So you want to take your kids camping? Do you worry how to make it fun for the kids?
Do you remember camping when you were a kid?
What did you like best about it?
Time with family?
Sitting around the campfire?
The flashlight stories?
Not having anything you had to do but just have fun?
When you plan your camping trip, here’s a surefire way to make sure your kids have a great big grand time.
- Research National Parks, KOA sites, AAA list of campsites, and State Parks. Most have camp sites and are awesome places to visit.
- Pack travel-sized board games and a deck of cards for those slower times (while kids are waiting for the grown ups to get dressed, etc.). (Leave the electronics at home–I know, nobody can go that long, so if you must, bring them but leave them in the car. Have rules for checking them once or twice a day only). Be sure you have a source to re-charge your electronic devices because I know you’ll be using the camera on your phone.
- If you’ll be near water, bring water toys (canoes, kayaks, boogie boards, inflatable toys and floats) and water safety items (such as water wings, swimsuits with floats sewn inside, life vests, etc.)
- Bring a flashlight for everyone and back up batteries. Bonus Tip: You may want to bring a telescope to enjoy a night sky full of wonder.
- Don’t forget the marshmallows and long sticks for roasting (don’t rely on finding sticks lying around at the campsite). And if you family like s’mores, bring chocolate bars and graham crackers. Be sure to research the use of fire at your campsite. Some limit campfires due to droughts.
- Toiletries are a must. There may not be a camp store to purchase such items. Pack them in a separate bag. Bonus Tip: Be sure it has a handle for ease of carrying to the restrooms.
- Be sure to plan your meals in advance and keep them easy such as spaghetti, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwich items, cereal. Bonus Tip: Pack individual small snack bags so kids can grab and go. Extra Bonus Tip: Bring a plastic bin to put all your dirty dishes in to corral them as well as carry them to the water source. You may want to bring a wagon for this chore). Don’t forget the environmentally-friendly soap.
- Plan some “outdoor” related crafts such as whittling (if kids are old enough to handle a sharp knife), dream-catchers, butterfly nets, lightning bug jars.
- Don’t forget the big items–tent (be sure you have stakes and tie downs and a fly over in case of rain). (Bonus Tip: A mat to put right outside the tent, helps to keep dirt at bay and provides a relatively clean place to leave your shoes), sleeping bags or blankets/comforters, blow up mattresses or cushioned mats, and pillows.
- Plan activities to explore the area. Hike, swim, tour, etc.
If you do all of these things, your kids will have a great time and you will too! You can relax knowing everything is taken care of which will free you up to just enjoy your kids and the area you are visiting.
Be sure and share your pictures and stories from camping in the Comment Section.