If you are an avid camper with children, it is never too early to teach your kids about camping. Not only is camping a great way to get children involved in teamwork, but it also helps them learn to enjoy times when they get to put down the screens and connect with nature. Even kids sometimes are surprised by how much they enjoy disconnecting and enjoying fresh air and laughter around a campfire.
One of the best ways to get kids involved in going camping is to show them pictures of the area you will camp and give them a list of things they can do there. Consider hiking, photography, checking out waterfalls, swimming, or cooking something extraordinary over a campfire. It is also fun to do a nature hunt, where they need to find specific items to get a small prize. Getting children involved in the camping process will let them know that they are important and that there will be things they love to do along the way. Make a list of what each child wants to do, so you can plan each day with things they are interested in doing.
Before you go camping, it is important that you know how to set up a tent before you go camping, as it may be more frustrating than you expect. Once you can easily set up the tent in your backyard or living room, have the children come in and help you set it up. Doing this allows them to see the process of building their new temporary home. Also, doing a trial run in a backyard is a great way to have the children experience the basics of sleeping outdoors.
One of the most important things to teach a child of almost any age is to use the buddy system. They need to always be with a buddy or parent when camping. Practicing the buddy system at home is a great way to prepare them to ask a buddy to follow them when they need to leave the camp area.
One of the most time-consuming things about camping is all of the cleaning up. It seems like everyone is constantly cleaning something in the evenings before everyone settles down. Everyone must do their part, so teaching children to pick up after themselves is a big part of being a team. Having children wipe off their plates, wash dishes, and help with laundry is a great way to teach them that they are an important part of a team.
Involving children and camping is always a great idea, especially if they are young. Getting ready to go camping can also be part of the fun. When you leave to go shopping, let the children know what you need to buy and give them options to buy things they might enjoy. Depending on the child’s age, you can let them pick out safety gear for camping, such as whistles or flashlights. They can also pick out gloves and other essentials that they might need for the trip.
If you go to a place like Grand Isle State Park in Lousiana, you may want to show the kids sea life, teach them about the different fish, or go birdwatching. While camping is great, there are plenty of things to do at a campground, even take out a boat so the kids can see wildlife and different types of trees from the water. You can also take the kids on a nature hike to explore everything up close and help them learn to identify plants. While on your nature hike, you can also teach older children some hands-on survival skills that they might use alone someday. One lesson may be how to use a first-aid kit or a compass.
No matter where you take your next big camping adventure, it is always great to teach children as much as possible about the whole process. Not only are safety and organization priorities, but it is also important to have children highly involved, so they can feel accomplished and grateful for being in nature.
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