Camping Life: Entertaining the Kids

Camping life with kids - camping tips

Kids and camping once went hand in hand. Kids used to love camping. They saw it as adventure in the great outdoors. Many of today’s kids, however, see camping as boring. They’re so addicted to video games and television that being parted from their screen is enough to send them into sheer panic. And if parents force the youngsters to leave the cell phones and iPods behind on a camping trip, well, that’s simply unthinkable!

Parents with kids who enjoy the camping life realize the need to unwind and de-stress every once in a while. They like having the opportunity to leave their hectic world behind, and if this means doing without a few modern conveniences and forms of instant entertainment while outdoor camping, so much the better. Unfortunately, most kids don’t see it that way, so camping with kids is often a challenge.

So how do you entertain the kids on a camping trip? Here are a few camping tips that might help with kids:

Storytelling

Storytelling is the oldest form of literature, but now it’s a lost art. Do modern parents even do this? A great way to entertain kids while camping is a good old fashioned campfire tale. Use lots of details to hold your listeners’ attention, but make sure it’s age appropriate. You don’t want to be up all night with a frightened child.

Another storytelling idea is to start a progressive story. You begin, and another camper picks up where you left off, adding their own part of the plot development. This continues until the last camper provides the ending. This is a great way to involve the kids and to let them use their imaginations and improve their sequencing skills. This kind of storytelling could become a regular part of your camping life.

Nature walks

Take the kids on a nature walk. If you know beforehand about the flora and fauna in your camping area, you could make guides on the computer, showing photos of the different plants and critters the kids might see. Have them check off the ones they can identify during the walk.

Scavenger hunt

This activity is a different take on the nature walk. Make a list of things the kids are likely to find on a nature walk and have them collect them and bring them to you. These might include certain kinds of leaves, bark, pine needles, rocks, bugs, a bird feather, etc. if you have more than one kid in tow, you can make it a contest and offer a small prize for the winner.

Biking

Many campgrounds have bike paths, or they at least allow biking in certain areas. This is a great way for the kids to have fun and get some exercise at the same time. Just toss the bikes in your auto and go!

Bird watching

Purchase a field guide about birds before you go camping. Do a little research, too, to discover which species frequent the area you’ll be visiting. Kids will have fun trying to identify different birds by the photos in the guide, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a nest or two!

Photography

If your kids don’t have their own camera, let them borrow yours, or buy them a cheap one. Offer a few tips on photography, and let them have fun searching for interesting subjects. If you camp often, the kids might want to make a scrapbook about the camping life.

Star gazing

My kids used to love this when we went camping! Find an open space that’s away from any lights. Spread out the sleeping bags, and enjoy searching the night sky for constellations, specific stars, and meteors. If you provide a constellation chart, this activity will be even more meaningful. A telescope would also be a great addition to your camping life!

Sports while camping

Many campgrounds have areas that are open enough for sports, and the entire family can get involved. Think football, croquet, dodge ball, or catch. All these are simple and don’t require a lot of bulky equipment. You might even have enough space to set up a badminton net, which is lightweight and portable. Another option is horseshoes.

Games

Take along a deck of cards, checkers, or some board games on your camping trips. These require more than one person to play, so everyone can take part. For two-person games like checkers, you could hold a tournament.

Make it family time

Camping with kids should be enjoyable and laid back. Even if your campsite comes complete with electricity, leave the video games and the portable television at home - even if you're camping with kids. Use your camping trip as a chance for family members to reconnect. Who knows – you might actually find that you enjoy talking to each other! Hopefully, your kids will realize that camping is recreational and fun.

Check out the great camping gear, tents, and camping equipment below!

To read more about camping life, click on the links below the camping equipment!

More by this Author


Comments 74 comments

Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

I sure hope that when my kids get a little older they enjoy doing something like this; I would love it.

Next week we're going to Disney and we'll be doing some "faux camping" at the wilderness cabins (which have a full kitchen and bathroom - hey, it's Disney!)


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

Ah, I have given up camping with the kids (grandchildren will be next, unless I rent a few young ones), and strictly believe that for the time being I will camp for myself. A nice cabin with a fireplace will do nicely! But it's not over yet, and sooner or later the tent will reappear like it never left at all!

Great Hub!

Kaie


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

The cabins sound really primitive, Lily - not!! lol! Have a great trip! Wave to me if you go down I-75!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Kaie, I haven't camped in a few years, either. I'm not sure my back would cooperate! lol


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

I love this hub! Reminds me of all the times I roughed it out in the SCARY woods with my friends. It has been ages since I have camped and after reading this Habee, I have to admit to missing it a bit!


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Great hub. Love to camp.


brethodge profile image

brethodge 6 years ago from USA

Cool boss! You have seriosuly given me the inspiration to get married and have kids to take them to camping lols.. Very interesting hub :)


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

I miss it, too, Ann!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Good for you, Sandy! Watch out for insecticides! lol


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I went on camping, years ago, with our son in Italy and I thoroughly enjoyed. You gave me an idea. Thank you.


SidneyMorgan profile image

SidneyMorgan 6 years ago from Australia

Sounds like some good family fun away from 'The Simpsons' and the PS3. Now I just need to convince the family.


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Lots of fun - a great way to share quality time with your family - lots of options.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Great hub. You really do it all. Me, I have never camped in my life.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

Oh habee this is a AWESOME hub, aLL those great ideas are wonderful and I'm sure experienced campers do need the help not to mention the newbies who want to explore camping. Parents today are finding it hard to compete with technology and how to pull their kids away from it. This is packed with just flat out great ideas. I'm gonna tweet and share on face etc. Rate UP! Peace:)


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

I think camping is so important for children, especially today with video games, etc so that they can learn to love AND appreciate nature. Great hub!!!


entertianmentplus profile image

entertianmentplus 6 years ago from United States

Love to camp out.Some of my best memories are of our camping trips.-thanks


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

My children used to love bedtime stories with Tom & Jerry as the heroes. Before going camping with one of them aged 10, I went and bought a mouse and a cat soft toys, without his knowledge. When I started the usual story telling, I suddenly brought out the mouse toy and then the cat toy moving them about as actors in the story. His EXPRESSION! I would not change that moment for a million dollars. :-)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I remember those days! They are about 100 years ago though.


MDucusin profile image

MDucusin 6 years ago from Washington

Great suggestions! My kids LOVE camping and look forward to it every year. We do most of the things you suggested and there is never a time when anyone is bored! Camping is about fun and relaxation out in nature. Family time. I love hearing about other families who like to camp. If you can get the kids started when they are young, they will be hooked for a lifetime!!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Good, HH! I'm glad!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Ha! funny, Bret!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Good luck, Sidney!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Billy, thanks for reading!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Bpop, I can't believe that!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Katie! I was just listening to some Hendrix over at your place!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Herbi, I'm not sure most kids even know what nature is these days.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Howdy, Entertainment! Good to see ya!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

You always impress me, de Greek!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

For me, too, Audrey!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Mducusin, Good for you!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

You've got some indispensible tips in here, Habee!!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

I like camping...loved it when I was younger. I need to be up off the ground now as a grownup...but none-the-less I survive. It's been about two years since I have been camping. The hubby takes the kids almost once a month camping and fishing...They love it!! Great story and great tips.... Lockermann


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 6 years ago from Washington MI

You are so right about kids and camping being a challenge. It seems a few years ago when they were smallish, they liked it more, but as they reach that 9 and on age they find EVERYTHING boring. We don't allow phones or TV when camping. All your tips are fantastic. If there is a lake, ocean or river that is always helpful, there is swimming and rafting in the daytime. At night if you can have a fire, having a cookout and stories is always the best route. I really enjoyed this hub. Thank you :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Habee, You must be one busy woman. It seems like you know how to do so many things and then you always write these great hubs. Keep up the good work!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Chris! Good to see ya, buddy!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Lockerman, that's great of your hubby! I used to love camping when I was younger, but with my aches and pains, I kinda prefer camping at an oceanfront condo now! lol


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Beanrider, I went through the bored phase with my kids. thanks for reading!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Pam, my hubby and kids say I know everything! lol


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

habee! Got a kick out of this hub! My kids and I have set up camp in our backyard in the avocado orchard......we pretend like we are out in the mountains, hang in the tents, pull metal detectors out, tell stories and then wait til it is dark to sleep in the tents. The last time, we made it to 11pm and then my little one says "can we go inside now?" It was sooo funny! Really. Classic moments! Best, G


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Gpage, my pals and I used to do that! good times...


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Great ideas for camping activities, habee. I am so 'homesick' for camping (don't know, technically what else to call it) now after reading this hub! I think I'm gonna march outside and go take out my pillow and sleeping bag and sleep outside tonight.......

Oh wait... I'm in Canada... we're not sure winter is over here yet.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Love camping! thanks for these great ideas.

Love and peace

Tony


eerddff123 profile image

eerddff123 6 years ago

An excellent read


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz

Camping is great! Over the years we've accumulated quite a collection of camping gear, which all helps to make it more enjoyable. In fact we just got back from a three day'er at a great camp-site on the beach; Me, my wonder-wife, and kids (20, 18, 8, 6), and the son-in-law. He actually caught us some flat-head, gutted and filleted and we cooked on the fire; delicious! Camping is wonderful family fun. Brilliant hub, thanks ;)


Rismayanti profile image

Rismayanti 6 years ago from Tropical Island

great hub.. remind for family unity and stengthen.. thank you for good hub


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Mythbuster, maybe call it "tent sick"?? lol


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Good to see you, Tony!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

thanks, eerd!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Parrster, camping at the beach is awesome!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Rismayanti, thanks for reading!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Awesome tips, habee. I really liked all of your advice. I was a camp counselor during my years in high school and college and loved every minute of it. Due to the fact that it was indeed rustic and was founded on Waldorf tradition, all of the campers were stripped of all of their belongings that were associated with technology and pop culture. Heck, they weren't even allowed watches! Reading this reminded me of the importance of such. Thank you.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Cool, Dohn, that sounds like fun! I'll bet you have some great tips!


GeneralHowitzer 6 years ago

I am logged out Habee lazy to log in... Hehehe a very lovely and child-friendly Hub... Great Hub again Habee...


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, General! Great to hear from you!


mse profile image

mse 6 years ago from texas

Great hub. Could have used this when I took my nieces camping!


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

We take our granchildren camping every year. Thank you for the tips. I will bookmark this page


MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

I love to camp, and so now does my son, since I introduced him to the many joys of nature right outside one's zippered doors, great article here~~~MFB III


Woody 6 years ago

! thing I did when I was camping was snipe hunting. This was alot of fun. You should tell people about that!!!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

good share Habee, I used to go camping with children in Mississipi when I was still in Memphis, just thirty minutes away form lake, and it is awesome, I like birdwatching, there,,, Maita


sathishkumar143 profile image

sathishkumar143 6 years ago

ya i agree with u


JerryBlank12 6 years ago

Nice Post


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Well, mse, at least you survived!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Granny, I think that's awesome - something they'll always remember!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Good for you, MFB. You sound like a great dad!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Woody, that would take an entire hub!

Maita, you're a gem for taking those kids camping!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for stopping by, Kumar and Jerry!


bexh76 6 years ago

loving your top tips, thank! what kind of camping stove would you recommend? am thinking of trying out a few different kind of dishes when we camp later this year

http://776220uko4ks7v8hhllbynco7s.hop.clickbank.ne...


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Bex, we always used a Coleman when we used a camp stove. But we usually tried to cook over the fire.


bexh76 6 years ago

great, thanks for that.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for reading, Bex!


outdoorsguy profile image

outdoorsguy 6 years ago from Tenn

the best memories I have as a kid are going camping and fishing with my grandfather. ( my dad died when I was four)

Never at campgrounds. we would camp off the banks of rivers and lakes. usually paddling a canoe to get there. sometimes his bass boat. he would take me hiking and show me plants that you could eat. how to fish with out a pole. how to cook with out pots and pans. we even whittled forks LOL. it was always an adventure.

there were times, LOL he would haul along some old C rats and hand me fishing line or sometimes a fishing pole. " if you dont catch a fish. you get a choice... WWII fruit cake or some kind of meat product from the korean war" needless to say LOL I caught fish.

I miss those days of wandering the woods or laying on a river bank under a dazzling Texas blue sky. or listening to my Grandfather tell me storys around a campfire.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

wonderful memories, Guy! I don't think many kids today get to experience that. I'm glad my daughters and their husbands sometimes take my grandkids camping!


vballkel profile image

vballkel 6 years ago from Michigan

I enjoyed your hub! It's too bad all the modern day toys definitely make kids thing camping is boring. You give some great suggestions on how to get them more excited.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Many thanks, vballkel!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working