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How To Help Your Kids Love Camping

 

campsitezionAT

 

What happens when you head out for a weekend full of camping and on the first day your kids are complaining that they are bored, that camping isn’t fun or that they want to go home? You’ve planned, packed and arrived for a weekend of relaxation, fun and family time. The last thing you want to do is head home. It can get frustrating listening to all the complaining from your kids, so here are some ideas on how to help them fall in love with camping.

infant campingFirst and foremost start them young, as young as possible. The sooner camping is introduced into their lives the more routine it will become, making adjusting to it much easier. Kids are never too young to camp.

Another important factor is to check the weather and make sure there’s no chance of rain, heavy wind or snow and that it won’t be too hot or too cold. A guaranteed miserable trip for all involved is when the weather goes bad or when the kids become uncomfortable. Once the kids start complaining about how miserable they are they have a tendency to not stop.

For the first few times camping choose locations that are close to home. A long car ride is boring for kids and that’s not a good way to start the trip. Venture farther away from home on subsequent trips as they get older and are use to longer car rides.

Let your kids help plan the camping trip. Have them give you suggestions of where they want to go, what activities would be fun and what meals they want to eat. Even if some of their suggestions aren’t used at least they voiced their opinions and feel included.

Get them involved. Have your kids pack their own clothes, their favorite snacks and a couple items for entertainment. (games, puzzles, coloring books, toys, etc.) Allow them to help with preparation and packing of meals. Plan some meals that they can help make at camp, like roasting hot dogs or bratwursts.

Camp with friends or let your kids bring a friend. Having a companion helps keep kids entertained. Usually they are more inclined to hang with friends than their parents.

Purchase some camping gear suitable for your kids, such as, camp chairs, sleeping bags, headlamps and fishing poles. If at toddler campingall possible let them pick out their own gear. Kids get excited when they have gear like Mom and Dad and they’ll be even more excited that they had the opportunity to choose their own. You can find gently used outdoor gear at second hand stores, newspaper classifieds and even online.

When you get to camp allow your kids to help you set up the tent, arrange the kitchen area and organize the rest of camp. Send them on a mission to collect wood for the fire, if wood collecting is allowed. Chances are the more they feel included the less bored they’ll get.

Plan fun activities, such as, a scavenger hunt, building a fort, go fishing, play camp games, do crafts, or go on a day hike. Keeping your kids entertained will help limit the complaining and boredom.

Here’s a simple camping craft that most kids enjoy:

Items needed:

Craft googly eyes

Elmers glue

Rocks

Markers

Instructions:

Glue googly eyes on rocks to make funny faces.

 

JFullMoonhikeAt night go for a moon light hike and see what you can discover in the dark. Do you hear different sounds? Do you see different wildlife scurrying around than what you see during the day? Are your senses heightened because you can’t see as well?

Gaze at the stars and see how many constellations you can spot, tell stories around the campfire and roast up some s’mores or other campfire desserts. Who can complain when devouring a delicious campfire dessert?

Use a flashlight to make shadow puppets on the tent walls. Make up a story to go along with the puppet display.

Now go hit the road to a wonderful camping destination that you and your kids have planned together. With these ideas and some of your own your kids are bound to fall in love with camping.

 

 

 

 

 

What tips do you have for camping with kids? How do you remedy boredom?

 

 

 

 

This was previously written for active.com

 

Comments

  1. Oh !!! nice article. Your article is very much informative and I faced same problem that you mention here. My kids said they are boring on the very first day. From my next camping, I decide to do as you said. Hope it will work.

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