Having children in going for camping will never be tiring or stressful. Camping can be regarded as their expanded activity and the campground can be considered as their spacious lawn. In whatever ways, the presence of children in camping can make a lot of difference. Camping can never be dull. They never are a menace. As to how, the following points are worth learning:
Let children take part in the planning
It is quite obvious among adults to planning by themselves. Parents together with adult members of the family tend to exclude the young ones in the initial planning. They seem to forget that allowing children to take part in the planning stage is recognizing their rights being members of the family. When planning a camping, children should understand their roles so that they can make the necessary adjustments when actual camping happens. Let them bring the things they like to bring along. As camping is an enjoyable activity, they should feel it as it is being children.
Child-friendly camping site
A great consideration for children should be kept in mind in terms of choosing a camping site. First and foremost, for children’s sake, the place should be a safe day in and day out. Parents must be always aware of the physical needs of children and much if they have special children. The tent area should be plain or flat ground and free from sharp plants such as lemon tree and plants are poisonous as hyperactive children are sometimes uncontrollable when they indulge intensely while playing or running around the open area.
A campground that offers many activities
Children love to switch their attention from one activity to another activity at random. They feel bored with one event. They cannot sustain for long period doing one familiar activity. Unlike the adults, they love to explore and discover new things. With these considerations, parents should find a camping area where a lot of activities are readily available. Campground with swimming pools, ponds, lakes or areas that hiking, trekking or trailblazing can be done anytime is ideal for camping for children. In this setting, children are allowed to experience the rigors of the many activities as doing so will provide them real lessons and realizations as they take few bruises in their bodies.
Letting children do camping tasks
In camping there are a lot of things children can learn. Parents or adult companions must find time to teach children how to wash dishes or cook simple meals. By letting them do the slicing of vegetables or spices is a good start to let them feel that they have something to contribute even in their own little way. Children should not think camping as all play. They need to know that camping is about life in the open space with many things to be done. Parents can utilize camping as venue for their children to learn how to do their own thing with great care. The thought of teaching them to make a fire without matchsticks but by rubbing two sticks will be a memorable experience for them and an exciting thing to share to their playmates when they go back home.
It simply takes loving and concerned parents and adults to turn the seemingly annoying and hyperactive children into creative and productive co-campers.
Tips to make sure the camping with children experience goes well
- If you’re camping with kids for the first time go away for only one or two nights and don’t go too far from home.
- Before you arrive at the campsite, ensure you have a set of rules framed and explained and make sure the kids follow them.
- Establish geographic boundaries within the campsite so your children do not stray too far from the tent.
- Allow your children to carry whistles or hand held radios.
- Talk to them in advance of the trip about what they should expect during the time away including the different sleeping, eating and showering arrangement.
- Research the campsite to make sure sufficient resources and entertainment are available to keep the kids amused.
- Check the weather forecast to help ensure the weather doesn’t spoil the occasion.
Research activities and games to do on wet days.
- Plan to arrive at the campsite in plenty of time before dark as setting up the campsite takes longer with children around.
- Encourage teamwork and organisation by getting the children involved in putting up the tent and setting up camp.
- Pack more than you need as buying forgotten items may be difficult.
- Make sure enough blankets are available in case the nights are cold.
- Provide torches for the children to help make them feel safe.
- Pack lots of games and toys, for example, footballs, kites, tennis rackets and frisbees.
- Warn them that they may hear different “countryside” sounds at night and that it is nothing to be scared of.
- Give them some freedom to explore as this will enhance this memorable occasion.
Encourage them to make friends with other children in neighboring tents as this will make their trip much more exciting
Some camping games for you to play…
Remember to take lots of camping games on your trip, especially if you have a young family. The weather will not always permit outdoor activities, and so it is best to be prepared for being “tent bound” for at least part of your holiday. To avoid having to play Hide and Seek for hours try some of the following games and camping activities (remember to take the correct equipment with you!)
This is an object hiding game. Someone goes out of the room and the other players hide an object, such as a frisbee. The person then comes back into the room, and they try to find the mystery object. As they get closer to the object, they are told by the other players that they are getting hotter. As they move away from the object, they are told that they are getting colder. If they get very close, they are “burning”, if very far they are “freezing”.
For this game, you need some plastic tiddlywinks (if none are available some small coins, e.g., 1p or 5p, and some larger coins, e.g., 2p or 10p will do) and a cup or bowl.
You take it into turns to flip your small winks (or small coins). To do this hold the shooter piece (the larger tiddlywink or large coins) between your forefinger and thumb and press down on the edge of the smaller piece. The aim is to be the first one to get all your winks in the bowl.