Getting ready for a weekend camping with your family? Make sure you bring a few simple items so that you’ll be set with some activities for learning and bonding.
- A camping journal, pens, pencils and crayons: A young family may only need one, or a family with older children will likely want one notebook per person. Let your notebook be your journal for everything you see or expect to see while camping. Write your predictions and check them off. Next, label 26 pages, each with a letter from the alphabet. Your family can list what they see on the page for each letter (drawing pictures or taking pictures for future printing are great ideas, too.) Looking for more to do with your journal, take a break and let everyone write their thoughts or a story. Draw pictures. Tell each person to write a question at the top of a page and pass the journals around, letting each family member answer the questions.
- A deck of cards: Nothing passes the time better or helps you to fall asleep from boredom than a game of WAR or GoFish. Teach your children to play Gin or Solitare. Stumped? Here’s a list of card games and instructions.
- A bucket or a plastic or paper bag: Take your bucket on a scavenger hunt through nature. Challenge the family ahead of time: who can find the largest item (or second largest!), prettiest, most perfectly round… get creative with the challenges that the family should look for, and buddy up. Family members are going to run off.
- A small cup with a lid: you’ll need this for catching a worm, lightning bug or caterpillar. Just make sure that the lid has a hole or two and that there’s a leaf inside for breathing and eating. Observe and enjoy your “pet” for a period of time, but discuss sending it back to its family before you leave the campsite. (and make sure the creature you capture is safe!)
- Flashlight: Well, of course, you’ll bring a flashlight, but you may want some extra batteries for Flashlight games like tag, limbo and firefly.
Going camping this summer? Download Rei’s family camping checklist before you go. What activities are you planning to do with your kids?