If you’re seeking a real adventure, try camping with toddlers.
Toddlers are anything but boring, so taking them camping is truly an experience you will never forget. Here’s how to enjoy the experience of the great outdoors with your little ones.
Prepare for Anything
Anytime you head outdoors and plan on spending hours or days in the elements you should be prepared. Weather and conditions can change quickly, so making sure you have the proper gear is a necessity.
This goes double when you are camping with a toddler. Kids moods and condition can change like the weather, so come prepared with games, food, first aid, and anything else you think you may need for any type of scenario.
Also bring extras of everything. Paper towels, diapers, wet wipes, clothes, shoes, etc. You can run through gear quickly so to keep the fun going, make sure you have enough of everything.
Have a Mission
Camping is fun, but when paired with a Mission, it’s even better. By a Mission we mean, share with your children the goal of your experience. Yes, bonding and exploring the great outdoors is great, but maybe a bit esoteric for children to grasp.
Instead, create a Mission handbook at the beginning of your camping trip and make it an adventure. This Mission handbook can be a realistic goal such as how many pinecones can we collect to build a fire to cook our meals to sustain ourselves while camping.
Or a make-believe journey that we must test ourselves in the great outdoors and imagine if we were camping on Mars and what that might be like and how we would survive.
Or maybe imagine how the early settlers camped and what they used to survive and how they started fires.
The Mission is up to you and you can present it “Mission Impossible” style in a sealed envelope.
Games, Games, and More Games
You can weave games into your Mission. We recently shared some of our favorite camping games. Again, you can pretend that these games have huge rewards for the winners or dire consequences for the loser. The loser has to jump into the cold lake and the winner gets an extra s’more.
Ditch the Screens
Ditching the screens can be tough, but that is why are camping, right?! If you’ve got plenty of activities planned, there should be no reason why your kids would feel the need to play video games.
If you camp enough, your children should also just enjoy exploring the outdoors. A scavenger hunt is a great way to get kids to explore the campsite and have them collect their favorite sticks or rocks. You can also have them hunt for trash and return the trash for cash (for older kids).
Get Plenty of Rest
Toddlers need naps and rest to live their best life, so after a long day in the car, they might just want to chill and relax. There’s no need to rush them into activities if their energy level is low.
Nap and sleeping schedules can and will change when you are camping, so be aware and take cues from your toddler. Once the sun goes down, you’ll all be amazed and how sleepy you get.
There is also no better nap than an afternoon siesta in a tent with just the sound of wind rustling through trees and birds chirping. It’s the best!
Remember to Have Fun
Camping with toddlers is an adventure for both you and them. Treat it as such and you’ll have a great time. If you go into it with a negative attitude, your child will pick up on that and it can make a tougher time for everyone.