In lieu of our usual “Favorite Things Friday”, I’m going to be actually sharing tips and tricks for one of our new found favorite family activities, CAMPING! As you may have gathered from my other social media outlets, we finally took the plunge and purchased a travel trailer! We bought it about a month or so ago and we’ve been really trying to take advantage of the nice weather by using it as much as possible. The boys have been able to use their new WEKAPO inflatable loungers, ride their bikes, play at the park, and of course swim until they can’t anymore. The dogs have been cooling down in the water, and we have been catching up with old friends as well as meeting some new ones. It’s truly been a fun time for all of us!
Alas, camping with kids is much easier said than done. Although you would expect them to be entertained by the great outdoors, that isn’t always the case. In this high paced society our kids are always wanting entertainment. They want something to do at all times, and for the most part seem to have trouble just sitting down and enjoying the moment. Thankfully we were able to utilize some of our Christmas gifts at the campsite such as the remote control boat, board games, etc.
Below is my quick guide to “Camping with Kids”. The do’s and don’ts, as well as a list of helpful hints when thinking about taking your little ones to the campsite.
LAYERS AND EXTRA-EXTRA CLOTHES.
My kids need about 3 changes per day on average when we are camping. Between the super soakers, marshmallow accidents, and swimming- we are always in need of extra clothes. Layers are important too, because once it starts leading into dusk, it tends to get a little chilly up here in northern Michigan.
FUN AND GAMES.
We try to keep our kids away from the electronics as much as possible during our camping fun. Of course our travel trailer has TV’s and the boys have their tablets, but we like to keep them separated from the screens most of the time. Because of this, we loaded up our camper with board games that they got for Christmas. Children’s Monopoly, Children’s Clue, Candy Land, and even Guess Who. They also like Pop The Pig which is an easy game for all ages. Card games like “Go Fish” or “Old Maid” and “UNO” are classics for if it starts raining at the campsite too. All of these should keep your kids busy and laughing! We like to let our boys bring a few toys too, just because their imaginations run wild with Iron Man and Captain America at the backwaters of Tippy Dam.
FOOD, SNACKS, AND MORE SNACKS.
Oh, and massive amounts of drinks. Anyone else’s kids think snacks are an absolute free-for-all the minute they’re anywhere but home? Okay, maybe it’s just mine, but for real… They act like they’re storing for winter with the amount they eat when we’re camping. You will be SORRY if you don’t pack enough, so don’t be afraid to over pack when it comes to the snack drawers. The snacks don’t even have to be junk, you can pack plenty of apples, carrots and hummus for snacks too. Which leads me to drinks- make sure there is enough water/Gatorade/juice/whatever for your kids. Otherwise they’ll be copping all of your water when you’re not looking.
SWIMMING. YES, IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE.
Swimming keeps our kids busy for most of the day. We are lucky enough to camp where we have access to family boats, and thankfully our kids are ready to be on the boats most of the day. They love swimming, it’s something fun for everyone to participate in, and they won’t be on your back about being bored or not keeping them busy enough.
EXPECTATIONS? HAVE NONE.
Expectations aren’t always bad, but I found with camping that they tend to be more stressful than helpful. We like to roll with the punches, and play things by ear. Nobody likes a mom who enforces bedtime on a Saturday while camping. We are lucky if my kids aren’t still shoving their cheeks full of leftover marshmallows from s’mores at 11 pm… Also, have a realistic expectation of cleanliness. Chances are your entire family (hello, boy moms I’m talking to you) are going to be entirely covered in dirt and unidentifiable sticky substances by the time you leave. You’ll just have to sweep the camper floor and bathe everyone once you’ve arrived home. It’s not the end of the world… Deep breaths…
MAKE IT FUN.
After all, we’re all here for the fun anyway, right? Don’t put a damper on the camper. It’s truly one of the most fun things we do together and I’m so grateful that we’ve made the time this summer. The kids have a blast, and we have a blast. It doesn’t really get any better than that.
After a weekend of camping, we are usually dog tired… I suppose that just means you had just the right amount of fun!
Well, surprise surprise- Brian and I are camping again this weekend while the kids are away. We will be back Tuesday! Stay tuned because there is really exciting news coming up in the next week or so!
Until next time,