Fresh air, the calming sounds of nature, and a night underneath the stars – who wouldn’t fall in love with camping? Not only is it a fun time, but it is also highly beneficial for your child’s development. As reported by NCBI, sunshine provides kids with natural Vitamin D to help build stronger bones and increase their immunity, while the fresh air and green scenery are great for reducing stress levels and improving mood. Camping is also educational and allows children to be physically active, while learning how to do more with less and how to interact with the natural world. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder more parents are taking their kids to the great outdoors. However, if you’re a first-timer, it may seem like an intimidating task. So, check out these tips to make sure you and your children have an amazing first camping trip.
Practice Before You Go
Prior to you first outing, you should practice camping at home. You can pitch a tent in your backyard or right in your living room. This way they can get used to a new sleeping environment as well as all the equipment needed for the trip. You may also want to head to the park for half a day and simply see how they react to nature.
Pick the Right Spot
Your first trip should be a local one. You’ll probably want to stay with an hour from your home in case your child gets homesick and needs to head back. This will also avoid a long road trip and prevent them from getting bored before arriving. You may also want to avoid a place with a stream or deep woods as young toddlers will want to explore these dangerous areas.
Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
You know that our kids can be picky eaters. Therefore, cook and pack your lunch and dinner ahead of time and be sure to pick foods that you know your kids will eat. You can even let them pick out what they want for their meals. Then, when you arrive at the campground, all you need to cook is dessert. You can try making the ever-so-classic s’mores as a fun way to get your child involved.
Bring the Right Equipment
Although you may know what to pack for a typical camping trip but packing for a child can be entirely different. Since camping is completely dark, be sure to take a kid-friendly lantern for any scared children. This can also give you enough light for your children to play, get dressed, or go to the bathroom. Your children should also have a whistle on them at all times in case they get lost and need a way to contact you. Then, there’s everything you need for the activities you want to do. Bring strong trekking poles if you plan on doing any hiking, water toys for fun games that help your children cool off, and discs or flying toys to get them out and about in nature.
Camping is a wonderful way to spend some quality time with your child. However, you need to be prepared and remember that safety always comes first. With the right preparation, you can be sure to have a fun and easy-going first camping trip.