Camping with kids is great fun, getting your children away from their computers and iPads and seeing them explore their surroundings and have fun in the great outdoors can be very rewarding. If you plan to head away for the long weekend, make sure you give yourself some time to prepare for camping with the kids. Maybe you have said you are going to take the kids away, and you probably have a campsite in mind. Have you thought about what to take, whether you need to book a campsite, what activities are there for the kids once we get there, will they enjoy it, and what camp food do we take?
Don’t stress though, there is still time to get organised and save the last minute packing frenzy that we are all familiar with. So, other than the usual camping essentials, what else should you consider when preparing for your weekend of camping with the kids.
Have a trial camp in the backyard before you go
Make sure your kids are comfortable sleeping in a tent and make any notes of things you will do differently when you are away. Give them responsibility for their own gear such as a tent, chair or torch. Check out some of the great kid’s gear at Snowys.
Include them in the planning and packing
Choose a destination with your kids, and make sure there will be a campsite available for you when you get there. Develop a checklist that you can use each time you go camping, you can refine it when you return to make sure you don’t forget anything next time. Get them to pack their bags with a list you have put together, and make sure you take extra clothes for the kids, they will get dirty. Read our blog How to Plan Your Easter Getaway for more trip preparation tips.
Take fun things to do with the kids
Go prepared with items for a scavenger hunt such as wrapped treats, fruit or toys. If your kids are old enough you could turn it into an orienteering game with a hand drawn map and compass. Get an outdoor survival book to learn how to make a shelter and explore other bush crafts. Take bikes. Be prepared with backpacks, water bottles and snacks for a hike, and consider going with another family so the kids have friends to play with.
Don’t aim to achieve too much
It will be far less stressful if you pick a destination that is not too far away. Don’t expect to hike all the way to the top of the hill, or jam too many activities into your day. Involve your kids in the small things such as pitching the tent, setting up the camp kitchen and packing up. Take food that is easy to store, and get your kids to help prepare your camp food. Read our 3 delicious Desserts around the Campfire! blog for ideas on fun things to cook with the kids.
Explore the surroundings with them
Teach them about wildlife and outdoor ethics, look for interesting trees, rocks and bugs. Consider safety and establish camp boundaries. Get brochures and maps from information centres, and attend guided ranger talks if they are available.
Relax and enjoy yourselves
Make sure you take time for yourselves to relax, do some star gazing, enjoy a glass of wine, or go for a relaxing stroll. Make sure you take a camera to record the fun times, let the kids free with the camera, it can come back with some interesting results!!
Have a look at these blogs for more great ideas for your family camping trip Easy camp cooking for the family, and Family Car Games for Travelling With Kids. We would love to hear about your favourite family camping with kids ideas in the comments section below.
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