Going Camping with Preschoolers

I am on vacation, not camping, but at the beach – whoohoo!   Kristina, from Amenity Home, has graciously offered to guest post for us today!   She takes her preschooler camping regularly – something I admire.   I am a bit worried about what my kids could get into; I love the tips and ideas she has for ways to make camping enjoyable and safe for our kids.

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There is nothing better than camping with a preschooler. My little boy is four-and-a-half and we ™ve been on nine camping trips so far. Every one of them is filled with unforgettable memories. We live in Los Angeles and we ™ve camped with friends and with my son, Roman's, entire preschool on the beach and in the surrounding mountains. It's by far my favorite thing to do with him. There is something so magical and beautiful about sleeping under the stars and waking up and cooking breakfast outside and spending day after day in the wilderness. My son enjoys it so much. He now counts down the days leading up to a trip, and he loves all of the traditions that we’ve created surrounding these expeditions. What I love best is watching Roman and his friends endlessly finding ways to amuse themselves in nature without any other stimulation. It's important to me, a mom who loves organic living, to instill in my child the love of nature, and camping is a great way to accomplish that.

Tips we’ve used to have a great time camping with preschoolers:

Bring your child's favorite stuffed animal and sleeping pillow from their bed and any favorite blanket. It can help with bedtime.

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Headlamps! They are endlessly entertaining for the kids and really help them navigate through the dark on their own.

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Create food and drink traditions that your child will remember and love that you save just for camping. S ™mores are the obvious but we do cowboy coffee  in the morning which is either chocolate milk or hot cocoa.

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Try to pick a site next to hiking trails or a creek. Even a small little trail can be hours of fun for little ones to explore. Also, don't be afraid to take them out for a bit on longer trails. They become so engaged in the experience they forget how far they ™ve walked! And it makes for real, sleepy campers that go to bed easily. Roman's favorite way to fall asleep is curled up in my lap sitting around the campfire. It's great because he keeps me warm.

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Bring a wagon if you have one. They can help haul things from the car if you have a walk-in site and take turns giving each other rides in it during the trip. They're safe and sturdy and don't require constant parent supervision.

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Children burn through lots of energy because of all the fresh air, excitement and activity. Make sure you have lots of healthy snacks around at all times to offer them and don't expect them to eat meals like they do at home. They're just having too much fun and too distracted.

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Invest in a good air mattress! It's so nice to get a great night sleep so you have plenty of energy to enjoy all the fun.

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Bring metal marshmallow sticks as back-up to roast marshmallows over the fire but finding the right marshmallow stick can become quite the adventure.

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Kids love their own chairs too that are just their size to go around the campfire.

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But most of all remember to relax and enjoy yourself. These are memories you will cherish and your child will remember.   Thanks Kristina for showing me that kids can learn to enjoy nature and showing us how camping is feasible!   Go check out her store for organic home products.

6 Comments

  1. We are going on our first camping trip this Friday. Thanks most of the items you suggested I have thought of, but it got my mind thinking about other things.
    Emily Bismarck ND

  2. Hey Quirky Mama,

    Will you look at my blog? Is it super stretch? I’ve always wondered how my blog looks on other computers. I like the way it looks on my laptop because before it was only a little blog and mostly background.

    Thanks,

    Katie

  3. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    I love the tips. When JDaniel gets a little bigger, we will have to go camping.

  4. Great read! We are camping on Friday and I’m glad we read this beforehand!
    .-= Linds´s last blog ..Works For Me =-.

  5. We are going on our first camping trip this Friday. Thanks most of the items you suggested I have thought of, but it got my mind thinking about other things.
    Emily Bismarck ND

  6. Camping is a perfect thing to do with kids – you just need to make sure you are going to a place that will capture their imaginations. My parents used to take all of us kids camping to a beautiful mountain campground and we used to drive around the campground as many times as it took to pick the perfect site with enough big rocks and downed trees, etc… so we could climb and jump and have tons of fun.

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