The first time you take your kid(s) camping is always an adventure. You’re away from all the conveniences and comforts of home, and that can cause a major headache if you’re not prepared. A great way to brace your children for the outdoors is to do a dry-run in the backyard (or even in the living room). We’re of the opinion there’s no better family tradition than camping, so this week we’re going to give you a few tips on having a stay-cation and getting your kids ready for the real thing. Read on!
Make a Rule: No Going Indoors
OK, maybe to use the bathroom. Other than that, make a hard-and-fast rule that no one is allowed to go indoors. You’re trying to get everyone ready for the real thing. Make sure to bring all the essentials you need beforehand so you’re not running in and out every few minutes. Try your best to make it feel like a real rustic getaway.
Set Up Your Site
And have fun with it. Let the kids help pick out a perfect spot (flat and grassy of course), pitch the tent, put out the sleeping bags and bedding (inflatable mattresses will work) and help with all the things you’d normally do to set up camp. The main thing is they’re involved and interested in the process.
Explore the Yard
Age-appropriate educational books will do wonders here. Even you may be surprised at how many different plants, insects, flowers, etc. there are to learn about in your own backyard. Give the kids magnifying glasses and/or binoculars and let them explore. This is a great way to get them interested in the outdoors and will be all the better when you do venture into the wilderness.
Pack a Cooler
Ask the kids what they think they’ll want to eat and what they’ll need for an overnight stay outdoors. Let them help pick out dinner and/or plan meals. Tell them this is the refrigerator for the night. Remember, you can’t go inside!
Make Some Good Food
If you have a fire pit feel free to go traditional. Bring hot dogs, s’mores, etc. and let the kids cook them over the open flames. We also have plenty of delicious recipes elsewhere on the blog. You’re trying to give the kids some good camping memories so they’re excited for the real thing, so make something they like and they’re involved in.
Bring Plenty of Games
If your kids are used to constantly having an iPad, watching TV, playing games, etc., you’ll need to keep them occupied. Bean bags, rope ladders, cards and board games are a great way to pass the time as a family. Show them that there’s plenty of fun to be had without electronics, and you’ll all be happier for it.
Backyard camping is a great way to get your children excited to camp in the outdoors, and in our humble opinion there’s no better family traditional than the camping trip. As always feel free to visit us at MidwestOutdoorResorts.com or call (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be happy to help plan your next adventure today. Happy exploring!