Camping is one of the best activities to do with your children. It’s not only something you can do as a family, but it’s a great way to take a trip together that gives you more time to actually spend together. Going out to stay in a cabin, caravan park, or even a tent is a way to take a simple trip with little distraction. It’s a great way for both you and your children to get away from daily life full of school, work, social events, computers, television, and cell phones. It’ll give you an opportunity to bond and grow as a family.
But, what do you need to know when you’re going camping with you kids for the first time? (Or maybe you tried a previous time and it was unsuccessful or badly planned.) The first thing is that you should have a plan. Know where you’re going, how long you’re staying, and exactly what the place you’ll be camping in is like. Some parks have swimming pools or lakes, some have boating or other activities. If the one you’re going to has some of these things be sure to figure out which of these you and your family would like to do and pack accordingly. You also need to check the weather for the time you’ll be away and make sure you have clothes for whatever weather might be coming. Kids can become easily agitated with some situations, especially when their comfort is compromised, and having only summer clothes when it’s chilly and raining definitely falls into that category. If you it’s a long drive to the place you’re going, be sure to pack snacks and car activities so no one gets antsy or frustrated during the drive.
The second thing you need to think about is food. Are you going in an RV or renting a cabin? What will you need to cook at either place? Make sure you bring enough food and a good variety of food so smaller children won’t feel like their choices have been severely limited due to the trip. This could cause irritability and an unwillingness to take another trip like this in the future. Pack fun food and snacks for the family. Try bringing pie filling, bread, butter, and hobo pie makers for over the fire. It’s a great way to make a sweet and tasty desert and something your kids can help prepare and have fun cooking. Smores are also a great camping food that kids tend to love. If you are going to be cooking over a fire for some of the time, buy hot dog and marshmallow roasting sticks to make the experience easy and fun. Be sure to ask your kids if there’s anything special they’d like to take to eat or a meal they’d like to help you plan for or cook. Being involved will help you bond as a family and they will feel helpful.
Bring important items like first aid kits, medications, and anything else that could be vital while you’re away from home. You don’t want to be caught camping without someone’s inhaler or a band-aid for scraped knees. Make sure your kids have everything they need if they’re packing for themselves. It’s common for kids to forget things like medications or glasses when going away from home.
Plan fun activities for the time you’re away. Whether it’s boating, star-gazing, or hiking outdoor activities are a great way to spend the daytime during a camping trip. See if the park you’re going to has anything special going on like group games everyone can participate in together. If the park you’re going to doesn’t have a pool, lake, or organized activities you can bring along your own. Bring balls and bats to play baseball, or make hiking sticks to take a walk in the mornings. Filling your days with things like that will help fill the time and make the trip more fun and memorable. Also, don’t forget to take a camera! You’ll want to look back on your fun time in a few years when your kids are older.