YAY – Spring is FINALLY upon us, and it is time to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the Great Outdoors! Now is the time to begin planning those awesome camping adventures, and in this post, we will talk about some camping activities that will get your whole family involved – and enjoy being part of!
Family camping trips are a great way to escape from our hectic lifestyles and all the modern technology it involves. It is time to put down our computers, laptops, tablets, and cell phones, and just kick back, unwind, and get back to what really matters in this world – spending good, quality time and connecting with the people we are closest to – our families!
Once you have picked out your destination and arrived at your campsite, the first things to get done are setting up the tents and gathering lots of firewood. Gathering firewood doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore – make it a game to see who can gather the most wood, then award the winner with a special surprise! Not only will you have plenty of firewood, but you will have made this a time of fun and competition. Firewood is a major essential, and everyone can become involved in this activity. In order to help the smaller children become involved, you could bring along a small wagon or even a tarp, then an adult can help the little ones gather wood, then help them pull their “accomplishments” proudly back to camp.
Nothing goes along with camping quite like hiking. You could all take a hike and explore the area around your campsite. You just might get lucky and run across a flowing creek or stream to cool off in!
How about getting everyone involved in a scavenger hunt? You can then use the items everyone has gathered, such as flowers, bird feathers, pine cones, rocks, snail shells, turtle shells, and other nature items to use in craft work like making flower necklaces and bracelets, or other types of jewelry, use your collections to make cards and posters, and how about creating your own wind catchers and dream catchers?!?!
While on your hike, be on the lookout for any animals native to your camping area. This includes the creatures you need to watch out for, poisonous snakes, because we are now in THEIR home!
This is a great time to do some bird-watching – get to know the birds and see how many you can identify by sight, and by their songs! You could also make a game of how many types of trees and plants you all are able to identify. This is a really cool way to make learning hands-on, entertaining, and fun!!
You could bring along a book on knot-tying, or if you are already accomplished in this activity, teaching your family members how to tie their own knots. You could bring some rope, or even bring a few hammocks, then teach everyone how to tie their hammocks to the trees securely. Once your family is able to make a few different kinds of knots, they will feel much more compelled to try out their new skills by helping around camp, hanging food and/or trash away from animals, hanging up clotheslines, and many other useful activities. Check out these knot tying books, and even an awesome knot tying kit from Amazon below!
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After a good hike, and maybe even a cool dip in a stream, it’s about time to get a roaring campfire going. Let everyone have a hand in setting up the campfire by teaching the little ones how to place the kindling on the bottom, then letting them stack this in the shape of a tepee. The children can continue stacking the wood loosely, from smaller pieces up to some larger pieces, letting the youngest children start with the smallest pieces of wood, then graduating the sizes of wood to go along with the next child’s age. This activity will make everyone feel as if they had a big part in getting the campfire going, and will give everyone a sense of major accomplishment long into the night!
By teaching children from a very early age that we ALL are important, and everyone’s actions are needed, and appreciated – from helping to set up camp, to gathering firewood, to building the proper fire, we instill confidence and a feeling of belonging in the whole family. From laying out the smallest pieces of kindling all the way up to striking the match that lights the fire, each one of us plays a major role. This applies to any family camping activity, and should also be applied to all aspects of our individual everyday lives.
When night begins to fall, and the campfire is blazing, it is time for some real camping fun to begin! It is time to get those hot dogs cooking over the open flames, roast some marshmallows, and of course, you simply must include making the campfire favorite of all time – The S’mores!
After everyone has had their fill, how about a game of camping-themed charades, and a campfire sing-along? Next on list will have to be telling a few scary ghost stories! To subside any fears the ghost stories may have left, this would be an awesome time to do some star-gazing, see how many constellations you can identify, and be on the lookout for a shooting star to make a wish on!