10 tips for camping with children
Posted on January 23rd, 2012
Camping can be a wonderful adventure. Here are our Top Ten Tips to camping with kids for the first time. Have fun!
1. Get the kids interested in the trip by getting them involved. Build their excitement and anticipation and plan the camping trip together. Get them to help out by looking for places to go on the internet and then build their map reading skills by asking them to look them up on the map. If they enjoy shopping get them to choose their own equipment like a child sleeping bag just the right size for them.
2. Ask the children what they would like to do or learn when they are away. Depending on their ages get them to write a list and plan certain things you can all do each day of your trip.
3. If your children are not that used to the outdoors , dip a toe in the water before you go by trying a few outdoor activities with your kids. Get them familiar with the outdoor life in order to eliminate their fears. Take a walk in your local woods, visit a nature reserve or go fishing at a nearby pond or stream .
4. Buy some new books on camping or borrow them from your library – you can get them for all ages and even if they can’t read they will love looking at the pictures and imagining it’s them.
5. Try a campout in your garden before you go for the first time. This will
- Teach the kids how to set up a tent
- Try their hand at some outdoor cooking
- Experience a night outdoors in sleeping bags
- Show them how to use some camping equipment like children’s torches
- Get them accustomed to the many, and often eerie, night sounds
6. Take the necessary gear and supplies – although you may find you’ll need a bigger car! You’ll need:-
- Warm children’s clothing – it may get chilly especially in the evening so take plenty of layers
- Lots of extra clothes, raincoats, wellies and spare pairs of shoes
- Insect repellent
- Sunscreen–they’ll be outside all day in the promised sunshine!
- First aid kit–for those little accidents
- Toys, games, activities
- Familiar bedtime items–pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, dolls etc
- Flashlight/glow sticks or children’s torches - just in case they get afraid of the dark
- Lots of snacks and drinks
- Don’t forget hand sanitiser, a toilet roll and plastic bags
7. Make your travel fun
- Don’t travel a great distance for your first camping trip and make it quite short – perhaps only two or three nights, or have a trial run in the garden
- Take toys and activities to keep them busy
- Play car games such as spot the license plates, singing etc
-Take plenty of snacks
8. Try to make camp chores fun for kids. They will love helping parents put up the tent, filling water containers, hammering in tent pegs and cooking sausages (or marshmallows!). You can even make the camp chores extra fun with contests for gathering the most kindling, best meal of the trip, most organised gear, fastest clean-up and so on.
9. Create memories – if they have their own camera make sure they take it with them; if they don’t give them their own disposable camera, remembering to take extra films and batteries. If your children are old enough encourage them to keep a daily journal, capturing their thoughts and feelings about the trip and the activities you did, include drawings, bark rubbings, pressed flowers and photos.
10. This is the UK after all so always plan for wet weather days and alternative activities. It won’t hurt to do something inside once in a while. Just don’t forget to pack the childrens waterproof clothing.