One of the best ways to spend time with your family and friends is to go camping. Spending time in nature is a great way to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with your loved ones. But before you step out into the wild, it’s good to be prepared.
If you’re going camping for the first time, you may be unfamiliar with the necessities of a campsite – especially if it’s your first time bringing the kids along. In fact, even the most experienced campers are always updating their lists as each trip reveals new ways to improve the next experience. While there are some basic necessities you may already be aware of – a tent for example – camping with kids can require a bit more preparation ahead of time.
That’s why we’ve created this checklist to help you get prepared for camping with kids.
Camping is definitely a favorite summer activity for kids. From sleeping beneath the stars to gathering around the fire to making s’mores, your kids are sure to love every moment. As adults, it’s our job to ensure that camping with kids is enjoyable and safe. This means we have to do a bit of work. Here are some activities for kids that will help make your camping trip memorable for your children.
Scavenger hunts are a hit with kids, and a campsite is the ideal setting. Create a list of items your children need to collect around your campgrounds, such as small rocks, pinecones, shells, or bird feathers, or try an activity-based scavenger hunt, in which your children must skip rocks, climb a tree, identify some animals, or trek to the top of a hill.
Making interesting and delicious snacks over the fire is part of the excitement of camping. Replace graham crackers with two digestive biscuits and melt marshmallows and chocolate in between for a twist on the campground favorite s’mores, or create ham and cheese toasties over an open fire for a savory delight.
Include the outdoors in your children’s craft activities. Make leaf imprints with crayons and paper, paint smooth rocks in rainbow colors with watercolors, or make nature mobiles by tying stones and shells to small twigs with twine.
Share stories over the campfire to keep your kids entertained. Take turns making up stories by beginning each with “I remember when…” You’ll delight in how your children use their imaginations to create memorable and amusing stories.
When it comes to camping alone or with your family, there are some essentials you’ll always need to take with you. These essentials not only ensure your safety but make your trip more pleasant and comfortable.
Additionally, there are a few camping items particular to children that do not also apply to adults, but these are the items that might be more crucial to consider to ensure that your children have a wonderful time. Check out the ultimate camping with kids packing list below.
- Sleeping bags
- Sleeping pads, pillows, inflatable loungers
- Lanterns, flashlights, and headlamps
- First Aid kit
- Warm clothing
- Sunscreen and bug spray or bug repellent bracelet
- Toilet paper
- Hand wipes and hand sanitizer
- Lots of extra bags
- Extra cell phone
- Lights/mini lanterns
- Portable potty
- Extra clothing
While we’ve already mentioned some awesome activities for camping with kids, there are still some more fun things to do. These are activities you can enjoy with the whole family no matter where you choose to go camping.
Beautiful landscapes and hidden lakes can be found on the nearby hiking routes. Make sure everyone has appropriate footwear for the terrain (i.e., hiking boots or sneakers with adequate traction, no open-toe sandals), as well as cameras to document the adventure.
There are plenty of campsite games that are easy to pack, quick to set up, and plenty of fun. Bring a cornhole set, horseshoes, croquet, or ring toss with you. You can also bring a badminton set or a toss and catch ball set.