Tips for Camping with Kids
Even if your child isn't afraid of the dark, a night light is a good idea. The woods are such a new experience, and she might get scared outdoors at night. Companies like Moon Jar make solar night lights that charge in the sun all day and give a soft light to your tent at night [source: Oregonian].
Keep an eye on your little one at all times, especially if she can walk, and don't let your child wander unattended even a short distance. Try investing in a pair of walkie-talkies for the trip. Not only will that give you more peace of mind, but you'll both have fun playing with it! What kid doesn't like saying "over and out?" Or, give your child a nice, loud whistle, just in case she wanders off and needs to help you locate her.
Just like any other outing, your kids might get cranky on a camping trip, but you can head them off at the pass! Bring a few big boxes of cereal, crackers, or their favorite snacks for when they get hungry between meals, and make sure you throw some snacks in your pack when you head out for day hikes. Be prepared to carry your kids, if you've planned a long hike. Their little legs get tired faster than ours do!
Keep kids entertained while you're camping with activities like a camera, supplies to make s'mores, and nature-themed coloring books. Bring books on bird-watching, woodland creatures, or even edible plants. Plan hikes and nature walks to cool destinations like waterfalls or landmarks.
At national parks, the park rangers sometimes organize activities like nature walks or presentations that can help your kid learn about the plants and wildlife in the area where you're camping. Check out the park's Web site to see what programs they offer.
The best way to make sure your kids don't get bored on a camping trip is to just plain stay busy. Wear them out with daytime fun, and they'll sleep like logs all night!