‘Let’s go camping!’ That’s one way to get the kids’ attention and hear them squealing with joy at the thought of having some fun together with the whole family in the great outdoors. Spending fun times together as a family is essential, both for you and the kids because it creates strong bonds, and helps them become resilient teenagers and adults. Having fun with the kids also lessens the stress on parents, so everyone wins.
The joy of camping with the kids can be heightened if you go prepared with the right gear – a good big tent, inflatable mattresses, a camp stove and shower, and all the other things that make camping more fun. You can get all your camping needs from The Camp Co, either at the Kings Beach Qld shop or buy it online and get the kids involved in the purchases. In case the weather turns bad, take along some things kids can do in the tent. If they can’t live without electronic devices, make sure you can recharge them from the car and make it clear that this is an outdoor adventure, so the electronics are only used in bad weather. Read on for five tips to help make your family camping trip a whole lot of fun and adventure.
Let the kids choose their own sleeping bags from the huge variety of warm, thermal bags at Camp Co. Buy them their own backpacks and fill with items such as headlamps, sunscreen, a water bottle, tissues, snacks and such, so if you take them on a bush walk, they’ll be self-sufficient. Make sure they have swimmers, good shoes, a hat and sunglasses as well. It’s a good idea to give them a whistle in case they wander off and lose their way. Taking the dog? Don’t forget to plan for the dog’s holiday as well. Take a frisbee, balls and pet food, a food and water bowl, and make comfort stops for everyone on the journey. If it’s a camp by the water involving boating, take life jackets for everyone. Take the fishing gear and the guitar as well.
Depending on their ages, getting the kids involved in packing their gear in the bag before the trip can keep them engaged and helps them take a little responsibility. You may still have to check the backpack to make sure the items are actually in there, and the snacks have survived. Of course, as parents, you have to pack the tent, kayaks or canoes, etc., and your own gear and necessities such as a hand sanitiser, and facial wipes. Don’t forget the toilet paper! Are you taking the push-bikes? Freeze some pre-cooked meals like casseroles or spaghetti and use them as ice bricks for the esky and an easy dinner.
2. ‘Are We There Yet?’ – ‘Yes!’
No matter how many games and books and devices you provide, kids on car trips have been asking this for decades, so perhaps explain how many hours it will take to get to the campsite. Give them a map so they can track your progress, take along some books and games, sing songs – it all helps. When you arrive at the campsite, give the kids some age level, easy tasks such as setting up the camp chairs and the table. Don’t make the tasks too tricky because excitement can quickly turn to tears if kids get frustrated and can’t do as you ask, so make it fun.
3. Fun On the Water With the Kids
Here are some fun things to do with the kids while camping near a river, lake or the beach. Get the paddle boards out – you can buy them at The Camp Co if you don’t have any, or help the kids build sand castles or teach the kids how to put the bait on a hook and catch a fish. The following list might give you some ideas, depending on the ages of the kids and what they want to do:
- Boat, kayak or canoe
- Beach, water volleyball or basketball
- Float or lounge
- Skip stones
- Water skiing
4. Sports and Other Activities
Camping with the kids is a chance for the family to get up and get moving outdoors and changing the usual unhealthy habits so easily fallen into at home such as staring at a phone, computer screen or TV. You can do so many different physically active things on a camping trip so here are some suggestions. Choose the age-appropriate ones for you and your family and have fun:
- Bike rides
- Frisbee with the dog or just the kids
- Rock climbing
- Tree climbing
5. Build a Campfire
One of the most enjoyable things you can do with the kids while camping is to build a campfire (providing it isn’t bushfire season) and cook a yummy roast in a camp oven. Show the kids how the old bushmen used to cook damper, throw some jacket potatoes in the coals. The kids can help gather the wood and have fun with these activities around the campfire under the stars:
- Cook jaffles over the fire
- Sing campfire songs
- Play the guitar or mouth organ (whatever instrument they prefer)
- Tell the kids their favourite stories
- Tell scary ghost stories
- Play Truth or Dare
- Roast marshmallows
You can also take the kids on a night time walk with a torch and find some native animals, and explore nature during the day. When the tent is messy and needs a good clean, you can make it a game, gather them together and everyone can have fun tidying up.
At The CampCo, we think there is nothing better than the smell of a campfire, sleeping under the stars and exploring our beautiful country. Creating the Camp Co is our way of sharing our love of the great outdoors with you. We hope to meet you somewhere in our backyard at Kings Beach in sunny Queensland, so shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care.