Our Top Tips For Camping, Glamping And Caravanning With Kids
With staycations at the top of the list for many of us this summer, we thought we’d share some of our tried and tested tips to make sure the whole family can make the most out of enjoying a natural, outdoors focused holiday, whether you are camping, glamping or caravanning.
Do A Test Run. If you haven’t been camping for a while, it is wise to check your tent is still intact. Pitch it in your garden or a park on a sunny day and get everyone involved in checking for mould or damp, making sure all the seams are intact and there are no holes anywhere. The same principle applies to caravans, make sure there are no damp smells or patches, check all the wiring and plumbing.
Be Prepared. Just like any Boy Scout or Girl Guide, being prepared is vital. Pack for all weathers and include plenty of changes of clothes and shoes – if you do end up being drenched in rain, it will be a lot easier to recover everybody’s spirits if you haven’t been soaked through and can change into clean, dry clothes.
Build Independence. When you have arrived, let your children experience a degree of (age appropriate) of freedom. If they have bicycles, you could let them go to the campsite shop and buy some supplies, or simply allow them to play in the campsite on their own. Remember, campsites typically have a 5mph speed limit for cars, so the risks are much lower than being on roads back at home.
Play House. Camping (and caravanning) are really like grownup excuses to ‘play house’! Get the children involved in all the practical aspects, from setting up the tent itself to arranging where everything will live, from the cooking area to making the beds and storage. Just as at home, encouraging the children to tidy up, help prepare meals and wash up is an important part of helping them to learn the importance of carrying out everyday tasks and contribute to family life positively. This is part of the reason on each of our recipe cards, we remind children that all chefs help tidy up after making their meal.
Create A Nature Adventure. Set everyone tasks to find in the natural environment around your campsite – for example, 3 smooth things, 3 rough things, 3 colourful things. You can collate a treasure trove of your collected items or see if you can make a pattern from them all, a natural form of collage.
Limit Screen Time. Ideally unplug all your devices. Children learn by watching you, if you are glued to your smartphone, they will pick up on this. It’s a holiday for you too and making an effort to not be plugged in helps everyone to talk, connect and slow down.
Play Games. Forty forty is a great camping, outdoors game. It is a combination of elements of ‘it’ and ‘hide and seek’; allocate a safe base or ‘homie’, a tree or your tent or caravan. One person is the ‘spy’ and has to cover their eyes and count at the base whilst everyone else hides (if your children are very young then you could hide with them and play in teams). Your mission is to get back to base under cover without being spotted by the spy and if you are caught you have to help with the spying.
Wild Swimming. This basically means swimming in natural spaces such as lakes, rivers or the sea. It has enjoyed a surge in popularity recently and with the current global health climate, it feels like an attractive option this summer. Do some research into your destination to find out if there is anywhere suitable near you, it will promise to be a cold but invigorating experience for everyone. Remember safety first!
Be Positive. Whatever the weather, remember that you are creating memories here. Make the most of the time you have together, take time to play, connect, slow down and relax with each other.
What are your favourite tips for a happy holiday? We’d love to hear from you!