A family camping holiday is a great idea for the kids – they’ll have the adventure of a lifetime sleeping under canvas (or in a caravan) for the first time. This really is a holiday with a difference – a real back to nature experience that the kids will love. However, if you’re finding the prospect a bit daunting b because you’ve never taken the kids camping before, then we have some tips that should help make your trip go smoothly.
Get the Kids Involved
Plan your camping trip with the children – make them feel involved and you’ll find you have an army of willing helpers. Get each child to choose some toys and books to take on the trip and let them all help with their own packing – this will make them feel really grown up. Get each child to choose a favourite menu and list the food needed for that meal.
Get the children to make a list of places they would like to visit near your campsite and let each child choose a day out (funds permitting). Each child can be responsible for choosing a game to play whilst on site and be responsible for packing the necessary equipment for that game.
If you choose to go for a European camping holiday like Eurocamp or Canvas then go to Family Camping Reviews – who have a great selection of campsites and great information to suit your family’s needs. It’ll be a good way to smooth your kids into the camping lifestyle.
Do a Test Run
I don’t mean go on a practice run to the campsite – but what’s wrong with spending a night in your back garden in a tent or caravan. Room To Grow specialise in kids beds and children’s sleep and can give some great advice on tents and fold down matresses. It will get the kids used to the small space they’ll have to sleep in and will be a pre-holiday treat that they’re sure to enjoy. Get the Barbie out for the cooking, then make hot chocolate with marshmallows and tell stories while they’re snuggled up in their sleeping bags. This sort of test run will give you a good idea of how each child will cope with the camping holiday and it’s a great chance to check out your camping gear to make sure that you have everything you need.
Make Camping Diaries
Get each of the kids (if they’re old enough) to make a camping diary – you can buy them scrapbooks for this purpose. They can write about each day (or depict the day in drawings if they’re too young to write) – it’s a great quiet time activity they can do around the campfire while they wind down ready for bed.
Give Each Child a Job
Unless you want to end up with a frazzled, exhausted Mum you’ll need to rope the kids in on some of the chores. Give each child a job that is appropriate for their age – even the littlest ones can help here by being responsible for rolling up the sleeping bags or drying the dishes every day. You may be surprised at just how helpful kids can be when it’s helping out around the tent, rather than helping out around the house!
With a little careful planning, first time camping with the kids can be an enjoyable holiday filled with memories that you’ll treasure in years to come.