June 15, 2010

10 Activities for a Campout

The start of the summer is a time for family trip and vacations.  For our family that means camp outs, my husbands idea of vacation.  For families with young children, camp-outs can be intimidating.  A camp-out  has less safety in the environment, less toys to keep them occupied and no television to distract them.  This is a recipe for bored and cranky kids unless you provide some creative options. 

There is a simple way to overcome all these obstacles: going prepared!  The first thing to remember when packing is a large blanket for the kids to play on.  Also bring some paper bags for collecting things, paper and crayons, flash lights, bubbles, fishing poles, extra blankets or sheets, a GPS, hangers, marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. 

1.  Leaf collecting and drawing
2.  Dirt Drawings
3.  Hiking
4.  Treasure Hunting
5.  Bubbles
6.  Fishing
7.  Forts
8.  Searching for animals
9.  Geo-cashing
10.  Smores

1.  Leaf Collecting:  The forest has so many new and different trees that our kids aren't used to seeing at home.  Take advantage of this educational opportunity to show them how trees are so different.  Collect as many leaves in different shapes as you can and have then count the point on the leaves and describe it.  Then have your kids trace it onto some paper.

2.  Dirt Drawings:  This is a flashback to being bored at a tee-ball game when you were a kid and spent an inning pushing a stick around the dirt, but this time it's on purpose.  Find some sticks the kids love and have them try to draw shapes in the dirt.  Too advanced for your toddler?  Draw shapes in the dirt and ask your little one to name the shape.

3.  Hiking:  Take a walk through the forest, not too long, but have your kids be the guides.  Just be sure to remember how to get back.

4.  Treasure Hunt:  This will take a bit of prep work on the parental end, but should be super fun!  Draw a map of the camp area and lead them to a hidden treasure.  Make it fairly simple for your younger ones, and more difficult for the older ones.  Don't forget to leave a treasure.  Maybe Bubbles?!

5.  Bubbles:  Now that they have their bubbles, let them blow!  It's a simple outdoor activity that always wins over the kids.

6.  Fishing:  Obviously this applies only to camp area's with water, but fishing can be a great activity for 2-3 year-old kids.  Don't fish too long, make it a more appropriate amount of time for a younger child.

7.  Forts:  Have the kids build their own forts, with extra blankets and sticks.  Have one for girls and one for boys.  They can play separately or defend their forts from 'invasion' from the others. 

8.  Search for Animals:  Sit in your camp area or walk the perimeter searching for different animals.  Teach them about the animals.

9.  Geo-caching:  This is a great activity for dads to take the kids on.  It's a bit like a treasure hunt and a hike mixed together.  You will need your GPS device to find a hidden item.  The only thing is needing to see ahead of time if there is a geo-cache in the area of your camp site.

10.  Smores:  Nothing says summer time camp-out better than smores!  So roast some mallows around a campfire and enjoy the treat!Your kids are sure too love them as much as you do!

1 comment:

  1. We do most of the above. We'll have to try the treasure hunt next time. I have to admit: I look forward to the S'mores more than my boys do. My daughter, on the other hand, is just like her mama!



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