5 Tips and Ideas for Camping with Kids

Dad with son in a canoe paddling. Best tips and ideas for camping with kids.

The Best Ideas for Camping with Kids

Camping with kids can be a magical experience, especially if this is the first time that your kids have been camping! However, in today’s age of electronics and the Internet, many parents worry that camping won’t be as fun for their kids.

After all, as adults, getting away from the screens and getting back into nature is what makes camping so fun. For those who will be camping with children in the near future, here are a few tips and ideas that can make camping with kids even more fun!

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The Camping with Kids Checklist

Before you go camping, be sure that you are hitting the camping with kids’ checklist so that kids are not going to be bored or hate this adventure. Here are some suggestions for your checklist:

–        Games to play

–        Food that they want to eat

–        Craft activities to help pass the time

–        Their favorite stuffed animal or blanket in case they get homesick

–        Flashlights

–        Jackets

–        Bathing suit

–        Hiking shoes

–        Tennis shoes

–        Extra clothes…more than you think that you will need for those just in case situations

–        Pillows

–        A hat

–        Sunscreen

–        Lip balm

–        Bug spray

–        Their own sleeping back

–        A mini pack that they can take with them while hiking

–        Their personal products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrush, etc.

–        Anything else that you may need to have while camping with kids!

Tip 1: Have Games to Play

This isn’t referring to those handheld games that they have, this is referring to the numerous games that they can play while outdoors that parents can join in on to make some lasting memories. Here are a few ideas:

  • Flashlight tag: Everyone gets a flashlight and basically play hide and seek in the dark. It makes for tons of giggles and lot of physical activity.
  • Capture the Flag: This is a great game for younger children and older children, especially when there are several going on this camping trip. However, you can still do this with teams as mom and dad as captains. Each team has a flag that is on their base, and the goal is for the other team to capture this and take to their home base.
  • Charades: Play this around the campfire, and everyone is sure to be laughing in no time. Be sure to bring some cards with the topic of the charade to make it easier!
  • Glow in the Dark Baseball: Take a whiffle bat and ball and stick these with glow sticks to make this a game that can be played at night…kids love these glow sticks and will then get the exercise that the baseball game will give them!

Be creative and look online as you will find that there are tons of games out there that can be customized for a camping trip that require very little for you to pack.

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Tip 2: Have Craft Time

Craft time while camping with kids is one of the ways that children are going to have a great time. Of course, the craft activity that you choose should be based on the age of the kids that you are camping with. However, here are a few ideas that are going to be great for the outdoors!

  • Make a bubble station for younger kids. Since you are outdoors you are going to find that you don’t have to worry about the bubbles being tracked back into the house and it can give kids hours of fun!
  • Make a wind chime: Be sure to pack some empty tin cans with you and some string. Then bring some paint for the kids to make and decorate their own wind chimes that you can hang at the campsite.
  • Make some tin can lanterns: Use the leftover tin cans that you have at the campsite and poke some holes into these, then let the kids paint these and put some tealights into them. At night light them, so that the kids can see their craft at work!

Tip 3: Let Kids Help with the Meals

Camping is all about having some fun, but that doesn’t mean that kids cannot learn a little something!

Letting the kids help with making a meal is going to be a great way to teach them about camping, fire safety and even how to measure.

Turn this camping adventure into one that is going to let them walk away knowing something more than when they arrived.

In addition, be sure that you are cooking some kid-friendly meals, as they are going to be more likely to help with preparing these. For example:

  1. Ice Cream in a Bag

All you need is:

½ cup of half and half or milk

1 tbsp of sugar

½ tsp of vanilla ice

½ cup of rock salt

Sandwich-sized baggies

Gallon sized baggies

Gloves for little hands that are going to get cold

Pour the milk or half and half into the sandwich bag along with the sugar and vanilla ice. Remove the air from the bag and seal.

In the larger gallon bag place the ice and rock salt, then add in the sandwich bag, seal this and start shaking. You are going to need to shake this for about 15 – 20 minutes. Kids will love this!

  1. Smores Trail Mix

This is a great recipe as it doesn’t require much cooking, but kids will love putting it together.

All you need is a box of golden graham cereal, a 10-ounce bag of miniature marshmallows, 12 ounces of Nestle chocolate chips and you can put in 2 cups of peanuts if you have no kids with nut allergies.

Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and then kids can mix them and put them into small sandwich bags for a quick snack later.

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Tip 4: Take a Hike

While you are taking a hike, be sure to point out some interesting things while walking. This is a learning opportunity for kids, and you are going to find that their little minds will soak this information up. Be sure to talk about the following:

–        Wildlife safety, as in what to do if they see a wild animal

–        How to stick to the trail

–        Why you need to bring water bottles while hiking

–        First aid on the trail

You can even point out poison ivy and poison oak so that kids know those are plants that they will want to steer clear of.

Tip 5: Try to Keep Kids on as Much of a Schedule as Possible

This may be a hard tip to follow, but it is something that parents of babies and toddlers are going to want to follow.

Or even those kids who are used to taking a nap during the day.

The more on schedule kids are, the more likely they are going to remember this camping trip fondly rather than being too cranky to enjoy it.

For those who are ready to go camping, there are tons of sites that you can book with BookYourSite.com.

There are hundreds of campsites and RV sites throughout North America that are just waiting for you and your children! With these tips, you can have a great camping trip with your kids.

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This entry was posted in Camping, Kids.