Kids today are growing up in a world where they’re closer to screens than the great outdoors. But you can turn that around! Giving your kids their first camping trip is an amazing way to reconnect with nature and teach them about responsibility, teamwork, and self-reliance. Today I’m sharing some tips on how to prepare kids for camping when they’ve never been before.
Your first camping trip with kids can be a little daunting. You want to make it fun for them, but you also need to make sure they’re safe and comfortable in the outdoors. Here are some tips on how to prepare your child for their first camping trip.
It’s summertime and the kids are out of school, which means it’s time to start thinking about vacations. Camping is a great way for families to enjoy nature and get close with one another.
If you’re planning a camping trip with your kids this summer, you may be questioning the best way to prepare for the trip. There is no doubt that camping with kids does require a bit more preparation than camping with adults, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It doesn’t even have to be difficult!
As a mom of five and dozens of camping trips under my belt, I can assure you, camping with your kids is worth the effort! When it comes to camping and kids, there are some ways to make your trip go much more smoothly.
How to Prepare Kids for Camping the First Time
Here are some great tips on camping and kids and how to prepare:
Camping is a great way to spend time with the family, and it also gives kids an opportunity to learn a lot of great skills. However, if you are going camping for the first time with your children, there are some things that you should consider before packing up and heading out into nature.
Camping is an outdoor adventure that leaves lasting memories, which is why you should take your kids camping at least once in their lifetime. But, I believe once you do it once you’re going to want to do it again and again! Camping with kids is so much fun!
I know what’s like to go camping with your kids that first time. Especially when you don’t have a lot of experience with camping yourself! As a young mom, I had never been camping until that first trip with my kids. However, that first camping trip had me hooked. We all loved it.
Just the thought of bringing kids camping can be enough to strike fear into the heart of the most adventurous of parents though. You may have all kinds of worries. Worries like:
- What if they are afraid of sleeping in a tent?
- What if they get bored?
- What if they hate it?
- What if all they do is complain?
These are all valid worries, but with the right planning, you can ensure your time camping will go smoothly. You’re in luck though. I’ve got some tips on how to make your first family camping experience a good one. When it comes to camping and kids, there are some ways to make your trip go much more smoothly.
What is a good age to take a child camping? Can toddlers go camping?
Kids of all ages can enjoy camping. We’ve taken many camping trips with babies and toddlers in tow. Do remember that your young children may need to nap during the day. So don’t try to pack to much into one day. Let your camping trip be relaxing and fun for the whole family!
Camping doesn’t have to be scary for the little ones. There are plenty of ways to make it a good experience, such as taking along their favorite blanket or toy from home.
Here are some great tips on camping and kids and how to prepare:
Choosing Your First Campground
It is essential to think about the type of environment in which your child will be most comfortable and choose your campground with this in mind.
Camping with kids can bring different considerations than camping with only adults.
Determine what type of camping experience your kids are ready for and go from there! If you’re just looking to get them outside, find some close local parks with paths where they can explore and do fun activities like fishing, swimming, or hiking.
If you want your kids to try out a camping adventure with more of a group setting, find nearby campgrounds that offer activities for the whole family! There are many options including rustic cabins, tent sites, and RV hookups.
Take some time to read reviews on different campsites before making your selection so you can make an informed decision.
It’s important to find a camping site you can walk to easily if your children are potty training or shy about using the restroom in the outdoors.
Think about water safety. If your campground has a creek or other body of water nearby, you’ll want to choose a campsite that isn’t right on the water if you are worried your children will be tempted to jump in – which when it comes to young kids, you cannot be too safe around water!!
If you are worried your kids will have a hard time sleeping or taking naps if there is a lot of noise and activity around your campsite, then choose a site that is more secluded. Campgrounds can be noisy, especially those that are close together. When searching for a campsite, try to find a campground with large sites or consider booking two sites next to each other.
Do a Practice Run
I have found that a practice run is a great way to get kids prepared for a camping trip in the great outdoors. You can do this in a couple different ways:
#1 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.
#2 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 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.
Plan Meals Your Child Likes
Plan your menus in advance. Pack a variety of foods so the kids can choose what they want to eat from day-to-day, but keep it simple and healthy.
Make sure that you have some things for breakfast, lunch and dinner without any cooking required like granola bars or cereal (or pre-made sandwiches).
Think of simple meals that you can easily cook over a campfire or on a camp stove. Familiar foods like tacos, hot dogs, and sloppy joes are all easily cooked at the campsite!
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 trip, the kids will be more likely to do the same.
Camping is such a rewarding and fun experience that every family should have the chance to enjoy together and show their kids.
With these few simple preparations for their first camping trip, you can have your kids excited and ready to go. I hope these ideas help as we know how much parents love having happy campers in tow! Now go and have some fun!