Age Appropriate Activities For Your Children While Camping
Car camping is the ideal activity for children. What other inexpensive outing offers learning experiences and exercise? Keeping supplies in your car removes most concerns about weight, making it possible to use everyday supplies, rather than expensive specialty items. Exceptions worth spending extra on are sturdy binoculars, a Coleman portable grill and the best tents you can afford. The best way to insure that your children enjoy their camping trip is to provide age appropriate activities
● Involve your children in preparations. They will enjoy helping measure and stir ingredients as you pack meals.
● The novelty of being outside in the dark may wear off quickly. Bring flashlights, lanterns and glow sticks. If they seem nervous, have a personal “light show”.
● Every campsite will have plenty of dirt or leaves to play in. Bringing shovels, pails and toy construction trucks can entertain children for hours.
● Holding a magnifying glass can be difficult for small hands. Placing insects or small plants in magnifying bug boxes make it easy for children to observe them.
● Most small children will be content with some toys and freedom to roam inside the tent while a parent rests beside them. The best tents
for this have two or three rooms. This permits children to explore freely while perfectly safe.
● Children in this age group are old enough to take responsibility for part of planning the trip. With a little help, they can meal plan, shop for any necessary sporting goods or even research and choose a campsite.
● Children in this age group love to help cook. Using a Coleman grill
is safer than an open campfire.
● Pick up some nature guides with color photos of the plants and animals that you expect to encounter. Read the guides with the kids and help them pick one thing about which they want to learn. An inexpensive digital camera or binoculars
will help to see more easily when you go on nature walks.
● This is the perfect age for an organized scavenger hunt. Prior to leaving, make up index cards with clues and pictures of items that need to be found. Choose from animals, plants, landmarks and even camping supplies. working cooperatively, rather than competitively, will add to the family bonding aspect of the vacation.
● If your car camping site is close enough to a convenience store to be able to pick up fresh ice, you can have your kids make homemade ice cream. Flavored, sweetened cream is placed in a small coffee can. A larger can is filled with ice and rock salt, then the smaller can is inserted into the mixture. Closing the lid and sealing with tape is the final step. Rolling back and forth between kids, opening to stir every ten to fifteen minutes, will eventually result in delicious ice cream.
Middle & High School
● The easiest way to ensure enthusiasm from the older kids is to listen to what they want. Are they looking forward to a swimming and fishing trip? Then camping near a lake might be what works best. Day hikes up mountain trails followed by car camping with all of the comforts of home may be their idea of a perfect vacation. Make sure kids have both binoculars and digital cameras in order to be able to see everything.
● This age group is old enough to enjoy full responsibility for their fair share of work. Perhaps your high school student’s wish is to be in charge of setting up and breaking down the campsite. Make sure your child knows you’re available for advice, then step back and let him impress you.
● One advantage of camping
is the limitless space. For children who are used to restrict their movements in small homes and yards, the ability to stretch their wings can be be exhilarating games of tag, Frisbee, and tug of war can wear out even the most seasoned adolescent.
● Leaving video games home can be challenging for many older kids, but part of the void can be replaced by card games. Don’t restrict yourself to standard sets of cards, though. FLUXX, Once Upon A Time, Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon are games that the whole family can enjoy playing together while off the grid.
Camping with your family will create lifelong memories. Taking the time to prepare age appropriate activities
for your kids before you leave will help make sure that everybody has a good time.