How to Make Camping With Children Easy and Fun
Getting outdoors and going camping is one of the best family bonding activities you can do.
But sometimes camping with children can get a little tough when you’re not sure how to creatively entertain them. Sometimes kids don’t always appreciate nature the way we want them to. But there is always a way!
Here is a list of 15 essential tips to make camping with children a breeze. Your kids will become nature enthusiasts in no time.
1. Choose Child Friendly Campsites
There are tons of campsites out there that are geared towards families and children. From giant playgrounds to wading pools and water sports, they’ve got tons of activities to keep the kids entertained… and tuckered out.
For example, the Yogi Bear Jellystone camping resorts across North America features organized games, children’s activities, guest appearances by Yogi Bear and his friends, and much more.
2. If it’s Your First Time Camping With Children, Keep it Local
Some kids just aren’t cut out for camping. That’s the way it goes. And it’s hard to tell how your kids are going to react when they’re stuck outside in the wilderness.
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep the first time limited to a local campsite. You’ll have a safeguard and a quick exit in case disaster strikes.
3. Keep Them Entertained With Fun Activities
The right camping activities for kids can be a lifesaver.
Ultimately, the key to keeping kids interested in camping is making sure they have tons of fun. Sure, that’s obvious, but when you’re in the outdoors, there are so many opportunities. Take advantage of all the green space and play some super fun family outdoor games.
And the more they’re entertained, the more you can relax!
4. Practice Setting up Your Tent Before You Leave
This is especially important if you’ve purchased a new tent or you’re just dragging yours out from winter storage.
It’s tricky to try to keep your eyes on your little ones and set up your tent at the same time. If you practice setting your tent up beforehand, you can cut down on the time you take to do so when you get to the campsite.
That means less stress and more time to join in the activities with the kids.
5. Try a Test Run
If you’re really nervous about taking your kids outside for a prolonged period of time, try a test run in your backyard.
Sure, it might not be the same thing, since the comforts of home are just steps away. But it’ll help you feel out how your kids are going to be during the night in a tent.
This will also give you a chance to note anything you might need for your actual camping trip that you might not have thought about before.
6. Be Prepared For All Weather Conditions
Weather can be unpredictable. And when the weather turns on you, kids can get a little hard to handle. Especially when you all have to huddle together in your tent.
Make sure you have some good rainy day camping activities planned and the materials to go with them. There are plenty of things you can do under the shelter of your tent that the kids will love.
Even if it doesn’t rain, the temperature can drop at night. No matter how warm it gets during the day, make sure you have some extra layers for night time.
7. It’s Okay to Overpack
When you’re camping with children, it’s absolutely acceptable to overpack.
Kids tend to change their minds frequently, especially about what they want to play with. Make sure you’ve got enough activities and toys or sports equipment to keep them entertained throughout all the mind changes.
However, there are some things you don’t need to overpack, like clothing. Just bring a few things to wear, and if they get dirty, don’t worry about it- you’re camping!
8. Keep Your Meals Simple
The easier you make your dinners, the less time you have to spend cooking them. That means you get more time to hang out with the family instead.
Try out some super easy tin foil campfire dinners. Everyone can sit around the campfire while dinner cooks, and your kids can even help make them.
9. Leave The Electronics at Home
Don’t pack the tablets, laptops, or portable game consoles. If you’re going on a long road trip, sure, they might keep the kids entertained, but leave them in the car when you get to your destination.
Camping with children and family is all about experiencing the great outdoors together. Don’t bring electronic distractions that will take attention away.
That being said, make sure you have a cell phone or two stashed in the car in case there’s an emergency. Also make sure you have proper camping gear and gadgets.
10. Don’t Forget Your First-Aid Kit
Whether you’re camping with children or without them, you should always have a first aid kit with you.
But with kids, you’ll want to throw in some extra supplies. Your children well inevitably get hurt, probably more than once. Make sure you have enough band aids, antiseptic ointment, and hydroperoxide for those scraped knees, scratches, or other injuries.
11. Use Camping Toys
Consider buying some children’s camping toys. They’re basically safe, plastic versions of your basic camping tools, like lamps and cooking stoves.
If you give your kids these toys to play with, they won’t be tempted to come and see what you’re doing with the real equipment. Not only are they entertained, but they stay away from dangerous items.
12. Pick the Right Campsite Layout
Did you know that the layout of your campsite makes a difference to your kids’ safety?
Make sure you’ve picked the right layout to keep your children safe. This includes keeping your tents away from the fire and the activity areas. Your cooking station also needs to be close to the parameter, away from where your kids are playing.
This not only keeps your kids safe, but optimizes their play space as well.
13. Use Foam Floor Tiles to Sleep Comfortably
Even if you have an inflatable air mattress, you’re not always safe from the bumps in the ground. This can make it almost impossible to get a good sleep, and we know how much energy those kids need for their fun camping activities.
Buy some of the foam floor tiles from the dollar store and put them together to create a floor mat for the bottom of the tent. This will help everyone sleep comfortably and painless.
This is essential if you’re camping with little kids, like toddlers, so they can crawl around as much as they want without getting hurt. They’re going to crawl regardless, so make sure they don’t get stuck on anything sharp.
14. Use Bounce Dryer Sheets For Bug Repellant
Yes, this really does work. And there’s scientific research to prove it.
Pack some Bounce dryer sheets with you and stick them in your kids’ pockets, sleeves, or wherever else you want to fit them.
They’ll help keep the insects away without spraying your kids with chemicals. Not to mention that they won’t be sticky or smelly like they would if you covered them in bug spray.
15. Bring Jars or Baggies For Collections
There’s one universal thing that all kids love to do when they camp: collect things. Whether it’s bugs, rocks, or leaves, they’ll find something to gather.
If you went camping as a child, you’ll probably remember creating a beautiful rock collection and not having anything to take it home in. Be prepared for your own kids, whether they do take them home or they put the items back when you leave.
Finding Your Next Campsite Has Never Been Easier
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Don’t waste time researching and comparing. We’ve done that for you so you can start packing! You can also score great coupons and deals at our featured parks.
Find your perfect campsite now!