So you have decided to reduce the screen time and get your kids outdoors. Pat yourself on the back to taking your kids for adventure!
Real childhood is not created in front of video games and television and taking their pictures out in nature is lot more fun! But taking kids to camping will be both a challenge and rewarding experience. If not planned and prepared well for the camping day, the tantrums and their needs can leave you stressed.
To get the most out of the camping experience, we have listed a few tips and tricks below:
You don’t want yourself always in the guiding mode and screaming at your kids during camping for their misbehaviour. Set a few rules before the date and make sure your kids follow the instructions. Teach them camp courtesy and safety, as we have found lots of children at campsites don’t seem to have this instilled in them.
Remember to be too strict but some basic rules like these can help you handle the kids well.
- Rule 1: You don’t run or walk through people’s campsites, you go around them.
- Rule 2: Be quiet early morning, because not everyone wakes with the birds.
- Rule 3:It is not polite to interrupt other camping families during mealtime. Always ask permission while entering other tents.
Mind you, even some adults don’t seem to have these mastered yet either.
Engage your kids
Involve kids in activities to keep them occupied. Give small chores when camping – collecting firewood (if allowed), getting fresh water, being in charge of the smaller siblings etc. It gives them experiences they can’t replicate at home, independence, and sense of a job well done. Also, appreciate their efforts in helping you in these tasks. With positive words and appreciation, kids will remember the joy of camping for lifelong!
Along with the obvious items like clothes and other camping essentials, load up on baby wipes and antibacterial wipes for kids. Hand sanitizers are also needed to keep the tiny hands hygienic. Bring several packs of baby wipes and antibacterial wipes for those times when you need to wipe the kids down but won’t be able to give them a full bath. Wipes are great to clean hands and feet before they crawl into sleeping bags too. Always set out a blanket or towel before the camping tent doors so you can sit down and wipe feet, hands, faces, arms, and legs without tracking in dirt into the tent. First aid checklist can help you not to forget the important items. You will also need a whistle, so if the kids get lost or wander too far, they can use it to advise us of their location.
Give each child their own backpack
Fill this backpack with essentials such as headlamp, water bottle, tissues, sunglasses, sunscreen, whistle, and snack. So if you do go on a hike, they are more self sufficient and the parent is not like a mule, weighed down with the day’s supplies. Also, kids will have the feeling of independence when they have all the essential items with them.
Keeping kids entertained makes camping with them a total breeze without kids getting into mischief. Pack a tub full of toys to bring with you that are camping friendly and electronic free. No screen activities during camp. Pack suitable activities for inside the tent should the weather deteriorate. Books, coloring activities and cards are good stand-by items. Kids will enjoy carrying a binocular as well.
If your camping site is nearby a lake, go for fishing. You think fishing will be boring for kids? There are so many fun things to keep kids entertained during fishing. Take lots of crazy and funny pictures. Create memories that you and your children can cherish for years to come. And if things don’t work out on this trip quite like you had planned, remember, there is always the next time.