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Subject Topic: Advice on camping with small kids
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Message posted by Campernic on 22/4/2014 at 5:23pm
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I camped with my two from they were little. I always gave them little jobs to do - give a toddler a rubber mallet and see the glee in their eyes! I think a few extra taps of a peg that you've already put in will do the trick.

Then as already said, bed time goes out the window. They'll sleep when they're tired.

If you have a really little one, think about taking a travel cot/pen to do double duty - to sleep in and to pop baby in to whilst the kettle is on, or any other hot or dangerous thing you'd be doing. If you take Electric and a heater, go for one of the upright halogen ones as they are cool to the touch and cut off (via a button underneath)if and when it gets knocked over.

Get them used to doing 'quiet time' before 7 am. Make a game out of it.

Set up a cooking zone outside, and out of the way a bit (so not in the entrance to the tent for example). You can cordon off a little area with a windbreak around three sides, and put a golf brolly or rig up a tarp over it. Or you can take a separate utility tent.

Have fun and let us know how you got on!

Message posted by HarryBear on 22/4/2014 at 10:00pm
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We only started camping when our youngest was 4, but found that lowering standards really helped - bedtime was later, only extremities and teeth got cleaned regularly and mealtimes didn't always include one of their five a day.

The only rules are no shoes in the tent (crocs in a trug by the porch) and no bouncing on airbeds. All three of mine love camping, eldest daughter also goes with Guides and youngest is about to follow. I have some lovely photographs and memories of family holidays.

Lastly, remember it is also meant to be a holiday for you too so try to relax and enjoy it!

April - The Hideout, Somerset
April - Ekelney Farm, MK
May - BTCC Thruxton
May - The Hideout (again)
July - Castle Farm
August - St Ives Bay, Cornwall
September - Andrewshayes, Devon

Message posted by lockie on 23/4/2014 at 1:30am
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Get the kids involved with putting up the the tent etc. Ours love it handing me pegs as i hammer them in. They go off together (6 and 9) with the trolley to fill the water container.

They love going off to to help with the washing up too,its all a big adventure to them.

The fresh air and running around wears them out.Enjoy it the memories you form.

Remember today is one of the good old days you will talk about in the future.

Make the most of it today.

Message posted by cdsmiler on 25/4/2014 at 1:29pm
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I love this thread. I have one 4 year old and she adored passing and hammering in the tent pegs this time around! She's been well trained with crocs - no shoes in the tent. One thing that helps with this is foot friendly foam times just outside the door so she can take off and put on her crocs easily outside the tent without cold or muddy feet....

Treasure hunts are great - I say this because we just did an easter egg hunt this past weekend and we ended up having to do it 3 times because she enjoyed it SO much (plastic little eggs with prizes at the end - the first time around anyway!)

Lots of blankets, and if the night gets really cold, a hat they could wear in bed.

One thing we didn't really consider was that we got her a lovely child size tiger designed camping chair! She loves it! Trouble is, she can't sit in it by a table!! Far too short.... Doh!

She loves a campfire - don't be scared of having a fire with little ones. Obviously judge it on the children themselves but we're very lucky and she's always been quite sensible, and has been around campfires when camping since she was 2 1/2! Not for everyone, but she's great with it.

She also loves it if we're anywhere with animals! We had a few cheeky chickens and cats at the last place we were in, and, with the farmer's permission, she became the cat/chicken chaser!

Oh, and bless her heart, she ASKED to go to bed!!! Lol it was early too, not even dark, but she was a little under the weather too (just a cold) so she must have had enough! lol


April 14 - Mid Wales Bunkhouse, Rhayader
July 14 - Hillfort Tipis, Goodwick
August 14 - Ton Uchaf Farm, Abergavenny
August 14 - Private location
July 13 - Roebeck Campsite, IOW
June 13 - Cwmnanthir Campsite, Brecon Beacons

Message posted by achy on 25/4/2014 at 3:18pm
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Agree with everything said. I have 2 boys (1x11 and 1x6) who we have camped with since tinies. I quite often take them on my own too. From the 1st night they go to bed at a time they want to and by morning number 2 they are waking after me. They both have jobs to do and always have had. Eldest now does washing up whilst youngest dries-supervised by me. They both help put up & take down tent. Water collection, rubbish etc...I think they do way more whilst camping and we are definitely more relaxed with them whilst away. Neither are careful little people-much more likely to crash into something than many other children but I have never been worried about cooking around them, they know the dangers. I actually believe camping has been extremely beneficial to both my boy's growing up.

Have a great time!

April 6 nights
May 1 night
June 1 night (garden camp)
July 15 nights
August 6 nights
September 4 night
33 nights and counting!

Message posted by purplebean on 25/4/2014 at 4:18pm
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Quote: Originally posted by RachlN76

Once up, they sort out their own bedroom - that can take ages. Organising toys, making sure the sleeping bags are neat etc etc.

So far we've got away with this because they think it's fun. Not sure how long it will last though! :lol:

Are they girls? My son would never spend a second sorting his bedroom, far too boring

Message posted by cathyh on 25/4/2014 at 7:44pm
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Some great ideas here that I will be adopting for mine!
My tip is a camping 'toy box' We keep a small box in the camping trailer with a good supply of colouring pads, paints and felt tips - pebble painting is fun and keeps them quiet for an hour or two while you cook or just chill! It also contains kites, playing cards and various travel games. It just means that there is always something on hand for them to do, whatever the weather.

Message posted by ANGEDAWS on 25/4/2014 at 7:45pm
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Quote: lowering standards really helped - bedtime was later, only extremities and teeth got cleaned regularly and mealtimes didn't always include one of their five a day.

Lastly, remember it is also meant to be a holiday for you too so try to relax and enjoy it!

These are the two most important things I think. Go with the flow and try to enjoy it - whatever happens! My kids first went camping when they were 3 and 5 and now 10 years later they still love camping. In the early days we got up with them and went to bed when they did, it just made life easier.

I used to stock up on cheap toys and a few magazines and keep them hidden so I could produce something in those moments when they are bored and/or grumpy and you need a bit of peace.

Message posted by titianmode1 on 25/4/2014 at 11:31pm
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We had out first camps when my youngest was 3, and what helped was lots of snacks, fruit, as they run around & don't want to sit down for a meal!
They love helping wash up pots etc, wish they did at home!
And don't forget big marshmallows and kebab sticks, to roast after your BBQ, always a big hit.
I also give my kids those snap glow sticks each, so I can see them, when dusk starts. And I make sure we go and have a wash and teeth brush last thing before turning in, so they get the message that it's bedtime now.
Oh & my little one doesn't like showers at the best of times, so if it's just a weekend trip, I make do with hot water in a washing up bowl, and a good flannel wash down does the business. Like someone else says, just lower your standards, and expectations and enjoy the experience!! They are only young for so long, and have great memories.
My children slept through a force 8 Gale during Jubilee Weekend on the Cornwall Coast, so the fresh air does tire them! Hubby and I stayed awake all night, hoping tent wouldn't blow away!

Message posted by titianmode1 on 25/4/2014 at 11:32pm
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Oh I forgot, plastic wine glasses for the mums & dad's help too, enjoy!

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