Camping with kids can be a really rewarding experience, or a somewhat stressful one. With kids these days spending too much time glued to a screen, and not enough time running around outside, camping is the perfect way to encourage (read: force) them to get offline and get outside. When there wifi signal is unavailable, and the batteries on the ipad are flat, what happens next? The go outside and start playing, exploring, adventuring, and enjoying the fresh air. Here are some tips from Adventure Whitsunday to help make your family camping trip a pleasure, not a pain.
1. Plan the Camping Trip Together
When the kids have a sense of choice about where they go and ownership over the final destination choice, they are more likely to enjoy it. Of course you can narrow down the options and offer them a choice of two or three camping sites, and then let the family decide the final choice together.
2. Practice at home
Get the kids camping out in the backyard one night to see how everyone goes. This will not only help you air out the tent, but it will also give you the chance to show the kids how to put it up. Experience a night in the sleeping bags under the stars, and listen to all the night-time sounds.
3. Make camp chores fun
This is an easy one because most of the time, camp chores are actually already fun for kids. They love collecting firewood, filling water containers, hammering in tent pegs, etc. You could make the camp chores into a mini competition – see who can collect the most firewood, make the best camp pancake topping, pack up their gear the fastest…
4. Lots of special snacks
Camping is hard work and your family is sure to work up an appetite. Pack their favourite snacks in little ziplock bags for on-the-go snacking. Ziplock bags will also help minimise mess from opened packages still half full of food (no food explosions in your bag/esky!). If you want to try something different, here’s your chance to slip in something new. Pack lots of healthy treats like trail mixes, fruit and nuts and it will add to the camping excitement.
5. Familiarity and lighting
Make sure you remember to take a few of your children’s favourite bedtime items, like a special blankie or soft toy, and their own pillow. Lots of lighting is good for alleviating any night time fears, and things like glow sticks and special torches make it quite exciting and fun.
We hope these tips help make your family camping adventure lots of fun. It’s important to keep an open mind and a flexible schedule with plenty of back up plans and alternate activities. Camping can be unpredictable, so be prepared and don’t let any setbacks or changes in the schedule get to you. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow!
Come camp with us on a powered site, it makes it much easier! We’ve got all the activities to keep the kids amused, rain, hail or shine as well. Camp with us