You checked the weather for the weekend. No rain. Warm weather. How about camping with the kids? Camping is an exciting time to explore the wonders of nature while bonding with your family. There’s just so much you can do, from swimming to hiking. Before heading off to your trip, make sure you have a few details ironed out. What will be your destination? If you’re lucky, you may have a few locations nearby. However, if much driving may be involved, this might not be a spontaneous trip for you and the crew.
Next, make sure you have the right gear for your trip: a tent, flashlights, extra batteries, sunscreen, a first-aid kit, and more. Also, figure out the snacks and meals you’ll be eating. Additionally, determine what clothes and shoes to pack. How long will you all be camping? What do you suppose the weather will be like? These questions can help you determine what everyone should wear, such as adult and kids’ fleece jackets, moisture-wicking tops and bottoms, and so on. You probably should pack cozy fleece pajamas, too. For hiking, make sure everyone’s sneakers have lots of traction and a comfortable, cushioned interior.
Once you get the practical things out the way, it’s time to get together a list of activities you want to do with your family. You can start with ours, but also, ask your little ones what they would love to do, too. Make sure to take plenty of photos to share on social media or to hang in your home. You’ll have plenty of candid moments!
What’s the point of camping if you’re not going to hike? Hiking gives your family a chance to explore nature away from city lights and noise. When hiking with kids, try to give them some control. Have your kids take over as navigators by giving them the map and having them take the lead. Let them pick out natural treasures they discover along the way. Also, look for a trail with interesting things along the way, such as a waterfall, stream, or lake. Maybe you and your crew will discover a cave! Finally, take plenty of water and snack breaks.
If you’re lucky, your camping site will have a body of water for swimming. If so, make sure to pack swimsuits for everyone in your tribe. Kids just love to swim. And, why not? Swimming allows for getting cool and splashing around! Kids also love to play pranks while in the water (just make sure they’re staying safe). There are plenty of fun things to do in the water beyond swimming, such as canon balling and a relay race.
A camping trip is a great time to teach your kids how to fish—if they don’t already know how. Plus, they’d be excited to be able to eat what they catch for a yummy dinner. Explain to them the basic concepts of fishing, such as baiting and casting. Show them your best techniques. Throughout the day, you could have them catch live bait (or worms) to use while fishing.
Let your kids explore nature by partaking in an ongoing scavenger hunt. They can keep their most treasured finds as souvenirs in their backpacks. How can you plan a fun scavenger hunt? You can create the game before heading out on the camping trip. List things your kids can look for, such as sticks, rocks, leaves, pinecones, and flowers. Print out your list or write it down and give it to your kids. Your little ones could also search for live creatures, such as colorful birds, insects at work, and squirrels. This game will for sure allow for an exciting camping experience!
There will be downtime. Your kids won’t be running around through nature during the entire trip. When you’re prepping meals, for example, and need your little ones close by, make sure there’s something to keep them busy. You can pack books, board games, and card games from home to keep them entertained. They could even draw and color all the wonderful things they discovered throughout the day.
Once the night arrives, a camping tradition is to sit around a campfire while toasting marshmallows and making smores. This tradition isn’t going away anytime soon. Make sure you have fleece blankets or jackets close by if it gets a bit chilly. Tell scary stories, reflect on past experiences, and sing. You could even stargaze! This is a time to bond before heading off to sleep.
Camping is such a fun and rewarding time with your family. Life goes by so fast—with school, work, and everything in between. Step away from your day-to-day and find time to camp your kids. Use our activities, plus brainstorm ideas for what to do while camping with your entire family. Then, pick a destination and prepare to make new memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.