Camping With Kids?
Camping with kids may seem like a challenge for the caravan and camping novice. Even if you’ve never taken your children on a family camping holiday and they spend most of their time attached to electronic devices, it is possible for kids to enjoy outdoor holidays. It’s amazing how adaptable kids are. We’ve gathered together a few ideas to help if you are planning to go camping with kids.
Packing For Your Caravan or Camping Holiday
The best way to prepare when camping with kids is to only pack essentials. Don’t get caught thinking you need to throw in a few extras for ‘just in case’. Over packing on a caravan holiday is one of the lessons seasoned caravan and campers learn early. The more you have stuffed into cupboards and at the bottom of bags, the more disorganised life becomes when you’re living in cramped conditions. Additionally, you need to be aware not to exceed your tow weight limit when towing a caravan.
Here’s some ideas for what to pack when camping with kids.
- Layers – pack clothes that enable kids to begin the day dressed for the cold and gradually peel off top layers as they get warmer.
- Spares – make sure you have a spare change of clothes available in case of accidents. But remember you only need one spare change of clothes. Not ten!
- Rainy weather – whether it’s a raincoat or even just a plastic poncho that can be folded and fit into a pocket, protection for wet weather is essential.
- Sun protection – most parents don’t need to be reminded about this. Pack a sun hat!
- Sleeping – sleeping bags (rather than doonas) are better for sleeping, because they take up less room.
- Seating – think about purchasing an appropriate sized chair for each child. Child sized chairs are smaller and enable each child to carry their own chair to the beach or to and from a cooking/eating station.
- Table – a separate kid’s sized table is a life saver, enabling kids to draw, play games and eat, while you use the main table for more important things – like preparing dinner or sitting back with a beer.
- Outdoor toys – bikes, canoes, bats and balls.
- Electronic devices – parents may be divided on whether to pack these. Use discretion. The decision to go camping with kids may be about giving your children an experience away from all the mod cons of daily living. Either don’t take them at all or pack a limited number of devices and have rules around when they can be used. For example, some parents only allow their kids to play with their games if the weather means it’s not possible to be outside.
- Chargers – Use a central location in your caravan for storing chargers, so you don’t lose track.
- Back pack – packing a backpack for each child is a good way of distributing the load when you go on a hike. It also encourages children to be self sufficient and prioritise their needs for the day.
Activities For Camping With Kids
It’s now time to get on with the holiday. Camping encourages children to use their imagination and to explore the natural world. It’s also an opportunity for families to spend quality time together and increase bonding. As much as possible get kids involved in the everyday activities and give them regular chores.
Here are some ideas for activities with the kids:
- Keep active – biking, walking, swimming. Choose activities that burn energy. Walks don’t have to be only during daylight. Pack good quality torches and explore the bush in the evening.
- Explore your surroundings – depending on where you are camping encourage kids to explore the natural world. Fossick at the beach, collecting shells and driftwood. Be inquisitive about insects, birds and plants.
- Cooking – Camping with kids is a great opportunity to get kids cooking, where making a mess doesn’t matter. Find some fun camping recipes, like classic Australian damper, and turn kids on to cooking.
- Make a fire – get kids involved with making a fire each night and teach them about fire safety.
- The night sky – there’s a whole universe above you. Look at the night sky and find different constellations. Tell stories.
- Learn new games – bond as a family and learn some fun card games to play after dark around the table. Bring a long a favourite board game that everyone can play.
Before you head off on a holiday with the family, don’t forget to attend to any caravan modifications or repairs before you go and have your caravan serviced regularly. When you’re travelling during the busy season, it’s important to stay safe on the road.
For any questions about caravan safety or caravan servicing, talk to us at Emu Caravan Repairs. We’re located in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.