Camping with children
A few weeks ago our family went camping, something we now do on a regular basis. As our family is on the bigger side with six people, camping has always been a great way to get away without costing a fortune. I like to think of our version of camping “glamping” because I refuse to camp anywhere without a toilet and shower. Simple requests I know but essential for me to venture out in our pop top and actually enjoy it.
I also have a few other requirements (now I am sounding a little like a princess) but with 4 children all varying ages, I need to make sure there is enough for them to do so I can selfishly relax and have a holiday too. Some of my essentials when looking at a campsite are:
- Must have water somewhere – either a pool, a beach near by or a lake to swim in. I find that water is something all my children enjoy and it makes them tired and sleep better at night.
- Must have somewhere to ride a bike or scooter or skateboard. My girls are a little older and can sit still for an hour reading a book (or playing on iPad) but my boys need to keep moving. Having somewhere they can ride, ride, ride is important to exert some of this energy.
- Must have coffee close by. You may laugh at this but I need my coffee in the morning or I am not going to survive the day.
Some essentials that my kids would love but I don’t care either way are:
- Does the campground have WiFi?
- Is there a basketball court/footy oval/ skate ramp/netball court/soccer field? Nice but not essential.
- Is there a jumping pillow? Again nice to have but not essential.
- Is the pool heated? Yep that is what kids want these days.
- Is there a corner shop to buy lollies and ice-creams?
As hard as it is for some of us to part with things such as our phones or iPods, especially for teenagers, sometimes it’s good to take a break from technology and just relax. I still check my blog and make comments while I am away but not to the extent I do when I am at home. I need to hide from the kids at times because I feel guilty making them put theirs away and I have mine on..lol.
If you have never been camping and want to give it a go, here are some tips you can take away with you when planning your first camping trip.
1. Don’t over think it. Camping is just another holiday and meant to be fun. If you need to pack a million clothes and essentials from home, then do so as you will realise when you settle in at the campsite, you probably won’t use half of it.
2. Pack a board game or 2. I am not one of those parents who gets down and plays with her children. Sadly I never have. But when we camp it is different. There is no TV and iPads/ipods/phones are limited, so there is nothing left but to socialise as a family. A good board game like monopoly or Cluedo are wonderful with kids of all ages. Don’t forget to have a pack of UNO too.
3. Choose somewhere that has a few luxuries, especially for the first time. Not only include my list of essentials above but also include a few of the kids essential list. This way everyone is happy and hopefully will have so much fun that camping becomes a natural part of your lives.
4. Pack heaps of easy to prepare foods. Camping is all about relaxing and nothing will destroy the ‘vibe’ of the place is having to spend hours preparing elaborate meals. A barbecue is essential with campers and there are so many wonderful recipes to barbecuing.
5. Always pack your Ugg boots and a jumper, no matter what the weather says. When you camp you tend to spend a lot of time outside. When the sun goes down, so too does the temperature. There is nothing worse than being cold and having nothing extra to put on.