5 Tips for Camping with Toddlers

This post was originally shared in July 2013 on Mom It Forward

Imagine the smell of the campfire, the quiet sounds of being in the Forrest, the view of the trees... and then imagine the chaos that comes along with having small children in tow!

Taking children camping can be an overwhelming idea but it is such a rewarding experience. My boys LOVE to explore, play and get dirty so going camping was right up their alley and we all had a great time.
5 Tips for Camping with Toddlers

1.) Bring new toys that are camping proof.
These toys don't have to be expensive just something different than what they play with at home. At the dollar store I found bug nets and magnifying glasses. At Walgreen's I found these adorable camping themed utility toy key-chains for a couple bucks each. I also made sure to bring them each a bucket for collecting rocks and pinecones. We've decided to store their camping toys with our camping gear so they're like brand new toys again the next time we go camping.

2.) Bring flashlights/glow sticks/lanterns for the kids
My kids were having so much fun carrying around and turning our full size lantern on and off so next time we will bringing a couple that are just for them. Glow sticks are inexpensive (dollar store) and provide all kinds of fun for small children. Next time I plan on getting creative and coming up with a glow in the dark game.

3.) Don't forget the bug spray and sunscreen.
I live in Phoenix, Arizona and although it was 20+ degrees cooler in the Payson, AZ area the sun is still out to get you. I made sure to put some on my boys for the short hike we took and forgot to put it on myself.. needless to say my arms got a little burnt. Bug spray is a no brainier especially since those lanterns that the kiddos will love to play with could attract some little pests!

4.) Get a two room tent... you won't be sorry.
We brought a small four person tent and I loved having close sleeping quarters with my family. However, I was not fond of the dirt. Unlucky for us it started to rain in the evening which meant climbing into our tent with with wet jackets and muddy shoes.. not fun. Next time we go we're planning on getting a two room tent where one side is for changing clothes taking off shoes and playing and the other room is the room for sleeping ONLY!

5.) Don't forget the s'mores!!
I like variety and wanted to try out some new taste combinations but I know others love the classic so I opted to bring a mix and match selection. Beware these will cause stickiness... nothing that a couple of baby wipes can't handle (be sure those are on the list!)

Do you have any tips for camping with toddlers??

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