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Children are great fun to be around. At least, that is until they get tired, hungry, bored, or frustrated. Then the fun ends, and you’re in survival mode trying to get through the minutes it takes to address their needs and soothe them back to fun mode. It’s not easy to spend a long vacation with kids. It’s even harder to make it through a camping trip. Here are just a few tips to help you survive your first camping vacation with your little ones:
The things that you love are definitely not the things your kids love. It doesn’t matter how badly you want to share your passion for fishing, the thrill of reaching the peak of that mountain, or the pleasure of foraging for food. You’re not going to convince them to share those feelings until they are ready. But while you’re pursuing your interests your kids are going to succumb to boredom. That’s when it can get really tough for all of you.
Electronic devices are the mainstay for kids these days but usually rendered useless when you’re out camping. Engage your children in plenty of activities and games that are relatively simple and short. The younger they are, the shorter the attention span. To keep it fun, you have to engage in that activity at their level. You’re going to need a lot of energy for that! Try building a den, hunting for fairies, and playing pinecone bowling.
Surviving Fussy Eaters
Camping is a struggle for fussy eaters. It doesn’t feel right for grownups to take bags of chips. They want to cook sausages and bacon and beans. If your kids are fussy, chances are they’re still quite young. Why not let them have a go at helping you prepare the meal? Safety is essential, so have a second adult nearby to help you.
You might not be keen to show them how to make a fire just yet, so use something like the everstryke pro. It will be quicker to get things going and will reduce the risk of injury or dangerous fire making. Next, you can ask your child to pour the beans or soup into the pot. You might prefer to place the pot on the campfire or survival stove. If you hold the handle, your little one might be happy to stir with a wooden spoon (wearing oven gloves or other safety equipment.) It’s amazing how much more fun it is to eat something when you’re prepared it yourself!
Surviving Bad Weather Misery
Kids hate being cooped up. If the weather is so bad you have to stay in the tent, make sure you have plenty of things to hand to keep them occupied. A coloring book, reading books, board games, and puzzles can all be handy here. Make up a game, or write a story together. Traditional games like charades can be fun here too.
Of course, if you have plenty of wet weather gear, then this might be the perfect opportunity for splashing about in muddy puddles. Sure, you’re all going to get a bit messy and a bit damp. Just head over to the shower blocks when you’re done. Kids don’t care about getting dirty. The fact you do care makes it so much more fun to do it!
Surviving The Long Hike With Little Legs
Taking a long walk is an essential part of any camping trip. The trouble is, those with the littlest legs don’t move so fast. And they’re the ones that tire quickly and want to be carried the rest of the way. It’s important you pitch your camping trip at the right level for the participants. If you have tiny tots, you’re going to have to carry them or walk shorter distances. It can’t be helped.
There are some very good carriers if your child is still toddling. They are quite comfortable for parents and passengers alike and allow you to walk as far as you want without your child getting tired. And if they want to sleep it will make no difference to you. Be wary of tough terrain though. Your balance and your weight will be altered!
Surviving Night-Time Bathroom Breaks
It’s not often you get to pitch your tent close to the facilities you need most when you have kids with you. Nighttime is the worst time to need to go. However, it’s pretty much guaranteed your little one will want to go during the night. Torches and easy footwear are essential. The next problem is convincing a small child to walk out of the tent in the middle of the night to go and find the bathroom. Even with you, it can be a scary thing to do for a tiny tot
If your child is frightened, they might simply refuse. A wet sleeping bag is a disaster! Always carry a spare one, and make sure you know where laundry services are in the morning. Potties can be helpful or the portaloos you can get with camper vans. Still, it’s not pleasant for the rest of you in the tent, and hygiene could be a real problem. Try to make the excursion from the tent a fun adventure and nothing to worry about.
Surviving Insect Invasions
Kids really don’t like flies, roaches, spiders or other insects. Of course, if you’re going to sleep in their territory, there is little you can do about it. That said, it’s important to prevent bites and stings. A child-friendly insect repellent might help here. Make sure you’ve packed a full first aid kit that includes sting relief, bandages, plasters, and antibacterial creams. You might need extra tissues for the tears too.
Camping should be fun for all the family, but you might have to give up some of the activities you would normally do on your own. Introduce new things one at a time. Little ones can become quite frightened by strange environments and noises. Bring a comforter, and get ready for the biggest adventure in parenthood so far!