Your browser is not supported. Please consider upgrading to a newer browser.

Let's Go Camping!

Let's Go Camping!

When we're not reading books online with our child, we like to unplug and head for the outdoors.  For our first summer vacation of the year, we decided to go camping near Lake Tahoe.  At dinner we asked our son to pack some things to play with on our trip.  He packed his usual collection of trucks and Hot Wheels, but I noticed he also grabbed for a movie we recently checked out from the public library. 

“Honey what’s that for?” I asked.   "So we can watch a movie over there.” he answered. 

It made me realize that although we read every night with our son, either online or traditionally, he has grown up with video games, TV's, DVR's and computers and we are raising him in a digital world where these things are regular tools for our children.  Don't get me wrong, we love all of these things, but we are strong advocates of "moderation", so we also make an effort to unplug once in a while and look around.  This way, telling him no iPad, laptop or DVD and reminding our little guy we were "unplugging" for this trip was not a tough sell.

Our son is 7 and while packing & unpacking are not his strong suits “yet,” we made the best of it.  Finding a campground where families frequent was first. We tried to find an available campsite where we could see other kid's playing.  Where there are more kids, there is more adventure.   Second, we made sure to include him in the setup or what I call the "camping" part of the trip.  We gave him a set of semi-fun responsibilities to take on while we unpacked.  Such as... 

1) Grab a pair of work gloves and stack up the fire logs in the fire pit

2) Unpack his toys and find a place where he could keep them safe and sort of clean

3) Unpack pans, plates and cooking utensils (no sharp objects) and set them out on the table

4) Let him help set up the tent as much as possible, like unfolding tent poles and placing them in areas needed, and rolling out his sleeping bag.

Including our son in the process of camping

In general, we want our child to be a part of the experience as much as possible, without pushing him to the side while the "adults" got everything setup.  This gives him a sense of being a part of the whole camping experience and hopefully added to his overall enjoyment and memories.

Once our camp site was set, we introduced ourselves to the neighbors and our son was off and running with the other kid's.  

After the thrill of new friends wears off, they usually come looking for toys and games to play with.  Some of the most fun camping toys are the glow in the dark ones.  Kids get a kick off of these when camping.  Here are some of our favorites for camping.

Rocket balloons

No, not your regular blow up and let pop on some pine needles balloons.  These are Rocket Baloons.  The kind that fly up and around and make funny noises (but not to loud).  I also found this great website where you can actually make them look like rockets too.  (Most of all, mom & dad get to sit and take in nature while kids are busy creating.)  It's fun & easy to do in the outdoors and the end result is so rewarding! 

Purchase Here

  Rocket Balloons

Uno Cards

Simple, light, easy to setup and fun to play.  You don't need a lot of experience or skill to have fun with this game.  

Match the number, color, or type of card, to play; use a wild if you don’t have a match; or draw from the pile until you get a card you can play.

Purchase Here

  Uno Cards

Light Up Frisbee

If you haven't played frisbee in the dark, you should definitely try it.  Easy throw, great flight, and simple to catch.  You can also phone your local sporting goods store and see if they carry them or click on the "purchase here" link below for the website

Purchase Here

  Light Up Frisbee

Bean Bag & Ladder Toss

Similar to horseshoes, but safer and easier to bring camping.  Team up and toss bean bags back and forth to score points.  You can also skip the whole game set up and just purchase bean bags.  Set up buckets and empty fire log boxes and use as your targets!

Purchase Here

  Bean Bag and Ladder Toss

There is no perfect science to camping, and I actually believe being more spontaneous about it adds to the enjoyment.  Not really knowing where you're going to setup camp, or if you have all the gear you need, can be stressful, but once you kick back next to the glow of a campfire, it seems to make it all worth while.  And if you incorporate your kid's in the process, it turns out to be great family time.  We hope this information helps and we wish you all a safe and happy summer!

Camping with kid's is fun

Written by

Olga Lane "Mom & Community Manager"



Share your opinion by moving the slider to give your score (toward +5 if your family loves camping, toward -5 if it's not your thing), then pressing the Swipp It button to enter your rating.