Q&A: Camping with Kids


When camping with kids, Judy Bennett of Greenfield, MA recommends glow sticks and sparklers for evening entertainment. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on camping with kids?

  • Susan K. Clark writes, “Bring rain gear so you can play in the rain if needed. Also, a fun thing to do after marshmallow’s are roasted is to sit around the campfire and tell a traveling story. One person starts the story and at some point calls another person’s name and they continue…it is very fun!”
  • Tamara Sharples Zayas writes, “Before dusk, before the mosquitoes come out, we get the kids all cleaned up and dressed in long pants, long sleeves, socks and sneakers. They tend to stay relatively clean after that and less likely to get bit up.”
  • Rebecca Trow Addison writes, “Lean-tos in VT rock, especially in rain… as far as what to bring- a ball of any size for throwing, kicking, bouncing etc… glue & scissors for making nature artwork.”
  • Tamara Sharples Zayas writes, “My kids mostly stay entertained with all the water, sand, dirt, hiking, etc., but I do bring board games and art supplies for times there is a lull or we need them to be more contained. Paints and finding rocks to paint is a favorite activity, and making God’s Eyes with yarn and Popsicle sticks or sticks the kids find is a good one also.”
  • Alisa Blanchard writes, “Songs, music, LOTS of wash cloths and hand towels (or baby wipes if prefer- we try to be low impact), rain gear for the kiddos AND yourself!, story book (or in your head), extra map for them to mark on hikes, travel journal – and ask for a little quiet time each day where everyone does something in theirs (we use a journal with blank pages with art paper in it); wool socks; small tote for special “treasures” to return home in…”
  • Laura LeClair writes, “Never was I more thankful for light-up sneakers than in the campground at night!”
  • Judy Bennett writes, “Glow sticks and sparklers are great at night too. -This board has some good links: Camping with Kids (Pinterest).”
  • Anne Kaplan writes, “Bring a good rope and tie it on a high tree branch for climbing and swinging fun!”
  • Debbie Myers writes, “I bring books with short stories (Grimm Fairy Tales were a hit) and we all sit around the fire taking turns reading. The kids have really enjoyed that over the years. -My husband makes veggie packs in the fire: take chopped up potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli with oil and spices, wrap them in aluminum foil and set them in the fire. Yummy.”
  • Kara Kitchen writes, “We do whole meals in foil on the coals and large coolers are the perfect size for toddler baths (a squirt of dish soap+some heated water, also a good photo op) after s’mores fireside!”
  • Brad Elwood Shean writes,KOA!!!!”
  • Maggie Burke Eckardt writes, “We do lots of food prep at home to save time and energy when we’re actually camping and have lots of easy, healthy snacks on hand (fruit & veggies cut up, trail mix, muffins etc.) but we do the classic s’mores too! Lots of extra clothes, more than you think you’d need (think old clothes and shoes you don’t care about getting wrecked and layers). We also bring a portable radio for the tent at bedtime to play soothing music or just static if need be–we’ve had a few rude (loud way past quiet time) neighbors and it helped everyone sleep better. We also lay a small tarp in front of the tent so kids can sit down and take off shoes and not track loads of dirt into the tent.”
  • Steven Savage writes, “Duct tape.”
  • Tracy Tirrell Griffith writes, “Bring their bikes.”

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