4 Parenting Tips: Preparing Kids for Camping

MELISSAANDDOUGOPENER

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Melissa and Doug. All opinions are 100% mine.

“Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them.” ~ The Audubon Nature Preschool

A top parenting goal for me in general is to create & to instill in my children a sense of awe & wonder for the world. Preparing children with skills and a proper mind set will lead them in the right direction of not only having fun but of actually building confidence while having the adventure. Feeling capable goes a long way in a young child.

Below you will find a four part approach to preparing children for a camping trip. This post highlights the truly enjoyable part of preparing a child for a weekend in the “wilderness” – INDOOR CAMPING! Kids generally love building forts. Indoor camping simply adds more structure and creates a pretend play activity.

We are fortunate to have Melissa & Doug sponsor our summer camping adventures by supplying us with some fabulous kid’s camping gear, especially the gear to get us ready and prepared to go on our journey.

#1: INDOOR CAMPING

“If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.” ~ Rachel Carson

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My son wraps himself in the Melissa & Doug’s Augie alligator sleeping bag in Melissa & Doug’s Tootle turtle tent.

The Invitation: Asking kids to “set up camp” indoors is not a stretch. In fact, I didn’t even have to ask my boys to do anything, they did it themselves. They led me to set up the tent, put batteries in their flashlights and help them zip their alligator sleeping bags. They were so thrilled to set up camp indoors that the practicing part was all play.

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#2: PRACTICAL LIFE SKILLS

We focused on Practical Life Skills like zipping up their alligator sleeping bags, turning on their bumblebee flashlights in the light and the dark and helping to set up the turtle tent.

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#3: CREATE A SENSE OF AWE & WONDER WITH ZOOLOGY & BOTANY

We talked about critters like ants and worms, creatures like deer and plants that we may find on our adventures this summer. We explored life cycles of various critters, wriggled like worms and caterpillars in our Happy Giddy Tunnel and read many books on the topic. A few books you might like include: Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser, Garden Wigglers: Earthworms in Your Backyard by Nancy Loewen and Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer for worms. Plus National Geographic Readers: Ants and National Geographic Readers: Frogs! are also great first readers to prepare your children for all the goodness of the outdoors.

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And of course we practiced sleeping in our tents.

 

#4: CAMPING ACTIVITIES

There are no iPads or iPhones allowed on our adventures. {GASP!} There will be exploring, observing, telling stories and reading. So we prepared for Outdoor Activities by introducing our Family Nature Journal, going on a Nature Walk where we search for colors and a Listening Walk. We also decorated a Treasure Box to carry with us on our hikes.

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Star Gazing: I love this idea from Stacy at Kids Stuff World for star gazing indoors using a strainer and a flashlight. My boys were totally into this activity. We also took some time to learn about the constellations and read some of the lovely myths that take place in the sky.

Reading & Singing: Aren’t books and songs so great? A few of our favorites camping books are included in this post on Children’s Books for Camping with Kids. I love singing and I especially love singing with my boys. My husband, well, he isn’t so much into the singing but he is highly entertained by our singalongs. A few of our favorites songs include She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain, Down by the Station, Orca Whale, The More We Get Together, Ring Around the Rosies, Ants Go Marching, I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, You are my Sunshine and Mr. Sun. I could go on but hopefully that inspired you a bit.

I hope that you enjoyed this post. Were you inspired? Are you planning an outdoor adventure this summer? Please leave a comment and let me know! Definitely connect with Melissa & Doug’s On the Go Series throughout the summer.

Warmly,

Marnie