7 Tips for Camping With a Toddler

7 Tips for Camping With a Toddler

Preparing for a camping trip is a job in itself. Preparing for a camping trip when you have a toddler is another thing completely. Whether it’s keeping them safe or keeping them entertained, camping with toddlers requires plenty of preparation. If you’re looking for a few ideas to make sure your toddler is a happy camper, check out some of our favorite tips.

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  • Pick a campground that has a lot of activities and play areas for the kids. This way, even if you’re just hanging around the tent or camper for a few hours, there’s something for them to do to keep them from getting bored.
  • Bring a few things to do in case of rain. Bring some of their favorite toys and activities. Things like coloring, painting, board games, and puzzles work great even in small spaces and offer hours of entertainment.
  • Give them time to explore and get dirty. This is one of the best things about childhood! Tramping through the woods and catching frogs or playing make believe are parts of childhood that will never be forgotten. Of course, don’t let them wander too far.
  • Plan a few outings near your campground. If you’ve already made an effort to travel somewhere to camp, you might as well take a few trips around the campground to see the local sites and check out the local fare.
  • Encourage them to make new friends. Depending on where you’re camping, there could be several other families around you. Let your kids play with theirs and you might even make some new friends yourself!
  • Teach your kids something new. Depending on their ages, you can teach them to gather wood for a fire or teach them how to set up a tent. There are simpler things to learn, too. Grab a bird book or a book on trees and spend some time in nature, learning about different flora and fauna of the region.
  • Let them help. While most toddlers won’t be able to help around the campground too much, giving them a few small tasks to do will not only help you out, but will also help them feel like part something. Having a few minor chores, like wiping the table or throwing away the trash, will also give them a good foundation for helping in the future.

With these tips, you and your family are sure to have a good time. A good campfire and imagination are all you need for successful camping with a toddler.

Don’t forget to bring along some books on the camping trip! Here are some tips for fitting in more reading time with the kids.

how to find more time to read to your kids

22 thoughts on “7 Tips for Camping With a Toddler”

  1. These are great tips. The first time we went camping with our two boys KC was 2 1/2 and AJ was 15 months old While we only went camping in the back yard it was a big adventure for them…and us.

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  2. Very good idea’s. I have actually never taken my kiddos camping, but if I ever do, I will have to remember all of your suggestions!

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  3. These are all really great tips. I think when finally take our first family camping trip it’s going to be in the grandparent’s backyard so we can get the youngest used to it.

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    • Good plan! You definitely don’t want to be stuck in an unfamiliar place when you’re not sure if your child will like it or not.

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  4. These are such awesome tips! My daughter was a toddler the first time we took her camping and it rained the entire trip until the last two hours, when we were packing up. Looking back, we definitely should have brought some board games or cards so that we had something for her to do inside the tent. We also happened to camp on Mothers Day weekend, which was prom weekend up in CT- without going into too much detail, I would also say that TONS of wipes, antibacterial spray, and toilet seat covers may be good to have as well 😉

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  5. Great tips. We were suppose to take my son camping last year but my husband had knee injury and I was pregnant at the time so we had to put our camping trip on hold. We’ll definitely be venturing out this year so these tips will be useful especially since I’m not very outdoorsy

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  6. This is such a cool article! With summer right around the corner, these tips are definitely welcome! Thank you for the great share!

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  7. These are good tips, thankfully my kids are/were generally happy outdoors and love getting dirty! Camping has been a pretty good way to keep them entertained. 🙂

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  8. These are great tips. When my kids were small, we would bring a few of their favorite things almost everywhere we went, just in case we needed to rely on them.The list you gave are all great options!

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  9. Great tips. My husband is taking our 4 year old tent camping this summer for the first time. They are both super excited but I want to make sure they are prepared and equipped for everything. Thanks for sharing.

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    • They’ll have a great time! The first camping trip is always super exciting. Don’t let them forget the bug spray!

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  10. There are just so many great reasons for getting kiddos outside and into nature, and camping is an activity that the whole family can enjoy together. So I just love these wonderful ideas, especially the tips to help the little ones learn new things … and get dirty! Wonderful – definitely pinning this to share! 😀

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  11. We took our daaughter camping for the first time when she was a little over a year old. Having a play ground with lots of things for her to do definitely made the trip more enjoyable. All great tips. Pinning!

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  12. We used to take our kids camping even when they were babies, I was fortunate enough to have a camper, trailer or motorhome later on. No matter what we loved it and always went stocked with plenty of things to do, I had a trunk with all the things they liked at the time for entertaining. We loved camping and would go every weekend.

    Thank for sharing your post on the OMHGWW this week!!
    Have a great night
    Karren-Host

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  13. Pre-planning and a really good camping checklist can save you and your kids from undergoing a camping nightmare.

    Get yourself a checklist, plan your camping trip and your first tent camping trip with your kids will be a breeze. Nice post Donella Crigger!

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  14. Washable toys are really good, such as a plastic container of Duplo or Lego. Also a little teaset is fun when camping with little teapot, plates etc. You’ll also need outdoor toys such as bats and balls to keep them amused while you’re pitching or loading. We had a toddler set of table and chairs which they loved doing their drawings and puzzles at (and kept them away from the big table that we needed for meals!). Footwear that is easy and quick to put on are good, such as wellies or Crocs. Also hooks by the door of your tent (you can use the kind of hooks that you hand on a baby play gym or simple S hooks) to hang up wet coats. When a toddler needs to go, they need to go – and quickly! Also a little folding stool is handy for them to stand on to wash their hands in the campsite bathrooms, or help with washing up. I always pack a couple of aprons for camping so you can keep your clothes clean.

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