In an age where children are spending less time outside and more time indoors with their heads stuck in game consoles or mobile phones it’s so important for us, as parents to encourage our kids to enjoy the simpler things in life and get out and explore the great outdoors.
I don’t think I’ve never met a kid who didn’t like camping, who wouldn’t want to sleep under the stars, roast marshmallows on an open fire or help mum and dad catch a fish for dinner.
We’ve always been keen campers so our kids didn’t get much of a choice and we took them with us literally before they could walk. In our experience taking the kids camping requires a little more advance preparation and you’ll probably have to allow for some extra space to carry the essentials, buggies, porto-cots etc depending on the age or your child but don’t let this put you off. Once you get there and get set up the hard bits done.
Just a few pointers to help you along the way:
Always dress the kids in comfortable clothing, they will want to play in the dirt, they will want to climb the nearest tree, they, most certainly will get dirty.
Bring waterproof gear, more often than not you will encounter a shower or two of rain somewhere along the way and keeping dry is the difference between a bad and good camping experience.
Lay out your campsite safely, if you have a campfire consider the best location, always keep the guy lines as close as possible to the tent and show the kids where they are to avoid and little feet tripping over them.
Try where possible to stick to your normal home routine for meals and sleep time, this will help the kids to adjust to their new outdoor living arrangements easier.
Set down ground rules in advance and stick to them…no shoes in the tent! It’s a good idea to have a covered over shoebox at the camp door as a reminder.
Most importantly of all, get the kids involved in the running of the campsite. Funnily enough my kids are so much more helpful on the campsite than they are at home. Ask them to collect wood for the fire; to wash up after dinner, help prepare meals, they love being involved.
Camping with the kids really is quality time spent together as a family, the kids are always so much more interactive, inquisitive and willing to learn and we as parents are a lot less distracted by the goings on of every day life and have time to enjoy them to the full. It’s win win.