Submitted by Melissa Edge
Feedback from my readers is always motivating, inspiring, encouraging and great tips are always shared. When I asked for tips and ideas for camping with a toddler the responses were no different.
Here’s what my readers shared…
“We brought lots of books for down time and the only 3 toys a toddler boy needs outside; a pail, shovel, and small dump truck. They can be used with water, sand, rocks, or even dirt.” - Their favorite books will help with bed time, down time and give some familiarity of home.
“Sunscreen, bug spray, band aids, Bactine and sun hats are important. Sand toys are great in the mud or dirt too. I look up craft ideas that involve nature before the trip.” - Sunscreen and bug spray for sure along with a first aid kit. Your tyke will be so miserable from a sunburn or bug bites.
“Go with good friends and protect your sanity! The more eyes and hands on board means the more “time off” for parents.” - Definitely a good idea to have some down time and adult conversation.
“Bring a net, bucket and magnifying box of some kind. You cannot believe the hours of entertainment a young child can have just catching things, building homes for their pet and then letting them go again. A GREAT camping past time.” - Shovel and bucket are definitely key to playing in the dirt. What tyke doesn’t like dirt?
“We always have special food that they dont’ get anywhere else (s’mores, foil dinners, etc.) and we bring a lantern-type flashlight for playing fun tent games (or reading books!)” - Yes! Special food is always a great idea. J-Man only gets marshmallows when camping and associates them with camping.
“Make sure you have a plan of what to do where you are, when you want to do it, communicate with kids.” - Communicating with your tykes can help them feel comfortable about the experience and what to expect.
“Pack some items to spark your childs’ imagination while camping.”- We have provided J-Man with is own camera.
Here’s a link to a great post from Arrows Sent Forth: Things I learned While Camping With A Toddler
These are all great ideas and tips!
I would like to add:
Buy your tykes some of their own gear. Backpack, hydration pack, flashlight, water bottle, camera or anything else they might be excited about using.
Leave your expectations at home, bring along more patience and more importantly have FUN! Camping should be about getting out in nature, enjoying each other’s company and leaving stress and worry at home.
Do you have any tips or ideas to share for parents camping for the first time with their tyke? How did your first camping experience with your tyke go?
For all of Melissa’s columns on raising outdoorsy kids, click here.
Category: Outdoor Kids