09 Feb Camping Hacks for Families with Kids
Camping is an activity that requires a great deal of planning and organization. Adding children into the mix only amplifies the amount of planning and organization required to have a successful camping trip. But experiencing camping in the great outdoors with your children can be a fun and meaningful activity if done right!
We’ve had many parents with kids return year after year to our Lake George family campground – we’ve learned a thing or two about how to ensure the trip runs smoothly! Below you’ll find some of the best camping tips and tricks to ensure that your entire family has a great camping experience that all reminisce about for years to come.
Pack Some Activities to Keep the Kiddos Entertained
When you are on a family camping trip you will likely want to limit screen time and spend your time doing activities together as a family. Consider packing some easy activities like a horseshoe set, ring toss game, or a frisbee. Board games are also a great option for spending time together around the campfire and many games come in travel-size options for easy portability. Additionally, water guns can make for a fun outdoor competition and are a great way to help beat the heat in the summer months.
Some campgrounds will have activities on-site to help keep the kiddos entertained. For example, at Lake George campsites we have a swimming pool and a recreation room with arcade games, air hockey, and more. We also have a playground, horseshoe pit, volleyball court, and basketball hoop for our campers to enjoy.
Set up a Hand (and Foot) Washing Station
Dirt and grime are inevitable when you are spending time outdoors in the woods. While it’s great the embrace the dirt and encourage outside exploration, you don’t necessarily want to bring all of the mess into your campsite. Setting up a hand and foot washing station is an easy way to keep things clean inside your tent, RV, cottage, or whatever accommodation you are staying in.
To set up an outdoor washing station all you need is a large water jug and a washing basin. For a washing basin, you can simply use a plastic bin or even an old baby bath. Set the washing basin on a few towels or a blanket so that when you get out you can dry off easily.
We also recommend packing hand soap and some washcloths to help scrub off any particularly stubborn dirt. We do offer shower facilities at Lake George Campsites, something that many campgrounds do not offer, but this is still a great idea for keeping your living/sleeping spaces free of dirt. Additionally, having a boot bin for muddy shoes that you keep outside is a great way to help keep the mess contained.
It’s important to do your research before embarking on your family camping adventure. Look into what day hikes there are in the area and which ones are appropriate for younger children.
Can you rent a boat for a day? Is there a bike path? A place to safely swim? Does the campground you are staying at have any planned activities? You will want to be armed with suggestions for when you hear the inevitable “Mom, I’m bored” statement from your kids.
Our amenities at Lake George Campsites, which include a swimming pool, playground, and recreation room, will provide entertainment for the entire family. Be sure to check out our previous blog post on planning a weekend of activities while you stay at Lake George Campsites. You’ll also want to read our previous post on fall camping which has some great tips for local hikes and fall activities in the Lake George area.
Get Your Kids Involved
As a parent, it can often be hard to pass tasks on to your children because you know you can do it faster or better yourself. Even if you can pitch the tent in half the time or easily cook a camping meal alone, we recommend involving your kids in camping chores as much as possible. It’s a great chance to teach them the basics and the importance of helping out. Assign age-appropriate and meaningful tasks.
Younger children can help with things like filling up water bottles, rolling out sleeping bags, or inflating air mattresses. Older kids can be put in charge of washing dishes or even cooking dinner.
Have a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Kiddos will have a ball with a nature bag (any small bag will do!) and a list of items they can find in nature to collect for a scavenger hunt. We suggest putting things like an acorn, a pine cone, a twig, a green leaf, a pine needle, a bird feather, a piece of tree bark, a wildflower, and a smooth rock on the list.
Have a small prize on hand for whoever collects the most items! It will keep them entertained for a while and who doesn’t love some friendly competition?
Pack Clothes in a Roll
This hack will save you a lot of headaches and “Mom, what do I wear?” questions. Lay out pants, undergarments, and a top, and then roll the outfit together. Secure it with a rubber band, pack it up and you’re good to go.
This makes it easy and painless for kids to keep each day’s outfit(s) organized and easy to find. Packing cubes are also a great option for keeping things organized. They come in a variety of sizes and styles and can be folded down when not in use.
Stick to Routine
Sticking to a routine is important for children, especially concerning naps and bedtime. Young kids thrive on routine so it’s best not to disturb their routines if possible. If you usually read them a bedtime story and give them a warm glass of milk before bed, don’t skip that activity just because you are camping. If they take a nap every day at 2 pm try and plan your activities so this can still happen during your camping trip.
Consider bringing a white noise machine or sound machine for babies if you use one at home. You want to ensure that children are well-rested and ready for all of the outdoor adventures and activities that go along with a camping trip.
Consider Camping in a Cottage or Cabin
Instead of having to worry about the stress of setting up a tent and campsite, save your energy for camping activities and consider staying in a cabin instead. Many campgrounds across the country also have cabin camping accommodations that will make things like late-night bathroom trips and buggy summer nights a lot easier to deal with. Check out our cozy cottages at Lake George Campsites. We have accommodations that can sleep up to seven people with kitchens/kitchenettes and other modern amenities. Have a wonderful trip at our Lake George family campground in NY!