Sharing the wonder of nature creates powerful family bonds. Camping offers an affordable … … way to spend quality time together in beautiful surroundings. With some planning and these tips, you can make family camping trips fun and memorable for all.
Choose a Kid-Friendly Destination
Look for parks with:
- Easy … … trails suited to young legs like interpretive nature paths
- Playgrounds, splash pads or beaches for energy burning
- Rental cabins, yurts or camper cabins for variety
- Ranger programs, visitor centers or activity schedules
- Swimming areas with lifeguards if near water
Gear Up for Fun!
Pack toys, games and activities:
- Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, frisbee, balls for the campground
- Nature and outdoor books … … scavenger hunt lists
- S’mores, campfire songs, hot cocoa for evening entertainment
- Fishing poles, bug catchers, binoculars for discovery
- Layered clothing and comfy camp shoes for various weather
Meals Made Memorable
Kids love to help with:
- Campfire … … like foil dinners, hobo packs or Dutch oven desserts
- S’mores, trail mix or granola bars for easy snacking
- Picnic lunches on scenic hikes or beach days
- Cooking simple breakfasts together over the fire
- Clean up that’s really just more play!
Safety First, Fun Foremost
Be prepared with:
- A well-stocked first aid kit and proper clothing layers
- A plan for severe weather events …
- Sunscreen, bug spray and hats for sun and insect protection
- Maps of campgrounds and day trip destinations
- Proper food storage and cooking safety practices
With these fundamentals, kids can run, discover and play safely. Remember that camping creates memories through experiences, not stuff. Let kids enjoy nature at their pace and join in their sense of wonder!
- Involve kids in meal planning, cooking and cleanup
- Bring board games, art supplies and campfire stories
- Look for kid-friendly camping traditions to start
- Document the trip with a scrapbook they can relive
- Camp together as a family, not separately
- Most of all, be present and have fun exploring!
Family camping nurtures appreciation … for nature, spending quality time together and creating shared memories to last a lifetime. With patience and the right preparation, you can make it an enjoyable adventure for all ages.