Are you embarking on a camping holiday with the kids these school holidays?...Or does the very thought of camping with kids strike fear and reluctance into you?
Camping with kids is both challenging and rewarding - there is lots to consider. Kooshy Kids have some handy tips, including some from our favourite and experienced family travel bloggers, that will help you to have an enjoyable camping adventure that you and your family will love!
Do your Research
Research your camping site in advance. Choose a family friendly campsite with adequate facilities for children. Shower and toilet blocks are a bare minimum, but you might also like to select a camping ground with a playground or a caravan camping park with facilities such as a games room, pool and/or jumping pillow.
Consider the location of your campsite including the distance and time needed to get there. Choose a location that is suited to your children’s tolerance for car travel and consider the distance from your campsite to a local supermarket or popular attraction that you plan to visit.
Travelling by Car
Beat boredom with child play. "Are we there yet?" What is it about these words that go straight to a parent's spine? Keep your kids entertained with portable and compact toys and games.
Adding extra comfort to your kids’ car journey may mean help. A blanket and neck pillow can assist and, although mostly used in planes, the Kooshy Kids inflatable travel Kooshion is also ideal for family road trips…little legs can rest on the cushion rather than have them dangle from the car seat. Older kids can use the Kooshion to have more flat space for playing, and it avoids them dropping their toys, food and comfort items. (See Surviving The Family Roadtrip Blog for more info)
At the Campsite
When you arrive, get the kids involved in helping to set up the campsite, as this is a great learning opportunity. It also sets a good example for them to help rather than excepting you to do everything…just be sure to give them tasks that they can do without too much effort or stress to avoid a meltdown.
Have some clear-cut campsite rules for your kids, that will make everyone’s, (including your neighbours’), time camping more enjoyable and relaxing.
Here are some examples;
- Don’t run through other campsites,
- Be quiet in the mornings,
- Stay away from the water,
- Stay together (at least in two's),
- Return your campsite for set meal times,
- Tell a parent when you are visiting another campsite or the playground.
Packing and Necessities
Pack smart! Remember when camping, you’re living outside day and night, so when the temperature changes you are going to want to have the appropriate clothes to change with it. Layering clothes is recommended and plan for accidents and dirt, so always bring extra clothes for kids. The kids will be spending a lot of time outdoors, so don’t forget the hats, sunscreen and insect repellent. First aid kits are also a MUST.
Another tip for keeping clean is to pack baby wipes and hand sanitiser.
Activities and Adventures
Camping is all about providing your kids with the opportunity to experience the great outdoors! There is so much to do outside, so embrace the outdoors and take the kids hiking, collect firewood, search for animals in the wild, gaze at the stars, do a scavenger hunt and spot some unique plants and flowers. You will be amazed at the independent creative play that kids are capable of given time to explore the outdoors.
Don’t forget to take some activities that the kids can do inside should the weather turn bad. Similar to the car trip, activities and games that are portable and compact are best. Think cards, books and colouring activities. At Kooshy Kids we just LOVE Tiger Tribe products for portable activities. Our Kooshy Kids Ultimate Travel Kit features their products plus much more!
From the Family Travel Bloggers
And finally, we are so happy to share some of our favourite family travel bloggers stories and tips about their experiences camping with kids;
Big Brave Nomad: Our kids had the best time helping set up the tent, helping collect wood for the campfire and their favorite; roast marshmallows. Having them involved and feeling like they contributed was really good for everyone! I highly recommend letting the kids steal the show while you’re sharing the outdoors! When bedtime came around we stuck to our normal routine.A little planning and letting go of our normal uptight, strict schedule went a long way. It was SO fun! We felt reconnected, unplugged and refreshed. I highly recommend a family camping trip; even with toddlers.
Little Ones Up North: Camping is still one of our most favourite ways to explore but with 3 extra camp buddies, our daughters and fur baby, camping has evolved for us… packing loads more stuff for one, but the feelings remain the same…it’s an experience like no other. It gives you freedom to plan or not to plan and pull up house where ever you please, million dollar locations on a beer budget, life without routine or a chance to change it up, space to breathe, and just be together as a family. Our camping tips; Get the kids involved…from planning, packing, setting up, packing down. Keep it simple….you don't need the latest and greatest gear. Pack light…it’s amazing what you can survive without. Dirt happens…its all part of being in the great outdoors. Eat well and Sleep well… good food and comfy beds make for happy campers. But really all you need is to make the time to pack up, take off and enjoy the adventure.
Kids Go Places: Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that make you happy. Seeing the sunrise, quality time together as a family, a campfire, a glass of wine, walks along the beach, the waves lashing on the shore. None of this costs much. Camping has reminded us of what’s important in life and while I would never say no to a stay in a nice hotel, it’s nice to see that we can have just as good a time getting back to basics. Our top tip for camping with kids is to just got for it! Give it a go at least once and have realistic expectations. I was always hesitant, wasn’t sure if it was for us but we absolutely loves it and it makes the best family memories!
Enjoy your time camping with you kids! It’s sure to be a holiday unlike any other and a chance to make lifelong memories together in the great outdoors.
As always we wish you safe and Kooshy travels!