Camping is a great activity for families to participate in, because there are many enjoyable aspects of camping for family members of all ages. Kids love the opportunity to explore nature, get dirty, and experience more freedom, while parents most certainly enjoy the peace and quiet of nature and quality time with the family. Camping with children might seem like a high-maintenance production, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips on how to make the process smooth and fun for everyone involved.
Children should be included in the planning process.
This includes where to go, what to pack, what to eat, and what activities to do. When packing their bags, encourage them to leave their electronics behind, and focus on the family and nature experience instead. Small children can bring a favorite toy in case they get scared. They should also be included in setting up the campsite. Giving children chores or putting them in charge of task makes them feel included and important, and also serves as an opportunity to teach them new skills.
While camping, safety should not be forgotten.
There are many hazards in the wilderness, and an emergency plan should be created in advance. A medicine kit is a must, and should include sunscreen, pain relievers (children’s and adult), bug spray, ointments, and bandages. While exploring nature, it is easy to get lost when you’re having fun. Kids should have a whistle or flashing device to help them be located. Wild plants should never be eaten, as many that may look harmless are poisonous. Bug bites are also common; most of the time they are just annoying, but they can be dangerous. Make sure you apply adequate insect repellent to your children and yourself, especially late afternoon going into evening. Burning citronella candles also keeps bugs away.
Activities can be planned in advance, but a schedule should not be too rigid.
Some popular experiences are biking, horseback riding, hiking, and fishing. Scavenger hunts are especially fun for small kids. They can collect small rocks, leaves, and nuts to use in crafts to create keepsakes. Most children love bugs and animals; however, they should not touch them, as it is possible to damage creature habitat even with the smallest interaction. Some activities can be educational, like star gazing, bird watching, or identifying trees and plant species. And of course, the time-loved activities of roasting marshmallows and singing campfire songs are something kids and grownups can always enjoy together.