Kids bored of the holidays? Do you fancy a family break but can’t face long queues and delays at the airports? Then do something a little more adventurous with the children this August! Go camping! With weather forecasts for August promising some lovely warm summer days there’s no point in paying for an expensive family holiday abroad.
With a little bit of planning and tons of enthusiasm, a camping holiday can be one of the best experiences you’ll have as a family. Carolyn Budding from the UK’s leading children’s outdoor gear company Little Terra, said:
“Camping can be a wonderful adventure. Just think of all the things the kids will see right outside the tent – birds and animals, plants and trees, streams and ponds, insects, wildflowers and lots of other kids their own age to play with. By planning successful, enjoyable camping trips when your children are young, you will set them on the path to a lifetime of outdoor adventures.”
Here is the little Terra Top Ten Tips to camping with kids for the first time. Have fun!
1. Get the kids interested in the trip by getting them involved. Build their excitement and anticipation and plan the camping trip together. Get them to help out by looking for places to go on the internet and then build their map reading skills by asking them to look them up on the map. If they enjoy shopping get them to choose their own equipment like a child sleeping bag – just the right size for them.
2. Ask the children what they would like to do or learn when they are away. Depending on their ages get them to write a list and plan certain things you can all do each day of your trip.
3. If your children are not that used to the outdoors, dip a toe in the water before you go by trying a few outdoor activities with your kids. Get them familiar with the outdoor life in order to eliminate their fears. Take a walk in your local woods, visit a nature reserve or go fishing at a nearby pond or stream.
4. Buy some new books on camping or borrow them from your library – you can get them for all ages and even if they can’t read they will love looking at the pictures and imagining it’s them.
5. Try a campout in your garden before you go for the first time. This will o Teach the kids how to set up a tent o Try their hand at some outdoor cooking o Experience a night outdoors in sleeping bags o Show them how to use some camping equipment like children’s torches. o Get them accustomed to the many, and often eerie, night sounds
6. Take the necessary gear and supplies – although you may find you’ll need a bigger car! You’ll need:- o Warm children’s clothing – it may get chilly especially in the evening so take plenty of layers o Lots of extra clothes, raincoats, wellies and spare pairs of shoes o Insect repellent o Sunscreen – they’ll be outside all day in the promised sunshine! o First aid kit – for those little accidents o Toys, games, activities o Familiar bedtime items – pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, dolls etc o Flashlight/glow sticks or children’s torches in fun designs like Little Terra’s ladybird torch- just in case they get afraid of the dark. o Lots of snacks and drinks o Don’t forget hand sanitiser, a toilet roll and plastic bags.
7. Make your travel fun o Don’t travel a great distance for your first camping trip and make it quite short – perhaps only two or three nights o Take toys and activities to keep them busy o Play car games such as spot the license plates, singing etc o Take plenty of snacks
8. Try to make camp chores fun for kids. They will love helping Daddy put up the tent, collecting firewood, filling water containers, hammering in tent pegs and cooking sausages on the camp fire. You can even make the camp chores extra fun with contests for gathering the most kindling, best meal of the trip, most organised gear, fastest clean-up and so on.
9. Create memories – if they have their own camera make sure they take it with them, if they don’t give them their own disposable camera each, remembering to take extra films and batteries. If your children are old enough encourage them to keep a daily journal, capturing their thoughts and feelings about the trip and the activities you did, include drawings, bark rubbings, pressed flowers and photos.
10. This is England after all so always plan for wet weather days and alternative activities. It won’t hurt to do something inside once in a while. Just don’t forget to pack the childrens waterproof clothing http.
Whether buying for your first camping trip or replacing your existing accessories, choosing your camping equipment can be quite daunting. Fortunately, Little Terra knows how difficult it can be choosing the right items, especially when taking small children.
Carolyn said: “A child’s first impressions of the outdoors will last a life time so it’s important they’re not marred by a cold night in a sleeping bag designed for sleep-overs or a poor fitting backpack. Quality gear for your children will help you enjoy your outdoor adventures too.”