There is no doubt that the thought of camping with toddlers in tow may be a scary thought for parents! So how do you make camping for toddlers fun?
These little people are just starting to find their way in the world, and toddlers are designed to be naturally inquisitive, troublesome, and adventurous! These are things that actually make camping one of the best activities to do with toddlers, but as you probably guessed, it has to be planned right!
So with some of the best advice and suggestions on how to make camping the best fun and an experience they will remember, read on to find out how camping with toddlers can work really well for you!
How do you make camping for toddlers fun?
The biggest key to making camping fun for toddlers is preparation!
One more time, a bit louder for those at the back…PREPARATION!
When toddlers are at home, they know where they can be, what they can do, where their toys are, and what their sleeping arrangements are; it’s their routine.
Camping with them will inevitably throw all of this routine out of the window, and that’s totally OK!
As long as you are prepared for all eventualities, it can be such a fun experience! Here are some ways in which you can make camping more appealing to the little ones and make it more of an exciting adventure for the toddlers in tow:
Get Them Involved In Preparation
Getting your toddlers involved in camping preparation can be so valuable in making the experience fun and familiar.
Although it may seem like a disaster waiting to happen, getting them involved with packing their bags with their favourite things (Not all of them!) and making sure everything works together as a family can actually get them used to seeing the things they will see when they will be camping.
All of this can feel like the beginning of the adventure for them and getting them excited to go; even having a trial run in the tent in the garden will get them used to seeing what will happen when you finally go!
Make sure they have familiar things.
If you are heading out with the canvas and your child/ren for the very first time and you can sense they are a bit nervous, make sure to pack these three familiar things to try and alleviate some of the feelings of fear that your toddler could be feeling:
- Something that comforts them- such as a favourite blanket or teddy
- Something that makes them feel safe- such as their own torch or a special camping pillow (This can be a regular pillow but designed just for use in the tent)
- Something that always makes them smile- This could be a favourite storybook or an activity they like to do, such as colouring or drawing
Having things your children feel safe with or things they are familiar with can stop their little imaginations from going on a holiday of their own to Nervous-Ville! It can instill a sense of confidence, comfort, and distraction from the impending lack of routine they are so used to at home.
Make It Into An Adventure
Toddlers LOVE adventure! And making camping into an adventure for them will probably be your Ace card!
If you appeal to your toddlers’ natural sense of adventure, you will find them starting to really enjoy the experience of camping through their playful eyes.
Here are some fun things you can do together to make the adventure really fun:
- Tell stories by torchlight under the covers
- Make shadow animals on the side of the tent with the torches
- Cook camp food and get them to join in (safely)
- Go for a nature adventure around the tent to see what they can find
- Draw the sky and the stars
- Snuggle with Hot Chocolate
- Wake up early and listen to the nature around them
All of these things, and so many more, can make the early camping experiences feel like a massive adventure to a toddler, and this can make it incredibly fun for the whole family!
What Can You Play In A Tent?
Camping inevitably brings inclement weather; it’s like an obligatory part of camping to have a rainy day!
So how can you keep your toddlers entertained when they can’t go outside and explore the great outdoors?
Play A Game!
There are so many toddler-approved games to play in a tent to make the best fun out of a rainy situation which can also be educational for your toddler too. Think of things along the lines of:
- Snap with picture cards.
- Drawing games- take a stopwatch and get your child to draw an animal or person in 60 seconds.
- Magical storytelling in turns.
- Take a nature book of insects or flowers, and get them to follow the book and “Spot” what they have already seen.
- Ring Toss inside- clear a sleeping area and set up a ring toss game for hours of fun and laughter.
- Camp Bingo- Make a makeshift board of a grid filled with things that you might see on your camping trip, and the first person to fill it wins the first hot chocolate!
There really are so many things you can play in a tent to keep toddlers and little ones occupied while keeping the camping experience as fun as possible.
Anything you can do that appeals to the child’s inquisitive side, such as nature and surroundings, is a good thing to incorporate into a game for them, making them feel compelled to take part and learn something along the way.
All in all, the best way to keep camping fun for toddlers is just to let them explore and let their own imaginations turn the camping experience into a wild adventure.
Of course, the more prepared you are for every eventuality, the less likely you are to get toddlers who play up because they are bored! Keeping their little imaginations active is key for a successful camping trip.
Have the Ultimate Camping Adventure!