Some kids will get excited by the idea of camping for the first time and others might find the idea terrifying. Either way, you don’t want to drive all the way out to the bush only to find your kid is terrified or hates it. Here are some ideas for camping in your backyard to make your kids get used to everything.
This can also be a good practice run to see what you’ve forgotten to buy to make the experience more comfortable. It’s a lot easier to do a late-night Kmart run from your home in the suburbs than it is when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.
Get ready with your checklist to make sure you won’t miss a thing preparing for this thrilling activity.
Tents for kids
Kids generally find tents to be very interesting and exciting but some might find sleeping in one in the dark outside to be scary the first time. Be sure that they have a foam or inflatable mattress so that they can be as comfortable as possible. You will need to sleep next to them so that they feel safe and try and sleep in the entrance so you can keep the monsters out. Make sure there’s a torch or lamp nearby so that they can easily turn it on if they need to.
If your child is old enough, try and get them to help you put the tent together. They will enjoy this and get a great sense of achievement.
Kids must understand that camping may mean “time away from technology” so let them toss all the must-haves into their camping bags before leaving the house to avoid the hassle. These gears that must always come in handy include a flashlight, compass, wrist or pocket watch, insect repellent bracelet, pocket knife, match, and some extra batteries. They can also bring books, board games, art materials or easy-to-carry musical instruments for entertainment. Having these items are actually a great way to do time off from their gadgets and be as active as they can outdoors.
S’mores won’t be made without fire, and cold nights will be comfier with some heat. Making a bonfire can add a huge feeling of real camping activity. You can do storytelling, or maybe sing along to your favourite tunes around the fire while someone plays the guitar instead of using your digital music player. Teens can help start the fire doing the primitive way to game up their camping skills.
Just make sure to take safety precautions and have any fire-stopping materials available in case of any dangerous incidents.
Camp Cooking for Kids
Ensure you bring everything you need to cook out into your yard and avoid running back into the kitchen to grab things. You won’t be able to do this when you’re really camping, so you can’t do it now. You can try simple dishes that kids can easily make like hotdog skewers, burger sandwiches and grilled veggies in foil packets. Let the kids take turns helping to cook and of course, don’t forget to cook marshmallows on a fire.
This is kind of gross, but one of the hardest things to adapt to when camping is using a drop toilet. If you can be bothered, you can teach your kids how to use one of these in your own backyard so that they are more confident with it when you’re really camping.
Check the Weather
It’s probably best to make sure it’s not going to be a wet or stormy night. It will probably terrify the kids and it will be too tempting to give up and go back inside. Nonetheless, it won’t harm if you’ll include raincoats, boots, and umbrellas in your luggage as unpredictable weather can also happen on real camps.
Kids may only see different types of leaves, rocks or insects through books and the internet, so why not make use of your camping time hunting for these kinds of stuff and let them have a first-hand experience on this. Just list whatever items that can be found around your yard and let the kids hunt for each one. With this, they won’t find it strange discovering things outside as they go for a real camp.
Staying outdoors during the night time may not be a usual routine for kids, making this the best time to let them appreciate the beauty of the night sky while camping. This can help them divert their attention from getting scared of the dark to enjoying the view up there. Bring to life all those constellations that they only get to see in books during their Science class.
Clean As You Go
While the whole camping experience can surely be exhilarating for the kids, it is very important too to instil in them the value of cleanliness that comes with it. Let them pick up all the trash whether it’s from them or not and have them develop love and respect for mother nature. As they go on real camp, you won’t have a hard time asking them to clean the area up.
Camping should not be a fearful thing for kids. It may be something new to them, but familiarizing them starting with the basics can help them grasp the idea of how fun and exciting this can be. Backyard camping is one of the best practices that has been tried and tested by so many in introducing camping to their kids. Since this is their first time, we can always expect that most kids will have a hard time adjusting, however, we don’t need to rush things anyway. It may take time for some, but little by little, they will be able to adapt and finally get used to this cool outdoor activity. After all, it’s gonna be about those fun, memorable bonding moments with the whole fam.
With all this in mind, do you think your kids will be ready to camp?