These 36 tips from an experienced family camper will help you get your little ones away for the weekend without any fuss. Plus, the list includes loads of cool camping games and activities to keep everyone entertained!
Topic: Who Comes To Your House When You’re Not There?
Tent camping with toddlers can be a fun and rewarding experience. But it also requires being prepared for the unexpected, so make sure you have these 36 useful tips in your back pocket.
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Kids of all ages like being outside, so taking your toddler tent camping is an excellent opportunity to expose him to the great outdoors. With all of the new sights and noises, he’ll be ecstatic. However, if you’re not prepared, camping with lively tiny toddlers might be difficult.
I’ve compiled a list of 36 recommendations for tent camping with toddlers so that the whole family can enjoy the experience.
When and where should you go?
1. Camping in the summer
Plan on camping during the summer months, when the weather is pleasant and practically ideal, unless you’re prepared for chilly weather and have all of the necessary camping equipment.
2. Remain close to your house
Stay close to home until your kid is a seasoned camper. If you have to abruptly end your camping excursion, you’ll want to be able to return home as soon as possible.
Another reason to select a campground near to home is that most toddlers dislike being in the automobile for lengthy periods of time. If you travel for hours to get to your campground, you may find yourself with a grumpy youngster. And this isn’t the best way to begin your camping adventure.
3. Campgrounds that are kid-friendly
Look for kid-friendly campsites if at all feasible. A playground will be put up for your child to play in at these campsites.
Some family campsites also provide entertaining organized activities for kids, such as a nature walk or a story time about the local wildlife. Your child is never too young to participate in some of these activities, as long as you supervise them.
Other features that will make your camping vacation with a child simpler are a handy bathroom and a warm water shower.
4. Select a camping location
If at all feasible, pick your own campsite rather than using the campground’s. Your best location is one that is flat, near the restroom, and away from water.
What to Bring
5. Tubs for packing
Using transparent plastic containers that you can see through while packing any of your camping stuff is a terrific idea. You won’t have to name them or take the lid off to see what’s inside, and you’ll know precisely what’s in each.
Keep all of your toddler’s belongings in a separate container, including clothes, toys, and even some of his favorite foods in little bags.
Bring enough clothes for the amount of days you’ll be gone…plus a little more. When your child gets filthy or wet, it’s usually a good idea to keep a few spare shirts, trousers, jammies, and socks on hand.
Clothing with long and short sleeves, as well as coats and sweaters, should be included. When you’re camping, the weather may change in an instant, and you want to be prepared. The same may be said about footwear. Make sure your youngster has at least two pairs of shoes.
7. Baby wipes and diapers
Bring more than you think you’ll need, just as you would for clothes. Include an extra package of diapers with your camping supplies. Take at least three wipes packages. They may be used not just for diaper changes, but also for keeping the rest of the family clean.
8. Mitts and hats
Mornings and evenings in the outdoors may be pretty cold depending on the time of year and where you’re camping. For these occasions, bring a thick hat and mittens. They won’t take up much space, so even if you don’t use them, they’ll be there when you do.
9. Is it time to start potty training?
Plan on taking the toilet with you on your camping vacation if you’re in the process of potty training at home. Otherwise, you’ll lose whatever progress you’ve made.
It’s important to bring the same potty that your kid uses at home so that everything is consistent. Be patient, and be prepared for mishaps. To make things simpler during the journey, consider utilizing diapers at night.
10. Use a headlamp
If your child is old enough to walk, placing a light on him at night will offer you peace of mind. You’ll be able to observe where he is at the campground with ease. Having his own light will be a fun experience for your kid while you’re both going to the restroom in the dark.
Glow-stick bracelets, which your youngster may wear around his wrist, are another alternative for lighting up the night that is just as entertaining.
Backpack No. 11
Expect to be carrying your child throughout the day, even if he is mobile. After playing at the playground and going back to your campground, he’ll be exhausted.
Invest in a backpack made for older children if you don’t already have one — sturdy straps and padding are essential for both you and your child’s comfort. With a backpack, you may plan treks that are a bit farther away from the campground.
12. Use the play mat
A play mat is great for camping, even if your child prefers to walk rather than crawl. At the campground, your toddler may play on the mat to keep him out of the dirt for a while.
You can also fold up the play mat and bring it to the beach or on a picnic.
Sleeping with your toddler is a great way to bond with him or her.
13. A tent-sleeping practice session
Don’t take it for granted that your child will enjoy sleeping in the tent. It’s an unknown and new area, you could not be sleeping when he is, and the campground may be too loud or too quiet for him to go asleep quickly.
It’s a good idea to do a practice run at home before going for your vacation. In the backyard, set up the tent… and behave like you would if you were camping. This offers your child a solid notion of what to anticipate when you’re really doing it.
14. Sleeping companions
Whatever you do, don’t forget your toddler’s favorite blanket or stuffed animal at home. Forgetting about this sleeping companion invites a child to reject to even attempt to sleep.
Make sure that this blanket or toy is only used at night and that it remains in the tent.
15. Take a nap
If your kid sleeps at home, be sure to schedule naps at the campground as well. When you go camping, your child will be even more fatigued since playing and running about in the fresh air is taxing for him.
If you skip the nap, you’ll almost certainly have an unhappy youngster on your hands.
16. Sleeping cot on the road
Setting up a mobile playpen for your kid is perfect for sleeping arrangements if your tent is large enough. You’ll be considerably more comfortable sleeping in your own sleeping bag without him, and he’ll be safe and secure in his own small bed!
This arrangement may not work for you if you co-sleep with your kid at home. Consider purchasing a travel cot with a top netting that can be zipped. This will help keep mosquitoes at bay.
17. Co-sleeping in a safe manner
While you co-sleep at home, you’ll also co-sleep when you’re camping. If your child is suddenly expected to sleep on his own, he may refuse to do so. Purchase a double sleeping pad and a double sleeping bag so that you and your child can both sleep peacefully.
Make sure you’re sleeping near the tent entrance so that if your kid wakes up in the middle of the night, he doesn’t have to crawl over you to get out. Consider installing a kid safety lock on the door if you’re a light sleeper so he can’t escape.
18. Be ready to wake up in the middle of the night.
Expect your kid to not sleep through the night while you’re camping, even if he does at home. Sleeping in a strange area implies he’ll probably wake up at least once, if not twice.
Prepare a strategy for coping with nocturnal wakings. Tell him he can’t go out of the tent or get up and start playing.
What if he’s wailing and crying? Prepare yourself for it as well. Read or sing to him, let him know you’re there, and do whatever you can to help him feel better.
More food, more food, more food, more food, more food, more food, more food,
19. Keep it straightforward.
When camping with a child, don’t expect to prepare beautiful campfire dinners. Although it seems to be a fun and delectable concept, the fact is that you won’t have much time to prepare and cook.
Your kid and the rest of the family will be hungry for breakfast, lunch, and supper, and there will be no time to wait until you light the campfire or heat up the camp stove.
Plan simple, quick meals that you can serve at the picnic table in no time. Sandwiches, hot dogs, and canned soup are all good options.
20. Bring a lot of snacks.
When you go camping, your toddler will use more energy than he does at home. Always have enough of food on hand to avoid a grouchy toddler who is hungry.
Fruit, crackers and cheese, and baked oatmeal cookies are all good nutritious snack alternatives that you know your kid will consume.
How to Keep Your Toddler Busy
21. Bring a few of your favorite toys.
Favorite, well-known toys can assist your youngster in settling down. He’ll like having a few toys that bring back memories of his childhood. And you’ll know he won’t be seeking for anything else to do during the few minutes he’s playing with his trains.
22. Don’t forget to bring toys that can be cleaned.
When you go camping, you may expect your gadgets to become filthy. If your toddler is still putting things in his mouth, you’ll want to make sure the toys you pack on your vacation are washable.
23. Is it possible to have too many toys?
To keep your child occupied, it’s tempting to carry a whole container full of toys. But don’t go overboard. The majority of the toys you bring will not be used. Your youngster will be too preoccupied in exploring the campground, digging in the mud and sand, and collecting twigs and stones.
Limit the items you pack to those you know your kid will like – a few books, vehicles for dirt play, and pails and scoops for sand and water play. Select certain toys to be used outdoors and others to be used inside the tent on rainy days or in the evenings before sleep.
24. Toys for toddlers
It’s simple to choose toys for your child… Here are some suggestions:
- Toys for squirting
- large balls
- shovels and pails
- binoculars for kids
- crayons and coloring books
25. Bring one new toy with you.
When your kid is experiencing a meltdown, having a new item that he hasn’t seen before comes in helpful. You may be able to swiftly prevent a problem if you pull it out at the proper time.
Bubbles for a good time
Think about purchasing a bubble machine. They are inexpensive and a terrific way to keep your youngster occupied.
Scavenger hunt (number 27)
Bring some non-toxic paint with you and let your child color some tiny pebbles. Hide them around the campground for him to find when they’re dry.
Another thing you may do is conceal plastic Easter eggs for him to find. This is a fantastic technique to get him a bit more tired before his nap.
28. Having a good time on a rainy day
The weather prediction calls for bright skies and clear sky. Don’t be deceived by this prediction; while you’re camping, the weather is continually changing. Prepare yourself.
Even if it just rains for an hour, your child will get bored if you simply sit around watching the raindrops fall. Assemble a raincoat and boots for your kid, then let him roam around stomping in the mud and puddles. He’ll be overjoyed at the shambles he’s creating.
Prepare some tent activities for rainy days that last longer. Books, basic puzzles, simple crafts, and toddler-friendly games are all great options. Make a separate container for these rainy-day activities so they’re simple to discover.
Concerns about safety
29. Keeping a campfire safe
Explain the dangers of campfires to your child, but don’t expect him to completely comprehend the dangers of fire. You’ll need to keep an eye on him whenever he’s near the fire.
Some parents suggest that your youngster sit on a particular chair. Place his own camping chair at least 5 feet from the fire pit. Let him know that this is his special chair, and that he is not permitted to go any closer to the fire with it.
30. Insect repellent and sunscreen
Always shield your child from the heat and insects, particularly mosquitoes that emerge in the early evening. For both, look for non-toxic products.
Apply sunscreen first thing in the morning and throughout the day. Insect repellant is the same way. The last thing you want is a sunburned or insect-bitten child.
31. An emergency medical kit
Never leave home without a first-aid kit, since this will ensure that you are prepared for any accidents that may occur. You may purchase first-aid kits that include everything you’ll need. Bandages, gauze, and disinfectant wipes
Plants that are harmful to humans are number 32.
Take the time to learn about the plants that thrive in the region where you’ll be camping, as well as which ones are hazardous, like certain wild berries. Because your toddler won’t be able to discern the difference, you’ll have to keep an eye out for these plants.
Plants should never be placed in or near your child’s mouth, according to a good guideline to educate them. Even so, you’ll need to keep an eye on things at all times. Toddlers are fascinated by the environment around them, and certain plants may be too appealing to them.
Camping with a Toddler
Expect things to get filthy, number 33.
When you’re outside, it’s inevitable that things will become filthy. Regardless of how hard you try to keep your toddler clean, he will get into dirt, sand, and water. But isn’t it part of the camping experience?
Allow yourself to let go of things that you wouldn’t do at home. Your kid will not be harmed by a little dirt. When you’re not following your youngster about with a bunch of wipes, you’ll be able to rest more.
34. Involve your youngster in the process
Your toddler wants to feel like he’s a part of the whole camping experience, so include him by assigning him tiny tasks. Have something tiny for him to take from the vehicle to the tent, such a little backpack with a few toys inside.
When you’re making lunch, ask him to assist you in setting up the picnic table. He’ll have much more pleasure assisting at the campground if he enjoys being a little helper at home.
35. Stick to a schedule
Maintain a regimen for napping, sleeping, and food times as much as possible. This simple habit can prevent your kid from being grumpy…or worse!
36. It is OK to depart early.
It’s OK to pack up and go early if you’ve planned to camp for four days and your child has had enough by day three. The last thing you want is for your youngster to despise camping to the point that he complains when it’s time to plan your next vacation.
Camping with your child may need some preparation, but every minute spent together will be well worth it. What camping with your toddler is all about is seeing your child’s face light up when they see a squirrel go by or when they’re gathering sticks on a trek.
You’re ready to pack up and expose your toddler to the pleasure and thrill of an outdoor family trip with these 36 suggestions for tent camping with a toddler.
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