Getting ready for your camping trip is probably easier if you do it yourself but involving the kids can be a great way of getting them excited about all of it. Depending on their ages, there are lots of activities they can help with from the planning phase to the packing up and going home phase.
Kids can help with the packing and planning. They can help decide what will be needed and what containers to pack things in. They can decide what toys and games would be best to bring along and can help decide much of the food that will be eaten on your trip.
Have them help you make some fun camping hacks that you can find online. They could get involved making fire-starters out of toilet paper tubes, dryer lint, and some wax. Or have them help make a toilet paper holder from an empty plastic coffee container. They will love to make them and will tend to want to use them once you get to your destination.
When you get to the campsite, the kids can help unpack. It is true that many hands make light work and those little hands and feet can make many trips back and forth. When you arrive at the campground you can let them help plan where things will go. Whether you are camping in a tent, an RV, or a cabin, they can help decide where the clothes, towels, snacks, and games should go.
Kids can help cook meals and clean up afterward. It’s an opportunity to teach them about keeping the campsite clean and how to prepare food in the outdoors. They would love some make-ahead oatmeal breakfasts. Have them add quick cooking oats, some nuts, berries, cinnamon, and milk to glass canning jars in the evening. They can put them in the cooler or fridge and have some really tasty oatmeal all ready for breakfast when they wake up.
Be sure to have them help unpack when you get home. You can show them how to clean and repack the equipment you use regularly for the next trip. They will understand that they can go camping more often if they are half packed at any time and can be ready to go in a few hours.
We love to see kids having fun and there will still be plenty of time for that, but involving them in all aspects of the trip will make lifelong campers of them once they grow up.