Camping With The Little Ones
Camping with kids can be some of the most exciting adventures and best outdoors experiences you can offer them. However, it can also be just as exhausting as it sounds.
We have put together a list of out top tips to help keep the little ones entertained (or at least at bay), and leave you with an almost stress free family holiday.
- Blankets, blankets, and more blankets!
One of the most essential things to remember when camping with children is staying warm. Even during the summertime, the temperature of tents drops dramatically over night. Always over pack on blankets, and you are guaranteed to still be wishing you had another.
A handy tip for keeping warm during the evenings, is placing any extra blankets UNDER your sleeping bags. Unlike home, you lose most heat through the cold ground overnight. Insulting beds with blankets underneath, leads to much warmer nights and less grumpy campers.
- Extra layers
Kids feel the bitter cold a lot more than adults, and it is key to remember to pack extra layers to keep them warm and comfy. Wool base layers are great and can also be slept in for extra heat.
A huge key to a successful camping trip with children, is making it fun.
Let your kids decorate their tent with bunting, signs, sticks and flowers.
- Glow sticks
Pack a bundle of glow sticks. Get the youngsters to make their own glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets for the duration of your trip, making it a lot easier to locate your children in the dark. Putting glow sticks into water bottles also supplies extra illumination and helps any little ones who aren’t fans of the dark.
They are also great for after dinner games. Try throwing the bracelet glow-sticks over a stick for evening hoopla.
- Age appropriate activities
Take into consideration the ages of the children with you on your trip and be sure to think about what it is their idea of a fun activity is. This applies hugely when you are camping with a group of children of different ages; cater for all.
- Let them help plan the trip
There is nothing that will anger your children more than having to follow you around all day, doing “adult things”. A great way to get your children excited for the trip, as well as keeping them entertained day to day, is having them involved pre-camping when planning your trip. Ask them what they would like to see/ do and incorporate this into your itinerary.
- Find the local shop
There is no getting away from forgetting things for your trip. As prepared and organised you may think you are, there will always be something you forgot or didn’t have. A great tip is to research and locate your closest shop before you set off.
- Clear tubs
Clear tubs will end up your best friend while camping with children. There will be plenty things you need to pack for these trips, and a brilliant way of keeping track is to arrange everything into grouped clear tubs. This way not only is it far quicker and easier to access everything, but it also means your children are able to find things without screams.
- Hand and foot wash station
Children are bound to get even muckier than usual while camping. Bring a washing basin, plastic bin or even a baby bath with a flat bottom.
Kids can step straight in and wash off dirty feet and sticky hands. Set the washing basin on towels or a blanket so that when you step out of the basin, you can immediately dry off feet and won’t be tracking dirt or mud into any camping tents and into sleeping bags.
- Baby wipes, baby wipes, baby wipes
Antibacterial or baby wipes and kitchen roll will come in way handier than you thought, countless times. Take extra and you won’t regret it.
- Give Kids Time to Explore
Kids love the outdoors and can spend hours playing, exploring and discovering. This is a great way to not only educate on nature, but also giving you a well-deserved break.
- A favourite blanket, cuddly toy or pillow
This can go a long way for children, to making a tent or caravan feel like home.
- A torch each
A torch each is a great idea with children. Little ones can often feel threatened in the dark, let alone being in the big scary outdoors. Giving your child their own torch means they always have a source of light for whenever they feel they need it, for a bit of ease in a dark tent. They are also a good idea to have on hand for late-night loo trips.
Not to mention, a very cheap game of shadow puppets.
- No shoes in tent rule
Rain and bored children can make for very unpleasant, muddy situations. Take waterproofs, plenty of plastic bags for wet items and keep a “no shoes in the tent” rule in place. This will save you a lot of arguing and cleaning.
- A toy tub
Any box will do. Tell the kids they can only take as many toys as they can fit into the box. This not only saves on packing space but also means you’ll have somewhere to store all of the toys in your camping unit.
Bells on tent zips are a great way for you to hear who’s coming and going and alert you to anyone leaving when they shouldn’t be.
- Go with other families
One of the most successful tips for making camping even more enjoyable for ALL the family, is to join forces with another family, or two. This way kids have some extra friends around, as do the adults. This can also help with having some extra adult support.
Mini beast hunt
Mini board games
Charades around the campfire
Pass the water
DIY rock noughts and crosses