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Camping with Kids
Camping trips are a great way to create family memories that will last a lifetime. Here are 10 useful tips for camping with kids to help insure that everyone has a good time:
1. Do a test run. If your family is new to camping, do a test camping trip in your backyard or somewhere else close to home so your kids can learn what camping is all about while they’re still in familiar surroundings. As an added bonus, this test run will help you discover things you may have forgotten to pack, so you’ll be better prepared when you take a “real” camping trip.
2. Get the kids involved in planning. Have a family meeting and decide where to go on your camping trip, what kinds of meals to make and what types of activities you want to do. Getting the kids involved in the planning process will help increase their enthusiasm for the trip. You can even give the kids “assignments” like packing their own clothes.
3. Make a list of what you’ll need. Write down all of your “must haves” as you think of them so you don’t leave essential items at home.
4. Don’t over pack. When you’re camping with kids, it’s easy to throw in too many “what if” items. While it’s good to be prepared for things like rainy weather or a muddy campsite, leaving some things at home, like favorite toys, can help the kids learn to use their ingenuity and imaginations.
6. Be prepared for emergencies. Hopefully, nothing will happen, but it’s always good to be prepared. Pack a first aid kit, and when you arrive at the campground, make sure you know where you can find a land line to use if cell service is spotty and find out where the nearest hospital is. The American Red Cross offers a free app for iOS and Android that can guide you step by step on how to handle a variety of first aid scenarios.
7. Review safety rules with your kids. Teach them about safety issues involved with things like campfires, poisonous plants and wild animals. Give each of your kids a whistle to wear around their neck so they can signal for help if they wander away from the campsite and can’t find their way back.
8. Follow your usual routines as much as possible. Kids thrive on routines, and it can be helpful to continue them when they are in an unfamiliar place like a campground. If, for example, you always read them a bedtime story, bring along some favorite books. Reading them by flashlight will be a whole new experience!
9. Let the kids help cook. With all of the fresh air and outdoor activities, they’re sure to work up an appetite. The wait times for breakfast, lunch or dinner will seem much shorter if they can help with meal preparation in a way that’s appropriate for their age. Plus, they’ll be proud of their culinary creations!
10. Capture the memories. Whether it’s taking photos, keeping a journal of your camping adventures or having the kids write stories or draw pictures about their favorite experiences, you’ll enjoy taking out these mementos years from now and reliving all of the great times you had.
Photos collected from Pixabay.com and Pexels.com