Children in the 21st century lead dangerously sedentary lifestyles, resulting in obesity, electronic addiction, and nature deprivation. One way to get children outdoors while enjoying family togetherness is camping. If you prepare correctly, you can easily rise above the challenges that camping with children offers.
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Packing and planning with your children is a good way to get them involved and interested. You can try letting them pick a few places to camp. If you get their opinions and take their advice, they have some ownership and consequently more interest in the trip. Let them help plan the menu and prepare or buy the foods. Get their ideas about activities while camping. Would they like to swim, hike, bicycle, cook out, play catch, or explore?
Demonstrate a love of nature by becoming active outdoors as a family. They can sketch what they see in a nature journal as you take a walk and take time to look at all the animals and plants. Use outdoor opportunities to teach children outdoor safety and respect for nature and wildlife.
You can camp out in the backyard for a bit of practice. Go on some local hikes to prepare them for the real thing.
Remember that not everything on your camping foray will go as you planned it, so be prepared. Your child could have an unknown allergy to certain bugs or plants, something could be closed for the season, or it could start to rain. These events, as well as others, will probably change a few plans. For that reason, pack extra shoes, socks, and clothing to avoid being uncomfortable or having to cut your camping trip short. It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
Bring a first aid kit in case of emergency. Stock your backpack with flashlights and extra batteries. If you have a small child who is nervous about new places, bring a much-loved toy and light stick or a mini battery-operated camp lantern. This helps them feel safe and secure.
Make a list of rainy day activities that everyone will enjoy doing. Give the children the task of packing some toys, games, books, and anything else they think appropriate for a rainy day. Make sure that, whatever happens, the camping trip remains an enjoyable experience.
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Though fun is important on your camping trip, safety is more so. Safety regulations should be discussed and kept very seriously. Always be alert for any potentially dangerous situations. Watch out for drowning hazards, wild animals, or any other potentially dangerous conditions. Always stay together as a family so that no one will be lost.
While you may have lined up plenty of activities during your trip, you should also include sufficient breaks as well. You absolutely do not want to overdo it and overtax the kids by pushing them too hard.
Your children should be allowed to lend a hand in the trip. Although it will go slower with the small children helping, working together will develop bonds and increase their skills. They can be enlisted to assist with simple cooking chores as well as in pitching the tent. Your children are an important part of your team, and letting them lend a hand and try new experiences will make them feel more so.
Despite their addiction to the TV and computer, you will be surprised to know that many kids take to outdoor events like a duck to water once they are introduced to them. It is essential, however, that you plan the event right so that they are able to enjoy the trip. Your kids will never forget the experiences they have with you in the great outdoors, and you will have your own memories to last a lifetime.