Kids have short attention spans, so if you plan on takings yours out into the woods for a weekend getaway you’d better come prepared with things to keep them entertained. There’s only so much that walking and playing with sticks can do to keep some tots excited about being outdoors. Here are a few things you might want to have on hand.
Campfire stories are a tried and true tradition when it comes to spending a night out in the Great Outdoors and they’re a must for every trip with the kids. To spruce yours up a bit, make sure you bring along a lantern, flashlight, or glow stick for them to use as a prop during story time. It’ll help set the mood or at least give them something to focus on and play with if you’re not great at spinning a convincing yarn.
Depending on your child’s age you might not be comfortable handing over a knife for them use for sharpening sticks. Luckily, there are plenty of kid-friendly toys out there that resemble the real thing. Have them bring one along and you can use it to teach them proper safety methods until they’re ready for the real thing. Another fun idea is to bring along buckets and a scavenger hunt list to give them reasons to explore.
Gold Panning Kit
There’s likely going to be at least one creek, river, or stream somewhere near your campsite, so why not bring along a gold panning kit for them to play with in the water? You can teach them how to go about searching for gold and, if you’re lucky, they might make you rich in the process. At the very least it’ll keep them occupied for an hour or so while they dig and daydream about what to do with all the money they’re going to have.
The wilderness is a great place for your child to discover his inner Picasso. That, or just figure out some fun stuff to do with leaves. Bring along some craft paper and glue, then find some extra twigs and materials to help make projects at your campsite. Leaves can be used to create awesome animal portraits or you might even be able to put together a makeshift fishing pole with some sticks. Let their imaginations run wild!
The only thing kids love sleeping in more than a bunk bed is a hammock. Bring along a couple of these so you and the tots will get a great night’s rest while also having something comfortable to lie in during the day. They’re perfect for naptime if you’ve got little ones with you and they can be fun to gently swing on if they’re hung safely.
We all have memories of running through the backyard when we were young and catching fireflies, so help your kid create those same moments by bringing along a mason jar or two. They can use them to gather fireflies around the campsite or simply collect other bugs and creepy crawlers for fun. Just remember to poke holes in the tops so they don’t suffocate and maybe let them go before you leave.
This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people tend to forget to bring these along on camping trips when they reach adulthood. Gather the right supplies and even throw in some fun ingredients to make it more exciting for the kids. Candy corn, M&Ms and other candy aisle goodies make great toppings.