It’s that time of year for me again, the annual camping trips! I am so looking forward to heading out with good friends for a weekend filled with questionable hygiene practices, amazing food and lots of lake time. W have decided to bring our six year old along for one of the weekends, we’re going two weekends back to back – should be interesting! So, this year I thought I would share some ideas I have found to make the camping trip as fun for him as it is for us. I will follow-up in August on what worked and what didn’t or things we made up along the way!
One thing for me to think about is activities. There are two sides to my thinking. I want this camping trip to give him an opportunity to unplug and enjoy nature. So, if he’s a little bored here and there that’s ok some of my most brilliant moments as a kid came when I was bored. However, I have to be realistic, so I will prepare a few things for him to do over the weekend.
Creating a scavenger hunt is high on the list. We go for scavenger hunts at our cottage all the time. We call them adventure walks, but they aren’t really all that organized more a haphazard collection of treasures. Creating a list and a fun little sack for collecting will increase the independence of the game and get him exploring.
Click on the nature scavenger hunt below for a printable hunt for your next camping trip
This activity is two fold – painting and then endless hours of hide and seek. Paint a rock and then hide it around the campsite or a set area of the campground. I like the idea of painting multiple rocks and hiding them. Like a summer egg hunt with rocks… Might sound a little feeble in such a high tech world, but I predict a winner on camping weekend.
I love this idea for night-time. Being outside around a campfire at night is so exotic to a kid that hasn’t camped before so I want to give him fun things to do at night too. Cue glow stick water bottle toss. We can reuse water bottles to create a fun nighttime game. Glow stick water bottle toss tourney anyone? Also, side note, you could use a ball and turn this game into glow stick water bottle bowling, the possibilities are endless!
In our family we love card games. My husband and I are Phase 10 masters. We’ve played since basically the day we met. Our son as a result is a bit of a card shark himself. He loves: Uno, Dutch Blitz, Skip-bo and ofcourse Phase 10 as well as the classics go fish, old maid, rummy, snap, spot it etc. We all love the game catch phrase and even my six year old is getting good!
I will also bring a bag of books as he is starting to enjoy quiet moments with a book, which sounds pretty great to me.
I will also suggest that he pack a bag of items he would like to bring, which will most likely include a sticker book or two and a collection of small action figures or Trashies. Ever heard of a Trashie battle? Me either, he made it up when he was bored one day, bringing me full circle that sometimes your most brilliant ideas come when you are bored!
I will report back on what was a hit and what flopped and any fun things we created along the way.
Next week I think I’ll share a few snack ideas I’m cooking up for the weekends – adult and kids will love them!
Heading out for a vacation this summer? Are you stressing about what to bring? Over-packing is one of the biggest mistakes we make when packing for vacation. Have you ever tried rolling a huge suitcase over cobble stone streets in Italy or bringing way to may clothes on a beach vacation because you realize bathing suits and a few sun dresses do the trick? Time to pair down and get serious about what to bring.
Top three things to remember: Be ruthless, Be realistic, Be methodical.
I found a few great images that really help you visualize what you need to bring. The first is an example of a one-week “city” vacation: sightseeing, visiting friends and family etc.
I like this list because you have a couple staples and then smaller filler pieces to create different looks without a lot of frivolous items.
Tip: Pick a color scheme. This one has an underlying theme of pinks and oranges. This will help you focus in on items that work with the palette.
This list is similar to the one-week city vacation, but expands to include accessories. Again you want to bring minimal pieces that work with multiple outfits.
Tip: Wear bulkier items on the airplane: jeans, sweater/jackets, boots etc. This will save valuable room in your suitcase.
Here is a visual for a one-week beach vacation. I like that they geared it toward a carry-on suitcase. I absolutely believe you can pack for a beach vacation in a carry-on. The clothing are lighter and smaller, you don’t have a lot of big shoes to pack, You can use your beach bag as a separate carry-on bag and be ready to hit the beach when you get to the hotel.
Tip: Squeeze sunscreen into carryon approved containers. It can be expensive at the resort and you don’t want to burn, that’s the fastest way to ruin a vacation.
I hope this helps as you plan for your summer vacations. Keep a little room in that suitcase for item you pick up on your travels, you never know what treasures you might find.