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Going camping with kids

Going camping with kids…kids love it, enjoying the freedom of the open air and finding lots of things to entertain themselves with. It can be a great learning experience and an excellent opportunity for them to make new friends. Going camping with kids will encourage them to understand and appreciate the importance of nature and help them build confidence when they learn to do things on their own. Parents also find this is an ideal opportunity to spend quality time, interact and bond with their children. The trip can be an extremely refreshing, fulfilling, and enjoyable experience if planned and organised well.

Tips to make sure the camping with children experience goes well:

• If you’re camping with kids for the first time go away for only one or two nights and don’t go too far from home.
• Before you arrive at the campsite, ensure you have a set of rules framed and explained and make sure the kids follow them.
• Establish geographic boundaries within the campsite so your children do not stray too far from the tent.
• Allow your children to carry whistles or hand held radios.
• Talk to them in advance of the trip about what they should expect during the time away including the different sleeping, eating and showering arrangement.
• Research the campsite to make sure sufficient resources and entertainment are available to keep the kids amused.
• Check the weather forecast to help ensure the weather doesn’t spoil the occasion.

Research activities and games to do on wet days.

• Plan to arrive at the campsite in plenty of time before dark as setting up the campsite takes longer with children around.
a18-children-tug-o-war-ireland-06jpg-283x300• Encourage teamwork and organisation by getting the children involved in putting up the tent and setting up camp.
• Pack more than you need as buying forgotten items may be difficult.
• Make sure enough blankets are available in case the nights are cold.
• Provide torches for the children to help make them feel safe.
• Pack lots of games and toys, for example, footballs, kites, tennis rackets and frisbees.
• Warn them that they may hear different “countryside” sounds at night and that it is nothing to be scared of.
• Give them some freedom to explore as this will enhance this memorable occasion.
Encourage them to make friends with other children in neighboring tents as this will make their trip much more exciting

Some camping games for you to play…

Remember to take lots of camping games on your trip, especially if you have a young family. The weather will not always permit outdoor activities, and so it is best to be prepared for being “tent bound” for at least part of your holiday. To avoid having to play Hide and Seek for hours try some of the following games and camping activities (remember to take the correct equipment with you!)

  • Card Games:
  • Quiet Activities:
  • Board Games:
  • Active Activities:
• Poker
• Snap
• Brag
• Whist
• Cribbage
• Black Jack
• Old Maid
• War
• Trumps
• Solitaire
• Rummy
• Connect the Dots
• Hangman
• Crossword Puzzles
• Word Searches
• Sketching Cartoons
• Drawing
• Painting
• Jigsaw Puzzles
• Colouring Books
• Stickers
• Scrapbooking
• Activity Books
• Crafts
• Reading
• Writing journals
• Charades
make sure you pack lots of paper, pens, glue, paints, paint brushes, paint pots, etc
• Draughts
• Chess
• Dominos
• Monopoly
• Backgammon
• Yahtzee
• Battleships
• Pictionary
• Scattergories
• Jenga
• Hide-n-Seek
• Flashlight Tag
• Frisbee
• Bike Riding
• Tug of War
• Catch
• Skipping
• Boules
• Tennis
• Badminton
• Rugby
• Kite flying

Featured Games:

Hotter, colder:
This is an object hiding game. Someone goes out of the room and the other players hide an object, such as a frisbee. The person then comes back into the room, and they try to find the mystery object. As they get closer to the object, they are told by the other players that they are getting hotter. As they move away from the object, they are told that they are getting colder. If they get very close, they are “burning”, if very far they are “freezing”.

Tiddlywinks:
For this game, you need some plastic tiddlywinks (if none are available some small coins, e.g., 1p or 5p, and some larger coins, e.g., 2p or 10p will do) and a cup or bowl.
You take it into turns to flip your small winks (or small coins). To do this hold the shooter piece (the larger tiddlywink or large coins) between your forefinger and thumb and press down on the edge of the smaller piece. The aim is to be the first one to get all your winks in the bowl.

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