One thing you will want to be sure when taking children on a camping trip is to have plenty of entertainment. When children are not having fun, it seems no one is. Family campouts are lots of fun if everyone feels involved and excited. The adults will more than likely do most the work and then when it is done they want to relax. Children, on the other hand, do less of the work of camping and will want to have lots of organized fun. So if you are planning on relaxing get ready to be surprised and be prepared for this. If you are prepared with a few ideas up your sleeve and all planned out this will make it fun for the children and less of a strain for you. This will make your family trip a wonderful and fun experience that your family has always dreamed of.
You will want to be sure that you have games that are age appropriate for all the kids involved. The following is a list of a few ideas for different ages and will list items needed and the number of kids that play as well.
A magnifying glass can provide lots of entertainment for the youngest of explorers. If you can provide the children all with their own plastic magnifying glass and send them off to check out the details around the campsite. They will want to look at different soil types, the structure of plants, rocks, sticks, and other natural treasures. If you have a wood picnic table at your site you can have them check out the grain in the wood and find out how knotholes are different from the rest of the wood. If your children love nature they will spend lots of time doing this activity. This will also leave you a little time for yourself, if nothing else to sit down and watch them.
Nature Bingo can be a fun and easy game to play with all ages. Make sure before you leave to go on your trip you make or find bingo cards that have items that you would find in nature on them. This means in order to win they need to find all the object in the row in order to have bingo. Make each card different so that it stays fun for them and they can play more than once. With this idea you could also create a sort of scavenger hunt for them. Just create a list of items you would find in nature. You can make a check list for them or even let them take pictures of each item as they play.
Make an edible campfire for a snack. This is a delicious and fun way to teach everyone fire building and safety. You will need a paper plate, spoon, fork, and a cup of water for each person. In order to build this great snack you will need enough of the following for everyone: Raisins, red hot candies, shredded coconut, pretzel sticks, and licorice. The plate will be the fire site, the fork is a rake, the spoon is the bucket and the cup is the bucket of water. You will start building the fire ring with raisins and lay the coconut for tinder. The pretzel sticks are the kindling and the licorice represents the fuel. The red hot candies can be sprinkled on to pretend they are coals after the fire is going. Now enjoy and eat.
These are just a couple ideas, when planning activities just be creative.