s’mores). Many happy memories surround food. Let kids try different recipes to be used on the camping trip to help them get excited.

There are several ways for your kids to enjoy camping. One excellent way is planning games for your children to play. To get some ideas, read about 10 games kids can play to get the most out of the camping experience.

If you’re still worried about camping with your family, try a day trip to a park. Plan similar activities to what you would do camping to see if your kids enjoy them. Not only does this foster a relationship with nature, but it will help your family create memories.

Overnight Trip

Planning well is key to a low stress trip. An important aspect of planning is including your kids in the process, and adding their input on what they want to do. Be enthusiastic about the trip, and even if you’re apprehensive, don’t let your kids know.

Make a list of what’s needed and have your kid pack his or her own pack. If your kid is quite young, then maybe have them help you as you pack. Double-check the pack before you leave home. This should also help minimize questions about where certain objects are.

If you have the room, consider taking bikes for your kids to use. It gives them added freedom they’ll enjoy, and helps keep them entertained.

Other Activities

These are activities you can do while camping or not, but either way it helps nurture a love of nature and being outside.

Do a nature scavenger hunt. (Be sure to point out hazardous plants so they can avoid them.) Take a nature book with you to identify nature and share information with your children. A new spin on the nature hunt could be turning it into a photography tour. Let your kids use the camera to take pictures of various objects and watch them create memories as they do so.

Go to any body water. This allows for numerous activities to unfold like skipping rocks or feeding ducks. Simply take a walk or bike out in nature and let your kids enjoy unstructured time in nature. If you live close to a state park, check to see if they have any resources for your kids to participate in.

Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt. Using a map (or GPS), you can hunt for objects or landmarks. All involved will have fun with solving the mystery and kids can learn and develop new skills.

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