From bonding with parents over a nice campfire to connecting with the beauty of nature, a camping trip can be one of the most memorable experiences for a young child. That's why taking kids on a camping trip should be a top priority for any parent. If you're planning on taking your children camping, there are a few things you can do to ensure they never forget the adventure.
Prepare the kids for the excitement of camping
Taking kids on a camping trip without telling them what to expect can be disastrous. According to one expert, it's a good idea to hold a 'dress rehearsal' by camping out in the backyard one night. This allows the kids to adapt to the experience and look forward to the real outdoors away from home. It also gives them the chance to voice what they don't like, such as an uncomfortable pillow or flimsy sleeping bag, which you can replace.
Bring a lot of snacks
Many young kids tend to be picky eaters, which is why it's important to bring a number of snacks you already know they like. Nevertheless, camping should be a time of learning and trying new things, so plan on making them excited about eating new foods. For example, trying new snacks like roasted marshmallows and s'mores will significantly boost the experience. These treats and others often represent the quintessential camping experience. For more ideas, take a look at our article about delicious camping snacks.
Get your children involved
Without the constant entertainment of television and video games, children might easily become bored during the routine parts of camping, such as establishing the camping site. To ensure they're engaged throughout the trip, give them small jobs and assignments. Have them gather sticks for roasting marshmallows or dig a small pit for the campfire. This not only gives them a sense of involvement, but it also sets them up to be more self-reliant and helpful.
Prepare fun activities
Kids who aren't used to being outdoors might think there is not much to do, but you can easily prove them wrong by organizing fun camping activities. If you are camping with smaller children, you will want to make sure the activity isn't too overwhelming and physically demanding for them. Consider going on a nature hike through the woods or looking for wildlife with binoculars. For more great ideas about fun family activities, look at this article about family camping.
Keep a close eye on your kids
It's absolutely essential your child never wanders too far from your sight. Set up a perimeter around the campsite and make it clear that your kids are not allowed to cross the line unless accompanied by an adult. Also, caution your kids about playing with wildlife or plants, so they do not become exposed to poison ivy.
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