Hands up if you feel under pressure to be a good parent. Most of us do. That feeling of togetherness and time to bond as a family can be challenging to find.
If I introduce the word camping now, most of you will probably recoil in horror. However, camping can be a lot of fun and spending a whole week in nature can be the most relaxing experience, and it can be great on a budget. For kids though, there’s that chance that boredom will set in after the second day. With a little bit of advance planning, these five activities should help keep the kids entertained as you enjoy your vacation.
Keep a Camp Diary
Before you go camping, pick up some hardback books that have lined paper on the inside. The hardcover is made of thicker cardboard, which makes them more durable. Set aside time each evening, have the kids write about the day, what wildlife did they see on the hiking trails, or how long did they spend in the lake. It’s an even better experience if you choose to do the same. In fact, journaling has become quite a popular hobby, particularly amongst those who practise mindfulness.
Even younger kids can participate in this activity by drawing photos, and you write down the explanation of the picture. Leave room in the diary to add photos later on after the trip is over; the follow-up activity will just help create the memory.
I always find it amusing that an expensive item like a torch can provide so much fun. You can create animals and other creatures at night whilst lying in your sleeping bag inside a tent. Have the kids try to figure out what animal you are making. If your children are night owls, try taking a midnight stroll. Simply grab a couple of torches and go for a walk. Just remember safety first; stay on the tracks and remain close to the site.
Beach Balls and Other Inflatable Toys
Take a trip to a local shop, such as Wilko or Poundland, and pick up some inflatables. This type of toy is perfect for camping because until you blow them up, they are relatively compact, so you can bring several items and the space used will be limited.
Beach balls can be used for lake games such as volleyball or just trying to keep the ball from touching the water. Other inflatables come in all sorts of variety; I recently was given a pink flamingo, which my youngest daughter is obsessed with! Kids can use these animal inflatables as a way to foster their imagination during play.
The Frisbee is an old-time favourite. Kids can spend hours playing with a Frisbee and trying new tricks. If you’re lucky, you might even find the local park offers the equipment to play Frisbee golf or Ultimate Frisbee, which would definitely add to the fun.
Pick up a few books before the trip. The books can be purchased second hand at a charity shop or car boot sale. Alternatively, go to a local bookshop. Although smaller, independent stores are usually more than willing to order in anything you may wish that they do not currently stock. Let the kids pick out special books just for the camping trip. Books can be read during quiet times during the day as well as at bedtime, encouraging a restful night’s sleep.