By: Jennifer Murray

10 Ideas to Keep Your Campers Happy Campers

We had an awesome time camping last week, thanks to your advice and suggestions on surviving our first camping adventure. Our boys were thoroughly entertained by the great outdoors, and we never heard a complaint on being bored or wanting to go home.  Next time they said they want to camp for 5 weeks…not sure their Mama could survive without a hot bath for that long!

Obviously, we are novice campers, but if we can survive a couple of nights camping with four boys, you can with your family too!  Here’s a few things we learned along the way to keep your campers happy campers.

10 Ideas to Keep Kids Entertained While Camping:

camping with kids water fights

1.Let Them Be Good and Dirty. Let Them Be Good and Wet.

My friend Linda, (who is a mom to triplets that I greatly admire), warned me of this before we left, and lovingly reminded me to “deal with It”. I’m so glad I was prepared for the grime, and brought several changes of clothes. Water games and activities can help rinse some of the layers off, as well as keep kids (and parents) cool during the heat of the day.

 camping with kids making smores

2. Eat Your Weight in S’mores.

There’s a reason it’s the ultimate camping snack, People!  Indulge in at least one!

camping with kids reading about wildlife

3. Read Stories About Wildlife.

I took along our National Geographic Little Kids Magazine, and we read stories and did a few activities.  It was a great fit for the weekend!

camping with kids exploring nature

4. Go Explore the Great Outdoors

Enjoy the beautiful surroundings, whether it’s taking a hike on a trail or throwing rocks in the stream.  There’s so much {free} entertainment to be had!

camping with kids horseback riding

5. Take Advantage of State Park and/or Activities At Your Campground.

We happened to be staying at a state park with lots to offer: horseback riding, hayrides, a nature center, swimming, etc. Most campgrounds offer a wide selection of recreational activities. 

camping with kids cleaning up

6. Put Them to Work.

Or at least pretend work… Our boys fought (literally) over the broom.  No one told Isaac to sweep the adjacent campsite for an hour, but he was perfectly entertained doing so.  Other “jobs” could include wiping down the camper, helping make sandwiches, helping fold down the camper/tent, or other busywork. You’ll be surprised how much they enjoy working outside of their normal environment. 

camping with kids building a camp fire

7. We Didn’t Start the Fire (But We Helped).

Safety around the campfire is certainly important to emphasize to your kids.  However, that doesn’t mean they can’t help in the campfire building process.  Our boys were great helpers collecting sticks and other kindling materials.

camping with kids running

8. Run, Campers, Run!

Use those wide open spaces to your advantage.  There’s no better way to ensure peaceful sleeping campers at the end of the day! 

camping with kids toys

9. Make New Friends. (And Share Their Toys)

Camping can lead to new friendships, and the perks of playing with their toys if you play your cards right. =)  Share things that you brought along and you’ll make some other little campers happy too!

camping with kids finding wildlife    

10. Take a Walk on the Wild Side.

Keep your eyes open for things living in the woods and its surroundings.  You can take along a clear plastic container to capture them for a few minutes to better observe bugs or small critters.

What sorts of adventures have YOU had this summer?

4 Responses to “10 Ideas to Keep Your Campers Happy Campers”

  1. AmazingGreis
    August 17, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Looks like camping was a success!!

  2. Amanda
    August 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    So..are you hooked now?? We went in June and I am dying to go back!!! I so badly want to go again this season but doesn’t look like its in the cards for us. But next year, for sure!!! :)

  3. Kara
    August 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    This looks like So. Much. Fun!!!!! Where did you guys stay? This looks like an awesome campground!

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  1. Life Is Not a Coincidence - Personal Finance Round-Up - August 21, 2011

    [...] lessons from people who had the courage to do what they dreamed about. Here is one such story.10 Ideas to Keep Your Campers Happy Campers [4Tunate] Entertaining kids during the summer can be tough. No one wants to be couped up inside [...]

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