Each year camping becomes less interesting to younger kids. It makes sense. Kids are completely immersed in visual and fun things like TV, internet videos, and games. It's hard for kids to compete with the constant gleam of entertainment. But there are a few things you can do that will show younger kids the real fun that camping can be.
Not all camping grounds are the same. If you are trying to get your kids into camping, you need to bust out the big guns the first time they go. This means you want to steer clear from smaller campgrounds and focus on more popular ones, like National Parks.
Many National Parks have a plethora of fun activities that will get kids interested in the park and camping in general. Consider parks that offer Park Ranger guided tours. These tours tend to be exciting and delve deep into the amazing aspects of the National Park. Once they experience this they can fall in love with camping.
Food can be a very fun and interesting thing for kids at the campsite. There are two different ways we can use food to make kids interested in camping. The first way is just by cooking up some nice and tasty food over the campfire. Things like burgers and hot dogs take up unique flavors that are really stand outs.
Foraging for foods is another fun thing that kids tend to enjoy. Exploring through the woods to find food and then to prepare at the campsite is a completely unique experience. Obviously you need to know a lot of about foraging for food and your location before you can do this. Share some of the knowledge with the kids while you do this, make them feel a part of it, not just something being taken around.
Let's face it, fire is cool. In our everyday life we don't deal with fire beyond the stove. Starting a campfire from nothing tends to be really interesting to kids. And not just the fire, but the act of building one. You don't want to bog them down with too many details as you build the fire, but you do want to explain what you are doing. Let them help, too. This will be a great time for them to feel useful and learn a little about respect and responsibility.
Explore. The world out there is absurdly beautiful. And these sights are real, visceral, and unforgettable. While it may be hard to get your child to see these sights, it will be worth it. A good idea is to start off, the first day of a camping trip, with a really amazing view; something special and unique. Once your child sees it they will be more accepting of later invitations during your trip.
Sports and Games
Sports and Games are so much more enjoyable while out in the wild. For sports you can go hiking, rock climbing, swimming, volleyball, pick up basketball games, and even fishing. All of these sports, and more, are a great way to get your kids hungry for camping.
Games can range from board games at a night's campfire to scavenger hunts that take up all morning. Having a variety of games will ensure everyone can do something fun without a lot of down time.
This is on you. You need to plan your trip well. You want a perfect balance, though. Bogging them down with a plethora of rules and deadlines is not going to be fun, even if what you have planned is pretty cool. You need to let things go organically and then if it gets slow or people get bored, and only then, you can intervene with some of your planned fun.
Getting younger kids into camping can be a difficult proposition. But when you do the right research, focus on the interesting points, and have the right amount of planning you can ensure that when your kids get home they'll be asking when you all can go camping again.