MAD (Mindie, Adam, Alex, David) Family Fun is the result of friends and family asking "How do you find so much fun stuff to do?" So, I decided to share with everyone! There are no BIG secrets involved, I promise. I just have a knack for finding fun and now I want to share it with you!

MAD Family Fun is a place to find activities, events and ideas to have more fun with your family. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Camping with Kids (Part 3 Packing for fun)

There are a million and one websites out there that will give you equipment lists for what to pack when camping. This is no such list. I am here to tell you how to pack for children when camping. This is just my take on the whole idea. For me when the kids are happy, mom and dad have more fun too! So here we go…..

1.) When packing your child’s clothing always pack at least two times as much as you think you need. Camping is about getting out in nature and if your child does it right they will get wet and dirty and make more clothing changes then a pop star at a concert. Also bring a trash bag to put wet and dirty clothing in because I promise you, they smell!

2.) Never forget your child’s favorite friend, be it blanket or stuffed animal. Nothing ruins a good time faster then a younger child’s need for their best friend when it is missing. First time campers might be nervous and it is great to have that lovie there to go on adventures with and snuggle down with at night. Forget your child’s friend and it could be a long night (or worse, long drive home in the middle of the night.)

3.) A child friendly medical kit is a must. Yes they make big medical kits full of thing that no one will ever need (because if stitches are needed we are going to the ER.) What you need to keep your kids healthy on a camping trip are surprisingly simple. Sun block, bug spray, calamine lotion, sting stick, triple antibiotic cream and cute, fun band-aids. If you can’t prevent or cure it with these items it is time for the professionals.

4.) Child friendly food is a parent’s best friend on camping trips. You may want to cook in that cast iron pot and be an outdoor chef, your child is just HUNGRY. Make sure you take a variety of quick and healthy snacks that kids can grab. They will need more energy running through the woods and you will have less whining about how long till dinner. Fruit, cracker packs, and individually packed items. Individually packed items are great because they can be put in backpacks and if your child does grab one and forget it at least all the snacks aren’t discovered by ants or worse Mr. raccoon! And honestly who wants to reach for a chip only to find a child has been there and they are covered with dirt.

5.) Most important for the parental mental health is activities. No, do not bring a mini DVD player….your camping!!! But do bring lots of little indoor and outdoor activities. Bring things they can take out and use in nature like kid binoculars and magnifying glass. Bring thinks for those rainy periods like a picture frame to glue found nature objects on or some cards. Make sure the children do not have access to this stuff, it is your sanity stash! Things to pull out and surprise them with. Use your imagination and your child’s interests.

This was by no means all inclusive and I am sure I have missed a thing or two. But I just wanted to help make your camping trip a little more fun for everyone based on our past experience. So get your stuff together and go camping!!

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