How to Make Holiday Camping Fun with Your Kids
Holidays are meant to be spent with family. These joyous occasions together make everyone feel delighted, but you can feel even better if your entire family snuggles around a cozy campfire while they're out camping. It may seem a little different from the usual nights in a warm bed, but the thrill and adventure that camping can ignite are like no other. So this time, when the holidays come around, try going off into the wilderness with your loved ones, and we're sure that you'll want to turn it into a family tradition.
Pick out a location everyone likes
The first thing you need to do is figure out where you're going. Consult your family and determine what is feasible and what options work for you. Some people like traveling to a forest, some go to parks or beaches, and some prefer camping out in their backyards. No matter where you plan to go, you are sure to have fun. However, it is crucial to communicate locations to the rest of your family so that you know that everyone is comfortable with the idea. If you randomly take them all to a forest, they may not be so thrilled and could be spending the rest of the camping trip in fear. So, find something everyone wants to do before jumping in and planning anything.
Know what to pack
The biggest mistake people make before leaving to have some fun camping is not making a list of items to pack. This list is crucial as it will prevent you from forgetting anything that you will need during your time away. It's never fun when you're in a tent and just realize that you forgot the first aid kit back at home. If you're new to camping and need some help compiling the list, here is a rough idea of things that you should be bringing:
- A tent that is firm enough to last night. Bring multiple if you have multiple people coming. This is a good option for kids.
- A sleeping bag for each member of your family. A nice coffin-shaped one can be found here.
- Waterproof outdoor blankets in case it rains or gets extremely cold. You can get a few great ones here that are very travel-friendly.
- A first aid kit.
- Matches and a lighter in case the good old way starts a fire doesn't work out.
- Enough food and water for everyone to last the entire time there. It is best to bring extra just to avoid any uncertain circumstances.
- A cooler to store any food and water in.
- A foldable chair or two for the grownups. This is crucial for anyone with back problems who can't sit on logs.
- A compass so you always know where you're going.
- Sanitary products, especially plenty of hand sanitizer.
- A few changes of clothes in case anything gets dirty or wet. Spare boots for kids are a good idea. It is best to keep extra jackets, socks, and gloves, so everyone stays warm if it gets too cold.
- A stick if you plan to hike. Only plan to do this if your kids are old enough to walk that far without the need to be carried.
- At least one phone and a device to charge it in case of emergencies. It is best if all the grow-ups have at least one.
- Board games, cards, or anything you wish to entertain yourself with.
- A camera to store all of the amazing memories that you will make.
It is important to note that this may vary for everyone depending on the age of your kids and everyone's needs. It can also alter based on the location that you plan to camp at. Make that list and cross-check everything.
Plan activities beforehand
You don't need to plan the whole trip to the minute, but it is definitely more fruitful if you plan a few options beforehand. This is crucial because it is what will keep the kids entertained and have enough fun to want to keep doing this every year. Here are some activities that you can add to your list based on what your kids like:
- Take your kids' favorite board game along! Whether they like monopoly or scrabble, board games are a fun way to bond even when you're camping. If you're running low on space, bring a deck of cards instead. If you manage to fit some paper and pencils in there, you can even have a few rounds of Pictionary.
- As much as we want kids to stay away from fires, they will always be drawn to it. So, show them how to light one up without matches or a lighter! Even if they aren't doing it themselves, they will surely be entertained and impressed. Once it has lit up, grab some sticks, and roast some marshmallows. Who doesn't love s'mores? Bring over some crackers and chocolate, and you're bound to have a fantastic evening with your kids.
- Tell them stories. There's nothing like the whole family sitting around a campfire and telling each other funny or scary stories. Stick to tradition and let everyone tell some stories. If your kids don't seem to be engaging, turn it into storytelling content. They are bound to come up with some wacky and fantastic ideas then.
- Cloud watching may sound boring when you think about it, but when you lay down without being forced to listen to the busy streets and honking cars, you feel at peace, and your imagination runs wild. The same occurs with kids who can decipher fascinating images from the clouds above. It's always fun to see who thinks a cloud looks like the same thing you imagine it to be. Looking at starts is just as fun, especially when you're camping. This is because in those areas, skies are clearer at night because of the lack of pollution, and you can see a billion-twinkling start slighting up the night sky. If you look carefully, you can even find some well-known constellations.
- If multiple people are camping in an area, let the kids go play with other children their age. Kids love playing with people of the same age, and they're bound to stay entertained for hours. Remember to send a grownup with them so that they don't wander off too far and come back before it gets dark.
- Let the kids decide. Ask them what they want to do and see if it's possible. There's no better way to entertain kids than letting them do what they want to.
Build the tent together
This part of camping is so fun that it needs to be talked about separately. No matter how many tents you are setting up, it is always fun to do so as a family. When you pick a spot, the first thing you're going to do is ask everyone to roll up their sleeves and begin assembling the tent. It is best if this is the first thing you do because everyone has enough energy to get it out of the way. It's never fun when you realize it's dark out and you tiredly come to no tents made.
If you picked out a separate tent for your kids, try out something like this that your kids will enjoy putting together. Since it's primarily meant for kids, it is pretty simple to put together, and two of your kids can fit in there easily. If they are too young for that, an adult can sleep with them too. Tents are far roomier than you'd think. If your kids build tents on their own, they are more likely to enjoy the whole camping experience because they get to spend the night in something that they put together. Kids love being busy and entertained, and building a tent is the best way to do it. You just need to show them how to do it, and they'll probably have so much fun that they'll suggest setting all of the tents up. This step is always best done when it is done together.
What to do if you get bored
A lot of times, we get so caught up in forcing the fun that it gets boring. At times like this, spontaneous acts are always great. A good practice is to sit in a circle and go around asking everyone the first thing that comes to their mind. When someone says something exciting, everyone could begin doing that. These spontaneous plans always have a way of working out, so even if it goes against your initial plans, it's alright. The most important thing is that everyone, including yourself, is having a good time.
Remember to have your own fun
One of the most important things to do is have fun yourself. Sometimes parents get so lost in making sure that their kids have fun that they forget to have their own fun too. Perhaps bring out a guitar and let the grownups all sing together after the kids are asleep? Maybe you can sit down and just chat about life as you enjoy drinks together? All the grownups could even play some charades if that sounds fun. No matter what it is, that brings you peace and helps you feel as if the whole trip really was enjoyable, consider doing it. If you let the kids have all the fun and get exhausted and fall asleep at the end of the day, you probably won't want to go camping again no matter how much others enjoyed it. So, even if your kids come first, make sure you put yourself on the list of priorities too.
Holiday camping may seem out of the ordinary, but it is immensely fun, and many people have started indulging in it. It always feels great to step out of the constant reminders of work and deadlines and just spend some time in a retreat where joy is the only thing that matters. There are so many ways that you can have fun with your kids, you just need to know what to plan beforehand, and everything will always turn out smoothly. If you do it right once, we're sure that you'll want to spend a few days camping with your family every year. There's no better way to relax than communicating with mother nature.