Taking your kids camping for the first time? Here are the things you need to know!
Camping as a family is not only beneficial for kids, but also for you. In today’s world, where the internet and other forms of modern entertainments are accessible, kids fail to appreciate nature and have the chance to enjoy the quality of childhood really. This is what camping offers.
However, camping with kids can only be a fun idea when you have all things well-planned before heading out into the wild.
It is important to prepare your kids for this outdoor activity both mentally and physically. By doing this, you will be able to assure that your trip is going to be more successful.
Preparing a camping trip, however, may require some patience and a lot of considerations. Here are some steps you must take to be able to assure that your kids are ready for their first outdoor camping experience.
Make a Checklist
All planning becomes easier with the help of a checklist. Put your attention on the positive by considering what your goals are. What is your purpose for having the camping trip? How are you going to make trip fun for you and your kids? List them down and make sure to get your kids involved in this planning. By doing this, you can assure that all your plans will be fun for your kids.
Manage Your Kids Expectations
It is important to be honest with your kids regarding what they should expect. Tell them for how long you are planning to go on this trip. Tell them how limited your supplies would be and why you are doing it in the first place.
Give them a chance to ask questions if there is anything they are yet to understand fully. Make sure that they know everything. Tell them that there is no TV or video game there and that they will be away from home and comfortable bed but only for a few days.
Teach Them about the Outdoors
It’s normal that many children are not familiar with nature, that’s why it should not be a surprise why many kids don’t show respect to Mother Nature. Camping would be a great learning experience for them. When camping, they will be exposed to different plant and wildlife; they will also learn how to live in the moment without the distraction of modern technology.
Let them appreciate the sound of the chirping birds in the morning and the insect as the dawn breaks. Camping also teaches your kids the importance of doing their chores such as building the tent, collecting firewood, washing the dishes, and cleaning up. You will have to delegate a job, and they’re similarly important to make sure that you’ll have a successful adventure.
Plan Several Outdoor Activities
Let your kids enjoy the best parts of the camping trip by being around nature. Spend time observing the wildlife, seeing the different species of flowers and birds. Look at the trees, rocks, sunset, and star constellations. Bring a guidebook with you that will make it easier for you and your kids to learn more about the things they see around.
You may also think of other activities you might enjoy as a family. If you are camping nearby the lake, highlight the fact that you can swim or ride the canoe – the more fun activities, the better. Make them excited about what you are going to do on your trip.
Do a Practice Run
If after all the previously mentioned steps, your kid is still feeling anxious about the trip, doing a practice run would be a smart thing to do. Especially if it’s their first time to sleep away from home.
You can set up camp indoor or even in your backyard to see how your kids will adjust to living in a tent.
You may also want to take a quick half day camping trip to a park nearby. Doing this will help you make sure that they are ready and that your kids are open-minded about all your plans.
Again, keep in mind that you don’t want to shock your kids with a new environment so you must choose a place that is not too much for your kids.
It is also best not to do it for too long; a weekend would be enough for starters. Furthermore, if you notice that your kids are not ready for tents or sleeping bags, you can also stay at a cabin, RV, or somewhere more comfortable.
Put Safety First
Safety is an essential thing to teach your kids before going on any kind of trip. By doing this, you will be able to keep them safe. Make sure you teach your kids how to use whistles and flashlights.
If you’re hiking, make sure to tell them the importance of staying near the trail and keeping close to the group otherwise they may get lost.
It is also important to teach them the idea behind, “Take nothing but pictures; Leave nothing but footprints; Kill nothing but time.” Teach your kids not to touch and do something unnatural to the wildlife like feeding them. You have to make them familiar with safety practices while camping. It is also important how you keep the first aid kit and water bottles handy all the time.
Sometimes, parents tend to plan everything; making sure everything goes according to what’s planned. If you want your kids to have a great experience, then fight that urge if. Let your kids experience things that are spontaneous. Sometimes, best things come when unplanned.
Preparing your kids for camping or any camping trip for that matter, don’t need to be difficult. As much as possible, don’t plan a camping trip that requires a lot of effort from your kids, after all, they are still new to this thing.
Hopefully, this article has been helpful in helping your kids be ready for their first camping trip. If you have other question regarding this topic, make sure to let us know in the comment below.