There’s no better way to enjoy the Great British outdoors than to pitch a tent and spend a night or two (or more!) under the canvas. For some, the thought of taking your little bundles of joy on a camping trip may be enough to fill you with dread. However, with a little planning, you’ll be wishing you’d made your trip sooner! These 5 steps to camping with kids will help ensure that the whole family can have fun.
1. Have a trial run
There’s nothing worse than turning up for a weekend away and realising that you’ve left something behind (let’s face it, we’ve all been there!), more so if you’ve got young children in tow. Make sure to have a trial run before setting off – set up a tent in the back garden and have the kids spend the night there. This helps give them an idea of what to expect and gives you an opportunity to make note of any important items not to be missed.
2. Let the kids plan
It may seem daunting at first to let the children do the planning, but with some guidance they’ll be able to plan a trip that everyone can enjoy. By setting expectations on travelling times, and allowing the kids to be involved right from the start means that they can be excited by the trip and not get bored as easily when you’re there.
3. Pack plenty of activities
Bored kids most definitely are not happy kids. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, make sure that you have all bases covered. Pack plenty of activities to ensure that the kids are kept happy whatever the weather.
4. Stick to what they know
Just because you may be in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t mean your normal daily routine has to go out the window. Try and stick to the usual routine as much as possible, particularly when it comes to meal times and bed times. Camping in the great outdoors, although exciting, can also be unsettling for children. The unfamiliarity with their surroundings can mean that they can potentially end up not enjoying the trip – by trying to stick to what they know, makes it a bit easier for them to adjust. A great way to keep the kids occupied is to give them jobs to help around camp, such as; collecting wood for the fire, or washing up after meals.
5. Ditch the devices
As difficult as it may be, try and leave the tablets at home. Whilst it may be a tempting distraction for the children, it sort of defeats the purpose of going camping! Keep the smart phones in the car for emergencies, and perhaps keep your digital camera handy but everything else can be left at home. Without the lure of digital devices, there’s more of an incentive for the children to engage with their surroundings and look for new ways to explore and have fun.
So, there you have it, 5 steps to camping with kids. For more ideas on what to do when camping with the little ones, check out GetOutside Champion Shell Grayston’s blog.