Camping is exciting for kids of all ages… unless you happen to have one who hates getting dirty (there’s always one!). Kids love the idea of sleeping in a tent, away from home. They also love the undivided attention that comes with family bonding. And roasted marshmallows? I’ve never met a kid who didn’t like to roast marshmallows over a campfire.
Despite this, though, it can be a bit of a challenge to keep kids entertained at all times. Don’t only think of your camping trip as an adventure, but also think of it as family downtime. Here are some activity ideas to camp with kids successfully:
- pack their favourite toys and blankets to ensure their comfort
- bring plenty of snacks and finger foods
- go for walks and look for wildlife (point out birds and chipmunks)
- make time for them to have a nap or two every day
- bring beach toys and play in the sand together
- study flowers, point out dragonflies and show them squirrels
- look for pinecones and pretty rocks
- pack lots of snacks (kids will use a LOT of energy and need refueling)
- download and bring my scavenger hunt list
- dedicate one morning or day for the beach, bring snacks and toys
- go on a hike
- go for a bike ride if you’ve brought bikes or can rent them
- feed chipmunks together
- bring an age-appropriate board game or two and play together
- teach them simple card games
- go fishing
- go swimming
- bring a lot of snacks, and smores ingredients
- go on a hike or canoeing
- talk – about everything
- play card games
- spend a day at the beach and wind down together
- try something new, like kayaking
- cook together
- teach them to build a campfire
- bring baseball gloves and play catch
- go fishing, try to catch dinner
- stay up late and roast hot dogs
- go for a swim at dusk
- let your child decide on an activity
- talk about the future
I’m sure you can see a theme with the snacks… it seems they need more as they get older!
For tips on what to pack for camping with kids, you can check out this post.
It’s important to look at this time as sacred family time. We’re all so busy in our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to get lost in appointments, tests, deadlines and extra-curricular activities. Use this time wisely by reconnecting as a family.
For my family, some of our best conversations happen around the campfire. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re dedicated to spending that time together (or don’t have a choice! lol), or because we’re in a completely different setting. We’re all more at ease and relaxed, not to mention happy. I’m sure this will also be the case for you.
Spending quality time together is important no matter where you choose to spend it.