When children are so used to plugging in and logging on, camping is one of the best ways to get kids to take a breather. But while some kids take to camping like a fish in water, others may need a little more help.
Fun activities not only help kids have a better time when they’re outdoors, they can also give the next generation an appreciation for all of the natural splendor surrounding them. Try these 5 activities when you take children camping to make your next trip a little more special.
Hunting Animal Tracks with Children
Hunting for animal tracks gives children a chance to learn more about the types of wildlife surrounding them, but they may appreciate it more if parents turn the game into a mystery.
It can be thrilling to search for and identify different paw prints in the woods as children imagine animals roaming the Earth right before they got there. Kids may even be able to put their spatial reasoning skills to work, as they work out the sizes of the animals, as well as which parts of the feet make contact with the ground when an animal walks.
Camping & Fishing with Kids
Fishing is a good way to introduce your children to meditation without buying them a yoga mat. The vast majority of learning how to fish is learning how not to scare the fish away with movement or noise. What makes fishing so memorable and beloved is the sharp contrast between waiting for a fish and then finally hooking one. If your child has spent many hours playing games on their electronic devices, this is a good way to help them take a breather. And theres nothing like frying that just caught fish in a hot, seasoned iron skillet over a campfire!
Nature & Art While Camping with Children
When parents know there’s a rainy day coming, they should have a few indoor activities planned. Let kids collect their favorite natural decorations, like leaves, petals, and twigs, and then use contact paper to help them display their findings. Have kids artfully place each found object on the sticky side of the contact paper before covering up their creation with another piece of contact paper. Then all parents have to do is trim the excess, punch a hole at the top, and hang it up.
Have a Kids Camping Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are a fun way to introduce competition into a camping trip. Before it starts, parents should get a sense of the unique characteristics of the campsite, so kids discover more about the land. For example, an old tire swing by the lake or a tree with the initials WK carved into it. This way, they learn more about not just nature, but also the specific campsite. Have kids take a photo of themselves with each found thing, and then give prizes for the team or the individual who comes back first.
Camp Cooking with Kids
Preparing a meal outside over a campfire is one of the easiest ways to avoid having a lengthy clean-up session, which is often the reason why kids are kept out of the kitchen in the first place. Let younger kids wash vegetables and fruit, or let them shape the burger patties. Older kids can do more advanced prep work, like seasoning, chopping, or stirring using camping utensils. Even if your a beginner camper or hiker, outdoor camping and cooking with the kids can be great fun!
Letting children take part in the cooking process gives them a sense of independence, and it encourages them to pay attention to what they eat. It can even give them a better appreciation of their parents!