The sun is up, the skies are blue, the birds are chirping, the pavement is sizzling. Summer is here! It’s the perfect time to pack up the car and head to the woods for an unplugged weekend with nature. Some of my most cherished childhood memories are from our family camping trips on the Manistee River. Nothing will ever compare to the magic the river brought to us. However, I’m now a mother of a rambunctious toddler, and I cannot even begin to imagine how my parents handled camping with 6 of us, ranging in age from 1-15. I have a whole new perspective and respect for them! Hats off to the brave and bold parents ready to embark on that family camping trip. Here are a few camping hacks to make the trip a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable for the whole family.
- Burn sage in the campfire to keep mosquitos away
- Fill a large tote with water for baths
- Put glowsticks in water bottles for night time bowling
- Line the path to the bathroom with glowsticks
- Experiment with different types of smores; fudge stripe cookies, reeses cups, etc.
- Bring an extra tarp for the baby to play on
- Line hobo pie makers with tin foil for easy clean up
- Line tents with foam play mats, or yoga mats, for extra comfort
- Pack just the essentials
- Make a nature scavenger hunt
- Have a backup supply of boredom busters, but let your children really set the tone and explore the world around them
- Pack straws in a toothbrush container
- Pre-make pancake batter and pack it in an empty ketchup bottle for a fun and easy breakfast
Camping allows the family to disconnect and enjoy what the world has to offer. Encouraging a love for nature in young children allows them to explore and get in touch with their creative side and it also makes for amazing family memories!