We recently went on a family camping trip to Silver Lake, MI at the Yogi Bear Silver Lake Jelly Stone Park on father’s day weekend and it was so much fun. It was actually the twins and my first time camping. Camping with kids is important for a family because it definitely is a moment to bond and spend quality time with them.
However, taking three kids to any public place has been pretty stressful lately and some of the tips that I am going to share with you are things are things that I learned from this trip that I definitely will incorporate for next time. Here is how you can also have a stress free camping with kids experience.
Visit a “Family Friendly” campsite.
The campsite we were at had plenty of families. They had bathrooms (something I was worried about), two pools (one normal and one kiddie), an arcade, a park, and a mini store for anything you might have forgotten. This is perfect if you have multiple kids and need that extra help with entertaining and keeping them busy.
Prep some of your meals ahead of time.
We made our hard boiled eggs ahead of time and only ate out once and believe me I was tempted to eat out more because I love trying new restaurants. This was very helpful because it was one less thing to worry about.
Keep the food simple.
We ate sandwiches and hotdogs for lunch, and the last night dinner we made spaghetti, which was so delicious by the way. Breakfast was hard boiled eggs and fruit. Easy foods that are not too hard to prepare will make this a stress free activity.
Have planned activities.
We had such a blast on the sand dune rides. Later we went jet skiing and walked on the beach. My husband took two of our kids to Craig’s Cruisers (go cart racing) while I stayed behind (mama needed a break!). Then of course you can’t forget swimming and fishing.
Let the kids be kids.
It’s easy to want everything to go perfect but just relax and make this an enjoyable experience for everyone. I took the kids to the park to play and went for walks around the campsite just keep them moving and use up some of their energy. They played tag and we went fishing at the pond on the campsite. Kids are pretty easily entertained with the simple things. The swimming pool was probably one of the highlights for the kids since we rarely go swimming. They could stay in there forever.
Don’t over pack and only bring the essentials.
I have provided you with a list of essentials that I thought that were necessary. You could also bring bikes if you wish. I noticed a lot of families had bikes and that would have been nice to bring. Also clothing that you bring should be minimal as well but be sure to bring a light jacket or sweater for when it gets chilly at night and to protect your family from mosquito bites. I would also add to bring sunglasses because those came in handy when it was bright outside.
Keep things exciting for the kids.
I know my kids were very excited about camping. They also really enjoyed their time there. Have some fun by bringing glow sticks and maybe mini flashlights for each kid. We also bought the twins a sleeping bag in a fun character. And we cannot forget the most Camp-like activity S’MORES! The kids really enjoyed making s’mores.
Put away the electronics.
This is a time to bond and also a good time for kids and adults to enjoy the beauty of nature. We did bring the kid’s tablets but that was for the 3 hour car ride. Other than that they did not use them and I didn’t even get good reception at our location. I think we all need to unplug for a few days, especially us parents.
Bring play clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
This is not the occasion to buy any special clothes. Bring old clothes that are comfortable and you don’t mind getting dirty, because let’s face it, it’s bound to happen. You also don’t want to stress over your kids playing too dirty and ruining their nice clothes.
Pace yourself and give yourself time to rest.
I had no idea how exhausting camping would be. It’s not like you’re in the comfort of your own home where you can lie down on your bed or comfy couch and watch a little T.V. to relax. So I was very exhausted especially since I had to entertain my kids a lot more than usual. But I did make sure we had time to just chillax and not think about the next activity.
So I hope those ideas were helpful. I can definitely say it was quite a fun time for our family going camping for the first time and we hope to do it again next year. What tips do you have for camping with kids?
What tips did I forget? Tell me your favorite camping traditions below!