If you are taking your kids with you on a camping trip for the first time, it is okay to be nervous. We all know they can be a handful to manage even in the comfort of the home. But this shouldn’t deter you from taking them along. After all, this is an experience that can play a significant role in their development, physically, emotionally, socially, morally and more.
As expected, camping with children isn’t as simple as with adults. There’s a lot more preparation involved. You need to be even more proactive about disaster management. The key is to keep them engaged and busy, so they are less likely to throw tantrums.
Here are some tips that can prove to be life-saving when you’re off on a camping trip.
Set up practice camps in your garden before taking them on long-term camping trips. This will give you an idea of what you can expect from them in the wilderness. Assume it to be a mock test for the kids and yourself. What are they missing the most? What more is required to make their stay comfortable? Make lists to ensure you do not forget anything on the real journey.
As parents, you’re bound to worry about a whole range of things. But it is essential for you to not emit those vibes. Be excited about the camping trip, and you’ll see your children quickly catching up the emotion. They’re more likely to settle down in a little while if they’re looking forward to the experience rather than being wary of it. Remember, a bit of enthusiasm can go a long way in making them feel at home away from home!
For kids, this is singly the most important thing you need to plan for on a camping trip. As little people with much higher energy levels than most adults, it’s impossible to expect them to be laid back during the trip. You need to have an extensive range of games and activities to keep them busy at all times. Hiking and exploration come naturally, but you’ll need to carry board games and the like to make sure they’re exhausted by the time the night falls. You can always create impromptu games, but it is a little more difficult when you don’t have enough resources.
The thing about camping trips is it’s all about uncertainty. Glowsticks come in really handy on such occasions. Whether you’re putting these in water bottles to create glow-in-the-dark lamps or stringing them on your children’s wrist and ankles for easier tracking during the night, this versatile piece of equipment can work wonders. You can even use them for night time games. Make sure you have a decent stock available to meet the requirements.
Antibacterial wipes serve a wide range of purposes. From helping kids freshen up in the absence of bath water to controlling caries in infants, this item can prove to be the single most important one on your camping list. Make sure you stock up on antibacterial wipes in substantial quantities. These can also help in getting rid of the stubborn dirt that refuses to leave their delicate arms and fingers. And with antibacterial properties, you have the peace of mind that your kids aren’t going to fall ill due to unhygienic conditions out in the wild.
The second most important thing on your list should be sunscreen. Direct sun rays on the skin can be extremely damaging both for kids and adults. If you’re planning to give your children a taste of what it looks like living outdoors, you’re definitely going to need to load them up with sunscreen before you let them out of the camp. Depending on where you’re camping, this can be a total lifesaver.
Kids are kids. They’ll run. They’ll play. And with all this commotion, they are likely to get a couple of cuts and bruises that’ll become a total nuisance if you don’t have the first aid kit. Load up on antiseptic wipes, necessary ointments and essential medicine to take care of tragedy, if it occurs. For all you know, the adults might end up needing a thing or two from the first aid kit. Who said cuts and bruises are for kids only?
During the night time, your range of activities will be quite limited. And if you’re trying to get your kids connected to nature, exploring the galaxy is the best way to get started. Teach them the name of the most prominent stars and educate them about the movements of the universe. These days there are quite a few mobile apps that help you view the stars and their changes virtually. Use these applications to add credibility to your story. Stars and the moon are definitely the best way to unwind and connect.
There’ll be no light when the sun goes down. And kids (even most adults) are easily scared of the dark. Make sure you stock up on camp lights and use them strategically around your area to create that welcoming look. You can also make-do with DIY camp lights. Attach a light source to a water bottle to create a soft glow. This is great to illuminate the interiors of the tent. Be creative – the sky is the limit.
Besides this, you’ll need sleeping bags, extra clothes and all those essentials that apply for a regular camping trip (with adults). Mosquito repellants (especially if you’re camping somewhere near greens) should always be available in your first aid kit. And while you’re at it, make sure you introduce your kids to the world of backpacking as well. It’s equally fun and teaches you a lot about managing your load. It’s all about giving them small lessons of life and connecting them with nature – you might as well make a good deal out of it.