The idea of camping under the starry night sky embraced by the beauty of nature can be enthralling. What makes the experience even more fun has the opportunity to relish the time as a family.
Taking your kids camping can be an amazing time for bonding and teaching. You can guide them to enjoy the woods’ nuances, such as the distant sound of birds, the crackling campfire, watching insects and animals, and, of course, enjoy a fun sleepover in the outdoors. But this sensory awakening experience can also be slightly challenging the first few times.
Planning any trip with kids requires a lot of consideration, and staying in the outdoors could make it scarier. Use these seven simple tips to plan and execute a perfect camping weekend with your kids.
Identify The Right Sites
Before you even start thinking about how and what to pack, the first step to making sure you have a wonderful camping time with your kids is to pick a good campsite. Choose a good time of the year with minimal rain chances and not too sunny to enjoy the overall experience.
Camping sites suitable for adults may not always be accommodating to kids. So look for ideal sites for children, for example, ones that have a bathroom somewhere close by if your kids are shy to go in the woods. Sites with facilities or amenities around are a good idea for first-time campers to slowly become comfortable with the idea of staying outside the house.
Explore the typical volume of campers in the area during your stay to make sure there are no late-night parties that could interfere with your kids sleep schedule.
Encourage Participation And Curiosity
The best way to keep your children enthusiastic about camping is to involve them in as many activities as possible. Starting from deciding the campsite, discuss some possible campsites with them before finalizing. Encourage them to stay involved while checking and packing the gears, food, and other necessary things for the weekend.
Involve them in activities at the campsite such as teaching them to set up a tent, building a campfire, or cooking a meal. Assign them tasks that keep them energetic and interested throughout the trip.
Also, motivate them to explore the area around with you. You can walk a little around the campsite and explore the rocks, the trees, insects, and animals to connect with nature. Ask about their interests and talk about what you like the most about camping. Embracing the beauty of nature with your family can be quite fun this way.
Pack A Favorite Meal
The best part about camping with your family is sitting around the campfire and enjoying a delicious meal with music and laughter. Roasting meat or marshmallows over the fire or brewing tea in a kettle can be a lot of fun for the kids in the woods.
Ask kids what they would like to have and prepare your menu around it. Try to include a few treats such as candies and essentials such as ketchup to make the menu easier.
Packing for your camping trip may not be the right time to test your culinary skills with new recipes. So choose foods that are easy to prepare and recipes the children enjoy to make them comfortable. Load up on ready to eat snacks, beverages in case they are hungry between meals. You can easily carry everything you need in spacious vehicles.
Pack Well For A Cozy Sleep
The first time sleeping outside in a tent can be challenging for younger kids. The best way to keep them from feeling scared or uncomfortable is to make sure the environment is comfortable. Pack a few things from their bedroom that might help them sleep better, like toys or stuffed animals.
Make sure you take enough comforters, pillows, blankets, warm clothing for the night, and a small lamp if they find it difficult to sleep in complete darkness. Ensure the tent is large enough to accommodate your family or get more tents, so everyone is comfortable sleeping.
An important point to remember here is to make sure they keep up with their regular bedtime. While this might be difficult considering the outdoor light, it will give them enough rest and help them rise early and enjoy the day ahead.
Dress In Layers
Check the weather conditions and predictions much earlier and make sure you dress up the kids accordingly. Staying outdoors in the woods is a significantly different experience that might be uncomfortable for the kids.
The temperature might drop too much at night and rise in the morning. The best way to accommodate these changes is to dress in layers. Towards nightfall, layering up with shawls, scarfs, jackets, and caps will help keep kids warm and cozy. You can take off a few layers when they feel warm.
Children may also end up getting a lot of dirt on their clothes. So, pack a few extra sweaters and socks if they need a change from wet or dirty clothes. Don’t forget to pack a rain jacket as a precaution in case there are chances of rain.
Pack Games And Toys
Ideally, you can look for campsites that offer kids activities such as nature walks, hikes, or camping games to keep them active and enjoying throughout the trip. You can also pack a few games for your kids to keep them engaged.
Make sure to include a few toys or family games you can play together to spend time outdoors. You can enjoy around the campfire playing these games, singing, dancing as a family. Simple toys like a ball, binoculars, flying discs, or some mud tools to dig holes and build their mini campsite with sticks and leaves will suffice. Older kids may enjoy activities like geocaching or constructing their own bebe gun shooting range, but it’s vital you have a serious conversation with your kids about safety if this activity goes ahead.
It will also tire them out by the end of the day to have a good night’s sleep. Make sure they play close to the campsite so you can keep an eye on them.
Safety is an important parameter to keep in mind while camping with your kids. Check all your gear before packing to ensure they are in good shape. Sit with your kids and discuss some general rules such as not going too far from the campsite, the importance of adult supervision if they have to use the bathroom in the night, fire safety. Also, discuss what to do if they got lost in the woods or wandered into a different campsite.
Warn them about any close features to the campsite such as the road, water bodies, or cliff. Make sure you prepare them to stay safe to enjoy the complete experience.
If you are worried about camping with your kids for the first time, start by practicing at home. You can pitch the tent in the backyard or inside your home and have a nice sleepover to make them more comfortable with the idea.
Camping with your children can feel overwhelming and tedious to prepare, but make sure not to worry too much. Do not panic if you forgot to pack something or something goes wrong. Enjoy the bonding experience, and with time, you might learn together about how to camp perfectly.