Summertime is a great opportunity for family bonding. Whether you choose to stay close to home or venture out into the great unknown, camping with kids can be a memorable experience – if you’re prepared.
Kids love camping because it’s a chance to explore, roast marshmallows, and sleep under the stars. But for parents, camping with kids can be a daunting prospect. Will they be bored? Whining? What if there are bugs?
Never fear! With a little planning and preparation, you can make your camping trip a success. Here are 15 tips for camping with kids that will help make your trip enjoyable for everyone.
Choose The Right Campsite.
The first step in having a successful camping trip is choosing the right campsite. If you’re venturing into unfamiliar territory, do some research ahead of time to find a campsite that has activities and amenities that will appeal to your kids.
Different campsites offer different amenities, so it’s important to find one that has what you’re looking for. For example, some campgrounds have playgrounds, pools, or organized activities like hayrides. Others are more basic and offer nothing more than a place to pitch your tent.
Bring along some familiar comforts.
For kids, camping can be a bit of an adventure. To help them feel more comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings, bring along some familiar items from home. A favorite stuffed animal or blanket can provide comfort at bedtime, while a portable DVD player can help keep them entertained during downtimes.
Having something familiar will help your kids feel more at ease and make the transition to camping life a little bit easier.\
When it comes to packing for a camping trip, less is definitely more. You don’t need to bring every single item you own – just the essentials. Overpacking can make your trip more stressful, not to mention more difficult to get around.
To avoid overpacking, make a list of everything you need before you start packing. Then, edit the list down to only the absolute essentials. You can always add items later if you find you need them.
Be prepared for bad weather.
If you’re camping in an area that is known for bad weather, be sure to pack accordingly. Bring along rain gear and extra clothes so you’re prepared if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
It’s also a good idea to bring along some games and activities to keep your kids entertained in case they can’t go outside.
Set up a routine.
One of the keys to having a successful camping trip is to establish a routine. When everyone knows what is happening and when it can help avoid meltdowns and frustration.
For example, set aside time each day for meals, downtime, and activities. And be sure to stick to bedtimes as best as you can – even if that means going to bed a little earlier than usual.
Keep kids busy with activities.
To avoid boredom (and the inevitable whining that comes with it), keep your kids busy with activities. Plan ahead and bring along some games, toys, and crafts to keep them entertained.
Organized activities like scavenger hunts or nature walks are also a great way to keep kids engaged. And don’t forget about the old standbys like roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories around the campfire!
One of the best things about camping is that it gives you an opportunity to unplug from technology and slow down the pace of life. But for kids who are used to being constantly stimulated, this can be a tough transition.
The key is to be flexible. If your kids are having a hard time adjusting to the slower pace, try to mix things up and add in some more active activities. And if they’re feeling homesick, give them a little extra attention and reassurance.
Make sure everyone gets enough sleep.
Camping can be an exhausting experience, especially for kids who are used to sleeping in a comfortable bed at night. To avoid crankiness (and prevent meltdowns), make sure everyone gets enough sleep.
This may mean going to bed a little earlier than usual or taking a nap during the day. Whatever you do, just make sure everyone is well-rested before embarking on another day of camping fun.
Have realistic expectations.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when planning a camping trip is having unrealistic expectations. If this is your first time camping with kids, don’t expect it to be perfect. There will likely be some bumps along the way.
But as long as you go into it with a positive attitude and a sense of humor, you’re sure to have a good time. After all, that’s what camping is all about!
Be sure to pack plenty of snacks!
No matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance your kids will get hungry at the most inconvenient time. To avoid this, be sure to pack plenty of snacks.
And if you want to be really prepared, pack some snacks for yourself, too. After all, you’re going to need your energy to keep up with those kids!
Don’t forget the sunscreen!
One of the most important things to remember when packing for a camping trip is sunscreen. Be sure to pack plenty (and reapply often) to avoid sunburns.
Sunscreen is vital, especially if you’re camping in an area with a lot of sun exposure. And don’t forget to pack lip balm with SPF, too!
Bring your pets along for the fun!
If you’re like most campers, your pets are part of the family. So why leave them behind when you go camping?
There are plenty of pet-friendly campgrounds out there, so you can bring your furry (or scaly) friends along for the fun. Just be sure to research the campground’s policies before you go to make sure your pet is allowed.
Know your limits.
Camping with kids can be a lot of fun – but it can also be exhausting. So it’s important to know your limits and take breaks when you need them.
If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s okay to ask for help. There’s no shame in admitting that you can’t do it all – especially when it comes to camping with kids!
Don’t forget the camera!
Don’t forget to bring along a camera (or two!) to capture all the memories you’ll make on your trip. After all, what’s a camping trip without some photos to remember it by?
Last but not least, remember to enjoy yourself! Camping with kids can be a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. So take the time to relax and savor the experience.
After all, these are the memories your kids will cherish for a lifetime. Make sure you’re in some of them!
There you have it – 15 tips for camping with kids. Just remember to pack your patience and sense of humor, and you’re sure to have a great time. Happy camping!