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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Camping With Kids

Camping is a wonderful way to really enjoy nature, relax, and bond, closely, with the ones you share that time with; especially when you are camping with your family and taking the little ones along for the trip as well. To make this wonderful time as stress-free as possible, here are some tips for camping with the kids!
~Counting Sheep: Getting the kids to bed while camping can sometimes be a challenge. Simply because they are in an unfamiliar environment and surround by the sounds of nature, which they may not be used to. Try to keep bedtime as familiar as possible. For example, if you read to your child at home before bed, do the same while you are camping. If they have a special blanket or stuffed animal that they sleep with, take it with you on the trip. Make sure to pack clothing in layers and bring plenty of blankets and padding (if tent camping) for bedtime. This will ensure that everyone is warm and comfortable while dozing off into dreamland.
~Practice makes perfect: After a long drive to the campground once you arrive you want nothing more than to quickly get everything set up and to relax. With children present, this also becomes a necessity to have everyone settled and happy. A good idea is to have a backyard campout prior to your camping trip. This will allow you and your children to experience what camping will be like and will also give you time practice setting up your campsite.
~Munchies: After a long day of exploring nature, swimming, games, riding bikes, and meeting new friends kids will be sure to work up an appetite. Be sure to pack camping-friendly foods for your family vacation. Many campgrounds, such as our own, will have a ranger station for snacks and other simple lunch-time meals, but it is important to also make sure that you have your own supplies in case you do not find what you need or what your children are used to having. If they like having goldfish for a mid-day snack, pack the goldfish! If they like having a juice box with their meal for dinner, take those juice boxes and stuff them right in the car with all the other supplies. Coming prepared with plenty of food/snacks is a good way to keep the kids happy and to ensure that you don't have to make a random grocery store run during you family time. Make sure you have the right equipment to store your food supplies as well. Which leads us to the next tip...
~Don't forget me!: A good way to make sure that you don't forget a must-need item for your kids on your camping trip is to make a checklist. Here are a some items that sometimes are overlooked when camping with kids:
*Extra clothing and shoes. Kids are going to get dirty. *Extra blankets, tarps, and extra bed padding. The weather can be unpredictable. *Easy, energy rich foods: peanut butter, trail mix, oatmeal, pasta, and beans. *For babies, bring their Pack 'N Play. It will come in handy. *Hand sanitizer! Keep everyone germ free. *Insect repellent and sunscreen. They will be outside playing all day long. *Flashlights. Very important. This will help with late-night arrivals trying to set up camp and also with nighttime fears for some kids. ~Kids just wanna have fun:
The last tip, just have fun guys! This is a great time to really bond with your children and to explore new things. Go out and do things you never thought you would do! Let go of your everyday stress and responsibilities, and relax! Become a kid again. Trust me, your kids will be absolutely enthralled to see you acting goofy with them. They love watching their parents having a good time.
I hope these tips have been helpful. Camping really can bring families together and create memories that will last a lifetime. Visit NC Campgrounds to plan your family's next memory.

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