If you are planning you’re very first camping trip with your kids this summer, you may be wondering what the best way to prepare for the trip is. Camping with younger kids does require a bit more preparation than camping just with adults, but that does not mean it can’t be done. It doesn’t even have to be difficult.
When it comes to camping and kids, there are some ways to make your trip go much more smoothly. I’m sharing a few tips for camping with younger kids and how you can prepare.
Do a Practice Run:
If you’ve never been camping before, you may want to go through a practice run. It’s a great way to get kids prepared for a camping trip in the great outdoors. You can do this in several ways:
Head out to the park, beach or lake for an entire day. Pack everything that you will need for the day (don’t forget chairs, coolers and food!) and just spend the day doing what you will be doing during your camping trip and see how the kids react. Do they get worn out easily? This will help you know whether or not you need to plan activities for while you are there.
Pitch a tent in your yard. This is a great idea if you are unsure of how your kids will do sleeping outside overnight. This is a great way to get them acclimated to sleeping on the hard ground outside. If there are any meltdowns or major issues, you are at least close to home.
Prepare for the Trip Together:
Write out a list of camping gear and have your kids pack their own bags. They will be excited about the “grown up” responsibility. (Double checking their bags afterward may not be a bad idea.)
Let the kids bring toys and their bikes or scooters. The truth is, very often that there is a lot of downtime during camping. Awesome for adults, not always or the kids. Make sure the kids have plenty of stuff to keep them busy and entertained during their trip and you will both be thankful.
Show Enthusiasm for The Trip!
Camping is fun and it is important to remember that even though you may be stressed for the trip. Regardless of your stress, be sure and show an enthusiasm for the trip. If the kids sense that you are not looking forward to camping, why would they look forward to it? If you maintain excitement before and during your camping trip your children will be more likely to do the same.
Be sure to spend a good deal of time talking about how much fun it’s going to be to sleep in a tent and how excited you are all the fun things you’re going to do while camping. Kids naturally follow their parents cues. If your child expresses any fears about sleeping outside, wild animals, bugs or snakes, be sure to reassure him that you’re going to have a lot of fun and that there’s no reason to be afraid.
Now go and have some fun!