Camping with preschoolers is a great experience. It’s delightful to see them outdoors exploring their environment. Here are some tips to make camping with preschoolers a breeze.
Let your child experience what it’s like sleeping outdoors before you pack up and go camping. A backyard campout is ideal as it allows you to introduce your preschooler to the sights and sounds of nature at night. A backyard campout will enable you to observe if your child will be comfortable camping outside away from the home. You may find that you need to put off the camping trip for a couple of months until they’ve outgrown their fear of sleeping outside.
Choose to go camping when the weather is warm. Camping when it’s cold and damp can ruin the trip especially if your child hates being cold.
Be sure you bring all those things that your preschooler can’t live without. This may include a special blanket or stuffed animal. You should also pack any medications your child may need while camping and a thermometer. As always take a first aid kit along when you go camping.
Try to choose a campsite that is near bathroom facilities. Most preschoolers don’t like using the bathroom in the bushes.
Once you find the perfect campsite involve your preschooler in the campsite setup. You can give them a special play tent where they can store what they brought on the trip.
Give your child their very own flashlight. This will make them look forward to night instead of dreading it. Be sure to bring along extra batteries since they may be too scared to turn the flashlight off when they go to bed.
Show your preschooler where to take the garbage, and tell them how important it is to keep the area clean. You may want to avoid going into details about how food can attract wild animals so you don’t scare them. Instead you can tell them that some animals get sick when they eat people food, and it’s important that the garbage is thrown away.
Once your campsite is set up take your child around the area and point out things that may interest him or her. While you’re doing this point out things that they should avoid such as poison ivy or sharp rocks.
Let your child pick and choose camping activities to do. Bring along some fun games from home that you can play during the down times. You should also bring things from home that your child can do alone. This can include coloring books, puzzles, dolls, and push toys.