Longing to do some camping this summer with the kids? The season’s not up yet! You still can. There’s plenty of time and ways to involve the kids in camping, especially with children who haven’t ever been out in the wilderness before.
The best camping ideas for kids are always fun and maybe a little unexpected. Here are a few of our recommended camping ideas for kids to get them excited for this summer.
1. Building projects
Kids love to find out how things work. When you go camping, you don’t have the advantages you’d have at home. There’s quiet and focus, unlike what you’ll see in the city. If you have something you’ve been meaning to work on, give your kid a screwdriver and try to teach them something.
A bicycle? A fan? A wooden box is easy to build. Teamwork activities can be fun. Customize is to your child’s interests and make camping something you know they’ll enjoy.
2. Trail mix
Create your own trail mix or fun party mix, using your kids as a guide. Let them choose their favourites before heading out on a camping trip. Grab some bags of chips, marshmallows, cereals, or whatever other little bits. This can be a fun way to assemble a nice late night snack.
Alternatively, it can be a nice way to enjoy an afternoon. Camping’s all about fun and this is a nice way to stoke a child’s creativity, allowing them to make their own snack for the trip!
If there are animals nearby – think rabbits, foxes, or other small friendly pets – you can play a counting game all camping trip long. Whoever counts the most small animals wins a prize at the end of the trip. To make things even more interesting, if they have a phone to take pictures on, this is a nice way to confirm the count.
Cooking, BBQing, grilling, and eating on a camping site is a lot different than what a kid will have at home. Show them how to make do with what you got. Whether it’s the fine workings of grilling chicken or preparing a salad, there’s something for every person to learn when it comes to eating while camping.
If they’re old enough and with the right supervision in place of course, you may take the opportunity to give them some responsibility and show them how a BBQ works. These camping ideas for kids are not only educational, but also delicious and nutritious!
5. Mosquito repellant
There are natural ways to keep pesky mosquitoes and other bugs away from you while camping. What are affectionately called ‘bug bombs’ are wraps of sage, mint, and lavender together bouquet-style. This isn’t the only approach to repelling bugs but it can be a fun way to kill some time while you’re out there. It’s productive and an education for kids who may be looking for something to do.
6. Nature walks
These are great camping ideas for kids who love the outdoors. Camping is an opportunity to really immerse yourself in nature. For adults, it’s a great feeling to step away from all that technology. For kids, they may not have that same desire but camping’s a time to have them in a different environment.
Take them out on a nature hike, even if it’s just some walk in the woods. Consider learning about plants – which ones are safe and which ones aren’t. Try to find something to teach them about being out and on their own.
7. Ghost stories
Campfire-inspired ghost stories are a wonderful way to pass the time. If there’s a few people by the campfire, give everyone a piece of paper and get them to write out a five-line ghost story. Then, everyone puts their story in a hat.
The first storyteller chooses a story from the hat to read. This can be both a scary activity and funny, depending on what’s written and who’s telling it. Consider it a sort of modified version of the usual around-the-campfires storytelling.
8. Board games or cards
Whether you’re in a tent, at a campsite with others, doing it up cabin-style or are in a trailer, bringing some cards or a board game isn’t a bad idea. It’s not only a way to pass time but it’s another way to encourage conversation and to connect with kids.
9. Singing with an acoustic guitar
Bring a guitar and some makeshift percussion instruments. Have a little concert by the fire. Creatively speaking, you can co-write a song with your child, encourage them to write their own, or alternatively, just to sing and play by the fire.
If the kid has an instrument, try showing them chords and a few songs. You never know what lifelong journey you may send a child on. A camping trip can truly be life-changing.
10. Late night cooking over the campfire
What would camping be without a little campfire action? There’s plenty of ideas here for kids. S’mores are one way to go. Another’s hot dogs. There’s also more complex meats and meals to create, if you want to go there.
Around the fire, you can show them how to start the fire, keep it going, what kind of wood to look for, and more. There’s no shortage of fire-related activities, foraging for twigs and small pieces of woods to cooking up something ferociously delicious at night.