How to Plan a Family Camping Trip

Planning a successful camping vacation with kids involves finding the right campsite, remembering family routines, and planning fun activities for the kids. Have no fear: how to plan a Family Camping Trip is easier than you might think!

How to Plan a Family Camping Trip article cover image

Camping is a fun, budget-friendly way to holiday as a family. Seasoned campers and families going camping for the first time, need to plan a camping trip to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable, relaxed holiday. Here are a few tips on how to plan a family camping holiday.

How to Plan a Family Camping Trip

Choose a Campsite With Something for Everyone

Finding the perfect campsite can be tricky sometimes, but knowing what amenities are necessary will help narrow down the decision making process.

Take the ages of the children into consideration. Very young children will need short trails or a beach nearby; older children and teens may be up to more challenging trails and might want to socialize with other children at the campsite.

Also, consider previous camping experience. Families without a lot of prior camping experience will appreciate flush toilets and shower facilities. More seasoned campers might enjoy a remote location or walk/hike in campsites that don’t allow vehicles.

Consider Regular Family Routines

Families with a child who regularly wakes up very early might find themselves up before the sun rises, which can pose a challenge when everyone else at the campsite is still fast asleep.

Likewise, a child who usually falls asleep in a perfectly dark, quiet bedroom is likely to be kept awake by the light and noise that penetrates a tent. That is something to seriously consider when looking at Plan a Family Camping Trip.

While it’s a good idea to stick to the regular routines as much as possible, keep expectations about nap and bedtimes realistic, and be prepared for young kids to be awake at unusual times. Have some breakfast food within easy access and a quiet activity on hand for the kid who can’t sleep.

Learn How to Camp Safely and Comfortably 

Always read any wildlife notices on a campsite’s noticeboard or ask the campsite host about recent wildlife sightings in the area. Know how to keep the campsite safe from bears by packing all food and cooking equipment away in a vehicle or a hanging cache when not in use.

Always bring a warm coat and/or rain gear, especially when camping early or late. Nothing makes a camping trip less enjoyable than being wet and cold.

Prepare Camping Gear and Plan Meals in Advance

Go through camping supplies such as tents, tarps, ropes, flashlights and cooking supplies a few days before departure, so that it is possible to make any necessary repairs or replacements before leaving. Plan meals, and don’t forget the marshmallows for s’ mores!

Family camping trips are a great way to expose city kids to nature, get away from it all on a limited budget, and make some fantastic memories of telling tall tales around the campfire. Each family may need different amenities, but by planning in advance, keeping routines and expectations realistic, and learning how to stay safe, camping can be a fun holiday that just about everyone can enjoy!

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Things to Consider When Setting Up Your Camp

There are many aspects to consider when you are setting up your camp: the rules of where you’re camping, the environment you’re in, and what you’re planning to do while you’re there.

Where You’ll Cook

This is important because it can inform how you set up everything else. In some cases, where you sleep might be different from where you cook depending on the rules of the area.

Some campsites offer grills, picnic tables, and that type of thing, and prefer that you use them for cooking.

Where You’ll Wash Up

Some campsites even have public showers, but some don’t. You can bring baby wipes, or lake safe soaps so you can wash up in the lake if you don’t have a source of other types of water available. Remember to follow the rules, though.

Where You’ll Go to the Bathroom

This is simple if toilets or outhouses are around but if not, you’ll need to pick a spot away from your campsite to prepare for toileting. You need to bury your business so that you don’t attract animals or ruin the experience for everyone else.

The Size of Your Group

Where you set up really depends on the size of your group. It’s better if you and your group stay close together when sleeping and eating so that you can monitor your litter and safety better.

What Type of Wildlife Is in the Area

In some areas, bears are common, which means you’ll need to have ways to lock up your things to keep them safe from bears when you’re out exploring away from your campsite. Other areas have snakes, spiders, and other creatures that you need to know how to protect yourself from.

The Rules of the Campsite

It’s been mentioned a few times, but if you don’t follow the rules of the campsite you could be fined hundreds of dollars. Even if you don’t agree with a rule, follow it. For example, if you’re allowed to bring your dog, but one of the rules is to clean up the doggie doo, ensure that you do it.

How You’ll Store Food

One of the most important considerations about your campsite is how you’re going to store food. Remember that you could attract bears, raccoons, and other animals if your food is not put away securely.

Health and Illness

If anyone in your family has an illness that needs to be considered, make sure you plan for that. For example, some types of diabetes medication have to be kept in a refrigerator and some types don’t.

Fire Safety

The best course of action is to use existing equipment for fires and not to try to make a new fire pit. If you do need to make a fire pit, use rocks and keep the area free of leaves and other debris. And don’t have a fire when it’s super windy.

Setting up your campsite is the first thing you’re going to do when you get there. Know how you’re going to do it in advance so that you bring all the right equipment with you and are prepared for issues as they arise.

Other posts you may find helpful:


The Best Family Camping Tips and Tricks

The Best Family Camping Tips and Tricks? Camping with young children can be fun! Remember to plan, invite another family, leave toys at home, and plan age-appropriate activities.

The Best Family Camping Tips and Tricks article cover image

Camping can be an enjoyable experience for families with young children. Most kids are surprisingly adaptable, and happily accept a tent or trailer as their temporary home.

The Best Family Camping Tips and Tricks

More sensitive children may need a little more preparation and flexibility from their parents. Here are a few things to consider that can help make a family camping trip a successful one.

Plan a Family Camping Trip in Advance

Childless couples might be able to drop everything and go camping at a moment’s notice, but families will usually need more time to prepare, especially those with young children.

Planning a family camping trip carefully and well in advance means that it will be more likely that everyone’s needs and abilities will be taken into account and planned for. Take into consideration things such as sleep/wake times, long car journeys to reach the campsite, and having hikes, beaches, and other amenities nearby.

Choose a family-friendly campsite. If available, walk-in campsites are often quieter and more family-friendly than a campground full of RVs and people drinking.

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Consider Camping With Another Family

Sharing the work of planning, packing, and preparing meals to take some of the burdens off the adults, and the kids can entertain each other by having friends along to play with. If babies or young toddlers need to spend time napping in the tent each day, having more adults available means each person can take a “nap watch” shift once every couple of days while the others go on an outing.

This helps avoid the situation where one parent regularly misses out on activities, or the whole family waiting for the little one to nap.

Leave the Toys at Home

Young children are often happier to play in and around nature at a campsite than with plastic toys they already play with at home. Most toys brought from home often end up forgotten at the bottom of the trunk or shoved in the tent’s corner.

The one exception to this rule is to remember any special loveys or bedtime stories. If the kids must bring toys, choose ones that easily “translate” to a campsite, such as trucks, dolls, buckets, and shovels. Anything with lots of pieces is better left at home.

Keep Activities Age-Appropriate

The activities and outings that will be possible when going on a family camping trip will depend a lot on the children’s age. If there will be a child who tires when walking a lot but is too heavy to carry, choose short hikes that are easy and rewarding.

Couples with a baby or toddler who is young enough to carry may still be able to take on more challenging hikes, but be sure to remember to plan on taking breaks more frequently.

Going camping as a family with young children is possible and can be very enjoyable! By planning the trip in advance, camping with another family, leaving most of the usual toys at home, and keeping expectations about activities and hikes appropriate to the children’s age, the family camping trip can be a great success!

Like The Best Family Camping Tips and Tricks Try these articles:


Simple Kid’s Trash Panda Craft

If it is one thing I have learned about camping, it is always be prepared. I know it sounds like an old scouting motto, but it is true. You can’t always expect to have perfect weather, and if you have kids? You need things to keep them occupied when they can’t get out and into nature.

trash panda kid's craft article cover image

I have found that “busy” bags were a great investment of time for preparation for any inclimate weather and links like this kid’s trash panda craft are perfect to tuck away for that literal rainy day.

Why trash pandas? Raccoons are a fact of camping and are really fascinating creatures. They are actually related to bears and have seven different species, one being rare: the pygmy. With a life span of about 5 years in the wild, raccoons usually end up about 2 feet or so in length and weigh between 12-15 pounds.

They are larger and heavier if they are from colder climates. They have grayish fur, a black mask around their eyes, and a long tail covered with black and brown bands. Because of their tail, they are nicknamed “ringtails”.

Raccoon’s hand looks like a human’s. They have five fingers and use their hands to collect food, open shells, door, or trash cans… which is a reason that most campgrounds ask you to keep your garbage out of reach at night.

Raccoons often place food in water before they start to eat it. They have a highly sensitive sense of touch and water increases sensitivity even more. By touching the food they get a better insight into things they will eat.

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Raccoons are solitary (live on their own) and nocturnal creatures (they hunt at night). Unless you are in the campgrounds of Indiana. I swear that most state campgrounds had a herd of trash pandas that worked as an organized militia of scavengers. There was a leader that chittered to their underlings with instructions.

You can see how these are such fascinating creatures – and the reason why we needed to give you a raccoon Papercraft!

Kid’s Trash Panda Craft

First of all, you will need our raccoon template. It will help you trace and cut all parts you need for your little trash panda craft.

Kid's Trash Panda Craft supplies

List of Supplies:

  • Colored craft papers
  • Craft glue
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Black sharpie


Select dark grey colored paper (or brown), cream-colored paper (or off-white), and pink colored paper and black colored craft papers for the raccoon papercraft. Trace the template patterns on the selected papers and cut them out nicely.

Use a black sharpie to add strips on the tail cutout. Attach the inner body pattern (small oval-shaped pattern with a scalloped border on one side) on the main body pattern (big oval-shaped piece).

Attach the tail on the backside of the body pattern. Attach the 2 paw patterns on the bottom side of the body pattern.

Attach the eye cutouts on the eye patch cutouts, attach the inner ear parts on the main ear parts, attach the V-shaped pattern on the top middle part of the head and finally, attach the small round cutout (nose) on the bottom side of the V pattern.

Attach the ears on 2 sides of the head’s top end.

Attach the eye parts on the head and then attach the head on the top side of the main pattern. Use a black sign pen to draw the mouth of the paper raccoon.

Kid's Trash Panda Craft fully assembled

Other kid’s camping posts you may enjoy:


Amazing Stalking Nature Camp Games for Outdoors

Trailing games can help improve kids’ alertness and also provide hours of fun. These nature camp games are best played in large or wooded outdoor areas and on camping trips.

Stalking Nature Camp Games for Outdoors article cover image

Many traditional and native games teach children the skills of a warrior, hunter, and stalker. Here are some stalking games that children will enjoy.

Stalking Nature Camp Games for Outdoors

Follow the Drum Beat

This game requires a large, open outdoor area, without dangerous obstacles. One child is the drummer, and the rest of the children are blindfolded. The children spread out, and the drummer beats the drum, not regularly, but sporadically.

The blindfolded children follow the beat of the drum. As a child gets closer, the beat gets softer. When a child finally reaches the drummer, he joins the drum march. The gameplay continues until all children have found the drummer.

Will-o-the Wisp, a Trailing Game

This game is appropriate for a camping trip or can be played in a sizeable woodsy backyard. It needs at least four children. Send two children a few minutes in advance with a flashlight. The light should be flashed every 60 seconds.

The children with the light can take turns shining the light, or one can go off without the light in an attempt to foil the stalkers. The game ends when one of the torchbearers is caught. An adult may want to have a whistle in an unfamiliar area to call the children back to camp if it seems they have wandered too far.

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Follow the Chalk Arrows

Here is a good game for a suburban subdivision or a safe city neighborhood. This game can be played with two groups of children. The first group sets out with chalk and a particular destination, whether a neighborhood park or the starting point.

Every 15 to 20 feet, the starters draw an arrow showing which direction they went. The arrow can be on a tree, a rock, not too visible, yet not actually hidden. If the starters make it to the destination, without being caught, they have won the game. If the stalkers find them, then they are the winners.

Magic Music

This game can be played indoors or outdoors. First, an object must be hidden. The children are told to start looking for it while an adult plays the flute or other musical instrument. When a child gets close to the object, the music gets louder; as they get farther away, it gets fainter. The one to find the object holds it up and ends the game and gets to hide the object for the next game.

Stalking the Deer

Staking the Deer is a popular scouting game. One child is the Deer and goes off to a predetermined area, preferably wooded. After the children count to 100, they start moving towards the Deer, but the Deer’s goal is not to be spotted.

If the Deer sees a stalker and identifies him, the stalker must stand up. After a set time, the Deer blows a whistle, and all stalkers must stand. The stalker who is closest to the Deer is the winner.

Stalking games can improve a child’s alertness and particularly the sense of hearing. Exciting games can give children an incentive to get outside and get some exercise. There are plenty of old-fashioned games that are easy to learn and fun to play.

Other fun things that you can do with kids


The Best Ideas for Camping with Young Kids

With some preparation and the right equipment, the experience of camping with young children can be an enjoyable one for all. Camping with young kids can be a lot of fun for all family members, with a little preparation.

Camping with Young Kids

Camping with Young Kids

Young children are naturally curious and will bring a sense of wonder to the camping experience. From the dirt, sand, and puddles on the ground, to the birds and clouds in the sky, young children are often amazed at the surroundings which adults have begun to take for granted.

Preparing Young Children for a Camping Experience

Taking steps in preparing children for camping before actually setting out can help families anticipate challenges that might come upon a trip before they become a real issue.

Activities that might help prepare a child for camping include:

Tent Practice:

Getting a child used to sleeping in a tent before setting out can help calm both the child’s and the parent’s anxiety. Where possible, tents can be set up in the backyard, in a living room, or on a balcony, along with all bedding and equipment that will be used during the trip.

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Safety Training:

Children are often unpredictable and will need full supervision, however, training them to stay away from fires and close to known adults may help make the trip more enjoyable.

Bringing along a playpen or portable fence, such as a play yard for occasional use during the trip may also help when adults become tired of chasing children or are in particular fear for their safety as in around water or fires.

camping with young kids

Reduce Toys:

Often children have a wide range of toy and activity choices throughout each day. It is rarely possible to bring all of a child’s equipment with them on a camping trip. Likely toys will be limited to about the amount that can fit in a rubber bin, which must entertain the child for the duration of the camping trip.

Try separating the child’s toys into rubber bins. Each bin might contain a few toys, books, and art supplies. Allow the child access to only one bin at a time, which is available for about the length of time the camping trip will be planned for. This will let parents know which varieties of toys work for each child. This is probably the best tip for Camping with Young Kids.

Create Rules

As a child, we went on several campouts, and they were a lot of fun. However, my parents had a list of rules that we had to follow so that other campers could also have fun. As parents, we did the same thing. Here are a few things to remember — and teach.

Check the Site

Not all campers are polite, and it’s a good idea to check the site for anything left behind that could pose a danger. Some things might tear a hole in your tent, but others could directly harm you or your children.

Fire Safety

Check with the park ranger before setting a campfire. There are times and places where this is neither advisable nor legal. When you are able to set a campfire, make sure it is in a fire ring or that you have a good set of stones surrounding it. This will help mark the area off and hopefully prevent the fire from spreading.

Feeding Animals

Yes, the little squirrels and chipmunks are adorable. No, you should not feed them. Feeding wild animals can hurt both them and you. They will become more dependent on humans and could suffer when the season is over. They can also get annoyed with those who don’t feed them and attack.

This is even more important if you are camping in an area inhabited by bears. A bear can do a lot of damage, and it can be deadly. When in this sort of area, don’t have anything remotely food-related where a bear can get at it, and that includes your tent. They’ve been known to smell toothpaste and invade a tent to get at it.

“I Gotta Go” Rules

Most of the time, both as a child and as an adult, we camped in areas that had public restrooms. That is great, but what if you’re out in the wilderness? You can’t hold it forever.

Teach your children how to dig a “potty hole,” use it, and then cover it up. For wiping, you can get biodegradable toilet paper. Some use leaves, but if you grab the wrong one, you will regret it.

Take only Pictures

And leave only footprints. National and state parks have rules, and most of the time, they state that you should not take anything with you, including flowers or rocks.

We actually saw someone climbing a hillside to get a beautiful branch of yucca flowers. I doubt she got to enjoy them long because right around the corner, a park ranger vehicle was heading in her direction. It was a steep climb, so I’d bet she got caught red (or yucca?) handed.

Leave it Better

Leave every campsite better than you found it. You’ve probably already done a lot of that when you checked the site before setting up your tent. As you’re loading up the gear, take a little time to see if you can make it better. Add another rock or two to the fire ring, pick up any debris you see, etc.

These are fairly simple rules, and many long-time campers probably could add both to this list. If everyone followed them, our forests and campgrounds would be a better place.

Equipment to Bring When Camping With Young Children

The following items are useful when camping with young children:

  Diapers or Pull-ups:

Even trained children might have ‘accidents’ at night when camping. Diapers or pull-ups make cleanup easier.

  Baby Wipes:

These are wonderful for quick cleanups when water is not readily available. Ensure that wipes used on the hands and face come from a separate container than those used for diaper changes.


For keeping young children warm, a snowsuit is a good replacement for a sleeping bag in areas that might have cold weather at night. Have children wear extra socks, mitts, and a warm hat to ensure they are warm through the night.

  Playpen or Portable Child Fence:

Although this does add extra bulk to equipment, it is instrumental in ensuring that children do not wander off at night, and for keeping them away from fires or water.

  Sunscreen and Bug Spray, Sunhats, and Sunglasses:

A little bit of protection can avoid a lot of pain and discomfort.


Tarps hung above tents help avoid wet bedding during a rain shower. Tarps are also useful for playing spaces on the ground for children to help avoid mud and dirt and keep craft supplies clean.

The Experience of Camping With Young Children

Camping with young children is rarely a relaxing experience. With a little preparation and the right equipment, however, the experience of camping can be an enjoyable one, which creates lovely family memories.

Other articles about kids:


Indoor Camping Ideas for Entertaining the Kids

Indoor Camping Ideas? The situation across the world has now made outdoor camping virtually impossible. Even state parks have closed down, not to mention the private campgrounds. The kids are getting bored very quickly while being quarantined, and it is becoming increasingly challenging to cheer them up.

Indoor Camping Ideas for Entertaining the Kids cover imkage

While we can’t go and visit our favorite campsites, however, a few indoor camping activities can keep the boredom at bay not only now but also when bad weather arrives. Check out the following ideas for indoor camping activities:

Indoor Camping Ideas for Entertaining the Kids

  1. Easy to Sew Kids Indoor Tent

The simple tutorial will teach you how to set up a kid’s indoor tent. The kids will enjoy this tent, and they will be encouraged to create a book or indulge in pretend play.

Learn how to set up an Easy to Sew Kids Indoor Tent here

  1. Whimsical Campfire Cupcakes

Preparing the campfire cupcakes will not take much of your time, as they are easy to make. They are perfect for the little ones when they are busy in indoor camping.

Get your recipe of Whimsical Campfire Cupcakes here

  1. Simple DIY Teepee Fort

You can give your little kids a place for adventure with this easy to make and simple DIY Teepee Fort. There is no need to sew it, and you can put it up or down in just a few minutes.

Learn how to set up a Simple DIY Teepee Fort here

  1. DIY Kids Tent Teepee Tutorial

The DIY kid’s tent is perfect for the little kiddos so that they can play every day. It is easy to make and promotes creative ability in children.

Learn the DIY Kids Tent Teepee Tutorial here

  1. Camping Books for Kids

Everybody loves camping as it is a great way to make memories that will last for a lifetime. If you are planning for a family camping trip, then the camping books for kids will come in handy.

Get the Camping Books for Kids here

  1. Teaching Camping and Outdoor Safety to Kids

Taking the kids camping is not just an adventure but also a chance to bond as a family and teach the kids all about camping and outdoor safety.

Learn all about Teaching Camping and Outdoor Safety to Kids here

  1. How to Make Indoor Forts for Kids

Living room forts are the most fantastic thing in this world for the kids as they help to build endless childhood memories. The DIY indoor forts are simple to make and can keep kids busy for hours.

Learn how to make indoor forts for kids here

  1. Camping Arts and Crafts Projects Activity for Kids

Camping is a fun-filled outdoor activity for the whole family. You can make such trips more memorable by conceiving the right arts and crafts projects.

Learn about the Camping Arts and Crafts Projects Activity for Kids here

  1. Smores Bar Idea

You should not let a rainy day or the sultry weather ruin your S’mores party. The s’mores making station is very easy to assemble and ideal for backyard parties and barbecues.

Learn more about the Smores Bar Idea here

  1. Camping Books for Pre-schoolers

Camping with kids may seem like pretty hard work, but when you choose the best camping books for pre-schoolers for an upcoming camping trip, your task becomes a lot easier.

Check out the Camping Books for Pre-Schoolers here

Indoor Camping Ideas for Entertaining the Kids s'mores bar
  1. Campfire Rice Krispie Treat S’mores

The S’more Rice Krispie Treats are filled with graham crackers, marshmallows, and small pieces of milk chocolate bar. The treats are simply delicious, and it is impossible to stop at just one!

Get your recipe of Campfire Rice Krispie Treat S’mores here

  1. Camping Charades

The camping games are great fun for the whole family. Camping charades helps to bring out the best acting skills and makes the team guess real hard!

Get the Camping Charades printables here

  1. Campfire Conversation Starters Family Night Fun

Sitting around a fire with only your close friends and family members is a great way to have fun and relax. If you are getting ready for a camping trip, then you must have these conversation starters.

Check out the Campfire Conversation Starters for Family Night Fun here

  1. Camping Party Kit

If you love camping at the drop of a hat then a camping party kit is a must-have. This kit helps you to plan a brilliant camping party that will remain etched in your memory.

Get your Camping Party Kit here

  1. Let’s Go Camping Printable Party Pack

The Let’s Go Camping Printable Party Pack is the perfect way to start when you want the kids to get involved in the camping activity. It is free and easily printable from your computer.

Check out the Let’s Go Camping Printable Party Pack here

  1. Woodland Animals Printable Game for Kids

Aimed at the children in the kindergarten and preschool level, the Woodland Animals Printable is a simple game that you need to put together and play. The kids will love playing this game during camping.

Print the Woodland Animals Printable Game for Kids here

  1. How to Make Homemade Fire Starters Using Dryer Lint Easy DIY Camping Project

The DIY fire starters are an essential part of any camping trip, and since they do not use any melted wax, the kids can help you in this. The fire starters can be made with anything that is highly inflammable like petroleum jelly, pine cones, cotton balls, et al.

Learn How to Make Homemade Fire Starters Using Dryer Lint Easy DIY Camping Project here

  1. Camping Party

The camping party movie night is usually hosted at the campsite, but you can also enjoy one at your backyard. One can also get free camping party themed printables that will help to enhance your party.

Learn more about the Camping Party Movie Night here

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

  1. Camping Crafts for Kids

You can keep your kids busy and happy with these easy camping crafts. The mini campfire is one such craft that the kids can do without the risk of getting burnt.

Learn about the Camping Crafts for Kids here

  1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Potato Stamp Art for Toddlers

Potato stamping is a favorite art activity for all the kids as it is simple to do, and the only major thing that you need is a potato! The following potato stamp art will go well with the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star nursery rhyme and loved by all the toddlers.

Learn about the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Potato Stamp Art for Toddlers here

What do YOU like to do when you can’t go camping?

Did you like Indoor Camping Ideas? Try these articles:


Camping Arts and Crafts Projects Activity For Kids

Camping can be a fun family outdoors activity. Add to the excitement with a craft project that is inspired by the beauty of nature. With a little forethought, and the right camping arts and crafts projects planned, you can hit a homerun as you create memories.

and Crafts Projects Activity For Kids

Kids’ camping activities traditionally include hiking, fishing, canoeing, and roasting marshmallows (with the help of an adult). Families planning a camping trip may want to investigate simple craft projects that can accompany other favorite outdoor pastimes.

Camping Arts and Crafts Projects Activity For Kids

Children, both young and old, can try this simple camping craft activity that utilizes natural items as art materials.

Camping Craft: Natural Materials Mobile

Making a mobile out of natural materials that can be found while camping is an excellent way for kids to learn about the outdoors while discovering fundamental physics and mathematics principles. Concepts such as balance, symmetry, gravity, and movement can all be related to this craft project.

This activity can be easily adjusted for the child’s age. Older children may be more interested in the scientific aspects of this project, while younger kids may want to explore the materials.

Materials Needed for the Camping Craft Activity

Parents will need to bring some of the art materials used for this project with them on the camping trip. The natural materials can be collected while camping. Make this fun for the kids, and play a nature item scavenger hunt or have a contest to see who can select the most diverse materials.

Choose only fallen items. This means sticks, twigs, plant life, and other items that are not live or connected to a living thing (e.g., tree or flower). The goal of this activity is to understand and explore nature, not destroy it. Explain this to children to teach an added lesson on being environmentally aware.

Materials include:

  • Construction paper
  • Clear drying, non-toxic glue
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Natural materials such as leaves or pinecones
  • 2 sticks or twigs
–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Steps to Create a Natural Materials Mobile

1. Have the child cut at least four shapes out of the construction paper. These should be reasonably large in size. Use at least half of an 8 X 10 piece for each shape. The child may choose to use geometric shapes such as those seen in mathematics (square, triangle, rectangle, circle) or organic shapes (more free-formed and based in nature).
2. Arrange a variety of natural objects such as leaves onto the front of each shape.
3. Glue these onto the construction paper. Set aside to dry.
4. Use a stick to poke a small hole through the top of each shape. An adult should do this.
5. Once dry, turn the shapes over and arrange and glue more natural materials onto the back. Set aside to dry.
6. Place two sticks or twigs together to form a plus sign. Use the yarn to tie the sticks together tightly. Tie another piece of yarn to the middle (this will be how the mobile can be hung).
7. Tie a piece of yarn to each end of the sticks (there should be four).
8. Attach the shapes to the yarn by feeding the end through the hole at the top of the construction paper and tying.

Cautions and Information on the Nature Art Activity

Parents should keep these cautions in mind when created the nature mobile craft while camping:

  • Never leave a child unattended. Always supervise the child while he or she is completing this craft.
  • Avoid questionable nature items that may cause allergic reactions.
  • Use a towel or other art cloth underneath the craft to protect the outdoor landscape. Remind children to be careful and not get glue on the ground.
  • Clean up the scraps. Do not leave paper scraps or clippings at the campsite.
  • Package these in a small bag and take them home for use on other art projects.
  • Do not try this project with very young children. The yarn can pose a severe choking or strangulation risk. Children under five may not be able to handle the materials safely.
  • Do not hang or display the mobile in an area that a young child can get a hold of it (due to safety concerns).
  • Do not use this arts and crafts project as a crib or infant mobile.

Make a camping trip more fun for kids by adding in a craft project! Collect and use natural materials for this outdoors-inspired mobile-making activity. Bring home the completed artwork for a reminder of a special family vacation.

If you have a little person who is leery of foul weather, you may want to try this How to Make a Rain Cloud in a Jar activity to help them understand the clouds better and take ownership of their feelings about storm basics.

Other posts you may enjoy:


11 Tips for Camping with Toddlers

Taking a toddler on a camping trip is an exciting time for them. It is the perfect opportunity for families to bond and has one-on-one time with each other over the bond fire and some hot chocolate.

camping with toddlers

Camps are a great way to connect with nature, and whether you have been going since you were a child or it’s your first, there are always a few tips you could use. However, when you plan on camping with toddlers, there are certain things you need to consider…

How To Camp With Toddlers

Keep Abreast Of The Weather

Camping needs to be done in the most conducive weather, preferably a dry one. If the weather turns out to be too rainy or with too much wind, it will hinder them and limit the amounts of fun they can have. Most of the time, they will have to cuddle in their tents. The dangling weather is not ideal for your kids to have a memorable time.

Carry Familiar Toys

You may be wondering “why the need to carry toys on a camping trip” when the outdoors will have no bounds for them to explore. However, believe it or not, kids can get bored even with a setting like this, and having a familiar replacement to occupy their time is best.

Their favorite toys will keep them relaxed and calm. One toy might be good enough, as this will help them to rotate behind having fun indoors and outdoors.

camping with toddlers

Research The Camping Location

Before you pack away, ensure you research all there is to know about the area from the type of plants (to reduce the levels of allergic reactions) to the potential lurking animals which may venture on the grounds. It would not be safe for kids to be in an area where, after exploring, they end up hurting themselves. Also, research loose things like berries as kids can wander and tempted to eat.

Choose A Place With Lots Of Activities

Kids love adventure, and with their package-full of energy, they will need to release it somewhere that is safe. They can become bored quite quickly, so having lots of kid-friendly activities will keep them entertained.

Areas with open spaces can be a good choice as you get to have family games, hiking, painting, and so much more. Also, it is best to plan the activities before you go, so you know how to handle them.

Bring A Night Light When Camping with Toddlers

Kids are often scared of the dark, so having a headlamp in place will help to keep them calm and relaxed. Also, it gives them the privilege to move around the camp freely.

Having a headlamp also reduces the risk of developing anxiety in the dark, but do not let it let be one of the “blinding ones”. A fun and colorful light for your kid will be fresh for everyone.

Travel With Bug Spray

When you are packing, ensure you add a few bottles of bug spray and creams for your toddlers. They are vulnerable, and while we can work through a few bites, our little ones cannot. Also, a few tubes of sunscreen id necessary for the trip as the sun rays can be damaging to their skin.

If you are not comfortable with using sunscreens on them, it is best to let them play and explore in the shade. Sprays without DEET is the best choice for young ones.

Let Their Beds Be Comfortable

Kids love having a comfortable night’s rest, so ordinary sleeping bags are not the best choice. There are lots of toddler cots available, and most are very affordable. Also, airbeds may deflate quickly in the outdoors, and having to pump during the night can be annoying.

Watch Kids Around The Campfire

Kids know no bounds when it comes to exploring and doing the most in an outdoor setting. As you light the campfire, they may want to walk too close or maybe play around, so you have to be vigilant.

You can advise them only to sit close to the fire as it can harm them. Also, as you roast anything, let them only watch but not take part.

Carry A Backup Heat Source

The time can be humid to cold, especially during the night, no matter the season, so having a backup heating source can help toddlers not become distressed. Also, a heating source would be ideal for preparing warm meals for your toddlers in case it is raining. A small propane tank or micro cooker (without the use of electricity) should be included on the list when packing.

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Camping with Toddlers: Have Light Snacks

Camping with toddlers means you will have a lot of mouths always wanting to eat because they need to top up their energy levels. Light snacks will be a good option as a lot of times, it is impossible to prepare a hot meal, so at least they will still have something to munch on.

Bring A Baby Mat

Camping means the toddlers will be on the move at all times, so having a mat for them to crawl on will protect their hands and feet. Objects are lying around that can puncture their palms, so always being close to them will help to reduce the risk of wandering.

There are so many ways to camp with your toddlers, and these tips will help you create the most amazing memories to last a lifetime. Camping lets you bond and connect, besides creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Other posts you may enjoy if you liked camping with toddlers:


The Best Kid’s Camping Gear

Whenever the kids go camping, you always have that fear that something might just go wrong. They might forget the flashlight or worse, the camping gear. No wonder, camping is always regarded as an adventure.

Great camping gear may not save you from an inevitable loss and unplanned events but it will certainly save your kids from a catastrophe time. So the right kit can make all the difference. Here is the best kid’s camping gear.

The Best Kid’s Camping Gear

  1. Kelty’s Grand Mesa 2 (TENT)

This a free-standing tent with shock-corded and color-coded poles. It basically takes no time to set up. This tent is very affordable and available online. It has only one door but is so well placed that no one has to climb over the other person to go out for something. There is also a fly vent that helps to manage condensation.

Buy it here

  1. Osprey Jet 18 (BACKPACK)

This is the most feature-rich backpack you will ever get – online or offline. It is a true backpack that comes in a daypack size. There is a padded foam back panel, shoulder straps that are contoured in nature, and a hip belt that is light but can carry loads relatively comfortably.

There is also a mesh stash pocket on the shoulder strap that is easy to reach and the side pockets can hold water and extra crackers.

Buy it here

  1. Big Agnes Wolverine 15 (SLEEPING BAG)

This is a cozy and sweet-looking sleeping bag that actually looks like a little person. It is sculpted around the head and the body and there is a zipper and a draft-free collar that will help to keep your little one warm. The sleeping bag comes in three sizes – teens, junior, and kids and there is an integrated padded sleeve on the actual bag that prevents your child from sliding off his/her pad.

Buy it here

  1. Therm-a-Rest’s TrailScout (SLEEPING PADS)

This is a self-inflating air mattress that has a supportive foam core. In order to inflate it, one just needs to unscrew the valve and to deflate one just needs to open the valve and roll up the sleeping pad and the air will be squeezed out of it.

The process is very simple and a 7 – year old kid can do it without adult supervision. This sleeping pad is the best choice for summer outings and it only weighs around 1.6 lbs.

Buy it here

  1. Black Diamond’s Cosmo (HEADLAMPS)

These headlamps are fully waterproof and project as much as 200 lumens of power that is spread across 6 lighting modes. The little campers will have a lot of fun with the night vision and the dimming modes and they can play with this headlamp for hours without worrying about killing the batteries.

Buy it here

  1. Crazy Creek’s Hex 2.0 Original Chair (CAMP CHAIR)

It is the simplest form of camp chair that you can ever buy for your kids. The closed-cell foam in the seat gives a solid ground barrier, can be rolled up for convenient storage,

and can be easily stashed using the built-in hanging loop. The side straps are fully adjustable which ensures a perfect angle of recline and one may also unclip this seat and use it under the sleeping pad for extra insulation.

Buy it here

These are just a few of the fun gems we have found – is there anything that you absolutely love or think is necessary?

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Other articles you may enjoy:


5 Tips for Camping With Kids

Camping with kids can be a fun time, but it’s not always easy. Camping as a family means that you need to have the right camping gear for everybody in your family. We’ve put together some great tips to help make camping more of an adventure and less work!

5 Tips for Camping With Kids

Warmer weather is here and for a lot of families that means plenty of camping and hiking happening! If you’ve got kids though, camping can be both a challenging situation and a dangerous one if you’re not careful.

5 Tips for Camping With Kids

These 5 tips for camping with kids will help you make sure they are comfortable, having fun, and most importantly, safe.

Tent size is everything

The most important thing to make camping with kids work is a big enough tent that will accommodate everyone.

Have you ever actually tried to fit 4 people into a tent that sleeps 4? If not, it’s really hard to do. By the time you fit 4 people, plus all of their gear, sleeping bags, pillows, and more into a 4 person sleeper? You’re crammed together and no one is getting any comfortable sleep.

That means a lot of tents are designed for just two people, in reality, which may be perfect if you’re going solo or as a couple but not so much otherwise. Instead, go with one that sleeps 6 or 8 to give yourself; and your kids; some breathing room.

Try borrowing one from your local library—they often have an ever-rotating selection of camping gear.

If you’re looking for new, check out the Coleman Instant Tent that sleeps up to six people or their Camco Quick Shade Shelter which is perfect for those who want a tent they can set up in just seconds on any surface—including hard ground, grassy fields, and rocky terrain.

tent size is everything when camping with kids

For more information on tents, check our article here: 5 of the Best Camping Tents on Amazon

Set clear boundaries when camping with kids

Kids are curious and when camping, that curious nature could get them hurt. As soon as you arrive, set clear boundaries as to where they are allowed to play, what they are allowed to touch, and where they shouldn’t be messing.

You still want to let them explore but stay within those limits. Always agree on a time to come back together before heading out again. This will help keep kids safe and insight as well as prevent any arguments from breaking out over who gets to go first or last because they didn’t want to wait their turn.

Keep things are normal as possible

Kids are creatures of habit and while they may be having a blast camping, they will also need their typical schedules. Try to help them wake at the same time, eat around the same time, and so on. If not, you may end up with a kid meltdown.

We all know how much fun a kid’s meltdown can be.


Kids are creatures of habit and will need their schedules while camping so plan accordingly. Eat around the same time and wake at the same time to avoid those pesky meltdowns.

Keep things as normal as possible when camping with kids

Don’t forget their favorite

If your kiddo has a favorite toy or blanket, don’t make the mistake of leaving it at home. This is especially important for little ones who might be afraid of the dark, of sleeping in a new place, or of both. As parents, we all know how difficult it can be to keep kids entertained while camping.

By remembering to bring their favorites, half of that challenge is taken care of. I recommend bringing board games too – these are always huge hits with the older kids. We can’t go camping without the Scrabble game – our teen might have a fit.

They will need and want the comfort that their favorite item brings. By the same token, don’t make the mistake of leaving it behind when you pack up camp. No one wins in that situation, trust me.

In addition to their favorite toy, make sure you pack plenty of books for your little one. This will keep them busy in the car on the way there and back again, but also give them something fun to do at camp or around a fire.

teach the kids by going hiking

Teach them

Camping and hiking are the perfect time to teach. Teach your kids about nature, teach them proper outdoor skills and of course, teach them to leave the campsite in better condition than you found it.

Teaching them while they are young will help them to build a solid foundation on many of life’s needed skills and there is no one better to teach them than Mom or Dad.

A camping trip is a perfect opportunity for kids to learn about nature and animals. Take them on hikes, show them how plants grow from seeds, or talk with your children about what they might see out in the wild. A Nature Scavenger Hunt is really the perfect thing to do with them!

Teach them Leave No Trace. Kids are naturally pretty carefree when it comes to their environment. They don’t keep an area clean as adults do. They’re also not always very observant about what they leave behind in their wake. Show them how important it is to take care of one’s surroundings and teach them that if you pack it in, you better pack it out!

First Aid is important too! Just like any other outdoor activity, camping has its risks. Be prepared by always carrying a first aid kit and know what to do in case of an emergency injury, such as how to treat heatstroke or severe burns. You can give them lessons on what to do.

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Camping is an excellent activity for families to enjoy together while still getting time away from screens and electronics! But camping also brings its own set of challenges that you should prepare yourself for when thinking about taking the kids.

Camping with kids can be a blast if you approach it right. Use these tips to help make your camping trip a memorable one and I guarantee your little ones will remember it for life. Do you have any other tips for camping with kids that I may have missed?

Other posts you may like:

. .