If you can put up with being asked “Are we there yet?” precisely 57 times on the way, you can be assured that you and your children can have the experience of a lifetime camping together.
A family camping trip with kids is a lot of work but also a lot of fun and the more prepared you are the better time you and your kids will have.
Here are 20 quick and easy ways to entertain children every minute while on a family camping vacation.
1. Hold a selection of secret treasures in a surprise box. Add one or two new ones every day for added enjoyment.
2. Take your video camera. If you don’t have on then think about hiring one.
3. Teach your children about bush survival and safety around the camp site. Encourage help with meal preparation but always supervise them around the fire as it is a very dangerous place.
4. Always bring a bug jar.
5. Bring along some toy zoo animals and let your children create their own zoo in the wild.
6. Bring some glow in the dark necklaces and torches. Bring along glow sticks for night lights. If your children are scared of the dark then tie a glow stick from the top of your tent.
7. Bring a constellation chart and try and find different stars at night.
8. Bring along scrabble, memory games and a deck of cards.
9. Create a scavenger hunt.
10. Have a nature hike giving each child a list of items to collect.
11. Have a flashlight dance in the spotlight.
12. Allocate one soft small bag per child to put their favourite items in like colouring books, pencils, reading books, etc.
13. Have a special children’s tape handy in the car for just that moment when the car (heaven forbid) breaks down, your tyre goes flat, or you get stuck in a traffic jam.
14. Let your children be involved in the planning and if they see places they’d like to go to or explore think of their needs as well. The more well-rounded your trip is the more fun every member of your family will have as a whole. Remember, this is a time for family togetherness so as long as you are together that’s the main thing.
15. Bring along a pack of pipe cleaners which amuse kids for hours. They can turn them into numbers, letters, animals, bugs etc. They’re only limited by their imagination.
16. Let each child create a little camp diary where they can do drawings, write stories, stick in pictures, glue in pieces of nature, etc.
17. Get your children involved by collecting water, grating cheese, setting the picnic blanket, collecting firewood, washing the vegetables, etc. You can even create a little competition and split chores into groups and keep a tally for your whole trip.
18. Bring along a couple of flashlights for some after dark exploring. Remember at night there is a whole different world of wildlife out there.
19. Keep teenagers happy by letting them bring Game Boys, walkmans, their favourite books and magazines, etc. Teenagers are renowned for wanting to spend time alone so let them. They’ll usually come out when they’ve had enough of their own company and if they’ve done something they wanted to do there’s less chance that they’ll whinge (hopefully).
20. Allow each member of the family to choose a meal and help fix it.