We’ve been camping a few times with our little ones and they love it. I would definitely recommend it for kids 1 year and up, but maybe not for more than 2 or 3 nights initially. Here’s a few tips for camping with kids and toddlers. Camping is a great budget choice holiday if you want to get away with your little ones. There is a choice of sites all over the UK and if you’re feeling adventurous you could even venture to Europe.
I have lots of fond memories camping with my parents and brother as a kid in Derbyshire, Dorset and Wales. I hope my boys have the same fond memories.
Here’s a few tips to help you when camping with kids and toddlers, especially if it’s your first time.
Packing the car is the first important job, if you’re a former Tetris grandmaster then you are just about ready to take on this challenge. My tip for packing is to pack the biggest items first and soft squishy items like pillows and blankets last. Always looks for nooks and crannies you can use, the underneath of seats is often an area forgotten by amateur packers.
2. Activities for the Car
If you’re going camping, then unless you’re doing a test run in your garden first it’s likely you’ll have a car journey ahead of you. As a parent I now see how irritating I must have been as a child … ‘are we there yet?’ You can always give them your phone or a tablet but if you want to limit their technology exposure then here are a few games you can play. With our little boy we play ‘I spy something the colour of…’ and ‘I’m thinking of an animal’. I spy involves picking something you can see and giving the colour rather than the initial letter. I’m thinking of an animal involves exactly that, thinking of an animal and asking questions to guess: Does it have 4 legs? Does it have a tail?... If in doubt, make sure you take plenty of crisps and sweets and then you can feed them up in to a food-induced coma
3. Activities for putting the Tent up
Just like in the car, kids and toddlers get easily bored and therefore make sure you have some activities for them to do while you put the tent up and take it down. You could agree for one parent to take the children to the park (most campsites have one) or make sure you have some toys or games ready to play.
4. Take easy food to cook
While you’re camping, unless you’re Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey, you’re not going to be knocking out Michelin star level food. Make sure you take food that is easily prepared or easily re-heated. You could even make some meals prior to leaving, such as Bolognese or Chilli which can be reheated when you arrive at the campsite.
5. Sleeping – wrap up warm
This isn’t the Mediterranean and as warm as it gets during the day, at night it is going to be cold even in Summer. Make sure you take blankets and thick night clothes to wear. It is much easier to take layers off and cool down than put layers on and warm up when it is cold.
Camping is a great activity for kids and toddlers and I hope you find these tips useful. If you have any of your own tips to share, then comment below