5 ways to make camping extra fun for kids by Jessica Nave for Hike it Baby

Camping trips are a summer staple. While hiking, swimming, fishing and campfires are memorable, you can also add in some extra-special activities that will make your trip unique and special for your kids. Our Hike it Baby members shared some activities that they enjoy while taking a family camping trip. Try some of these ideas the next time you head out on your overnight adventures!

Glow hikes and night activities

Glow sticks are a popular item for our members to bring on their camping trips. “Bring glow sticks and go for a glow hike (usually just walk around the campground) once it gets dark,” says Vanessa Wright.

In addition to glow sticks, using telescopes to check out the moon and stars can be a fun activity. “We bring glow sticks for when the sun goes down. We let the kids stay up a little late to make S’mores and play. Our library also offers telescope rentals so we try to get one and look at the moon and stars,” says Carrie Wenzel. Check out your local library to see if it also rents items like telescopes or binoculars that would help enhance your experience.

Amazing special camping eats

Another way to make this a memorable time for your kids is to plan for special treats they don’t normally get to eat. S’mores may be the most common camping snack, but there are other treats to try.

Lyndsey Vaillancourt suggests this fun summer treat. “Ice cream ball! Fill one side with cream (or dairy/nondairy milk of your choice), sugar and flavorings and ice and rock salt in the other. Kick, roll and shake until frozen.”

To make the trip memorable, you can also provide lots of snacks for your kids. Jessica Human says “junk food” that her kids don’t normally get can be a good camping treat.

Creative clothes and toys

Britni Nicole recommends making tie-dye shirts as an activity for the entire family. “Consider natural dyes such as black beans, avocado rinds and pits, bark, berries and flowers to tie dye the clothing,” she suggests.

You can also bring special toys just for camping. Christine Lamphear says, “My daughter has a Barbie camping set that only comes out on camping trips. It has camp Barbies, camp chairs and a camp fire pit with Barbie-sized marshmallows and hot dogs.

Keeping active

Slackline is a popular activity that can be set up for entertainment. While there may not be space in your own backyard for this fun balancing activity, the openness of a campsite can provide plenty of space.

Junior Rangers is another fun way to enjoy a camping trip. Collecting junior ranger badges at state and national parks can be a fun memento of your trip.

Make the most of your surroundings

Nicholl Summers discovered a unique way to play in sand dunes. “We camped at Honeyman State Park (in Florence, Oregon) and we brought sleds to go sand dune sledding.”

Finding special spots to watch the sun rise and set can also make a memorable experience for the family.

How do you make your camping experience extraordinary? Tell us in the comments!

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Photo by Deanna Curry.

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