Camping is a great way to introduce younger children to nature. For children, camping is an adventure. Going camping can offer a fun way of learning and a great bonding moment for the family. Camping can become a loved past time or a weekend getaway for just father and son.
The first step to camping with your children is planning. With younger children, try to pick a spot that is easy to access. It is best to avoid camping near dangers like cliffs, while these spots provide great views they also contain great risk with younger children. Educate your children beforehand on the dangers in the area. Make sure they understand to avoid things like dangerous animals.
When packing for a camping trip with children, it is never a bad thing to over pack a little. Remember that unlike adults children may become bored during the night at a campsite. For younger children pack things like a colouring book, while for older children bring a set of cards or allow them to bring their music device along. Always take an extra pair of clothing for children when playing in the outdoors they may wet or dirty. One of the most important items to bring on any camping trip is a first aid kit, no matter how careful you are the unexpected can always happen. Check your first aid kit before you leave, and make sure you understand first aid techniques like CPR.
With food, pack small snacks, and lots of water. While sandwiches may seem like a good idea at first they can become flatten while on the trip. Some younger children may turn their nose up to a flatten sandwich. Items like hot dogs, bagels and canned soups are easy to make while at the campsite. Most importantly do not forget the S'mores, a classic camping dessert.
Once you leave on your trip, the goal is to have fun. Play games with your children at the campsite. Some activity ideas include a nature scavenger hunt, making a nature journal, looking at the stars, and collecting treasures. Bring a small container or bag ( large sandwich bags work perfectly) so your children can collect things they find. What might be just a rock to you could be a treasure to them. Encourage them to look for things that interest them and continue this interest by researching the items they find when you return home. Let them discover what kind of rock they collected or the type of tree a leaf came from.
If you are worried about your children's reaction to camping start small with a tent in the backyard. Use this as a practice run for the real thing. Notice how your child reacts to sleeping within the tent and if they enjoy the thrill of being outside. Learn the things your child seems to like the most and incorporate them more into your real camping trip. Although a lot of work goes into camping with children the pay off is enormous. Camping creates a love of nature and memories that will last forever.