If there’s one thing that can ruin a camping trip, it’s an unhappy child. If they’re bored, or feel like they’re not involved in the experience, the whole vacation can quickly go downhill. One of the best ways to keep your child(ren) occupied and happy is to directly connect them to the whole camping adventure. This week, we’re going to give you some tips on camping with kids, and how to involve them so they learn valuable lessons and the entire family has a great time!
2. Let the Kids Pack
Allow the kids to pack their own gear (while you supervise). After you’ve planned where you’re going, ask them what they think they might need. If you’re going to the Black Hills, for example, they’ll probably want hiking shoes, binoculars, a camera, swimsuits, etc. Let them decide on a few items that are important to them, like favorite toys or a blanket. This kind of involvement gets the kids excited about where they’re going and allows them to plan along with you.
3. Let the Kids Help Set Up
Children as young as 3 can stick tent poles into fabric. Give them the opportunity to help set up camp, and ask questions like “Is this going to be comfortable ground to sleep on?” or “How is the wind going to affect our campsite?” Allow kids to gather kindling for the fire, get water from the pump, pull out sleeping bags, etc. You could also create a little friendly competition in the family by seeing who can set up the quickest. The point is, you’re getting them involved in the process, and helping them learn along the way.
4. Educate them (and Yourself)
The Ten Essentials List, originally created in the 1930s, is a great place to start. You could also buy them books about the area you’re travelling and teach them to identify harmful plants and animals. Let them learn about cooking by making some simple, quick meals over the campfire. It’s amazing how a few camping trips can give kids essential tools they’ll use for a lifetime.
5. Let the Kids Play (a lot)
One of the many amazing things about the outdoors is that it really opens up children’s minds. In a natural landscape, kids are more likely to invent their own games and adventures. When staying at a campground, they’ll likely meet friends they never would have otherwise. Sometimes children who are shy or often stay on the sidelines at school find a great release in nature. When the rigors of school and other activities are left at home, kids are left to be themselves. Let them.
If you’re as excited for summer as we are, let us help you plan your next camping adventure! Visit us at MidwestOutdoorResorts.com or call (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be happy to show you our fantastic vacation destinations. Happy exploring!