My kids are now 7 and 4, but have camped since they were 4 months old. We have found that bubbles are a great thing to have while camping as are balloons. We blow up a balloon, they keep it in the air.....it's good for 30-45 minutes several different times during the day.
We also like to take a small kiddie pool and fill it up. They will get dirty, muddy, but have a blast.
Water guns that are filled from the kiddie pool is also a hit during the hot summer - for EVERYONE.
Traps for lightning bugs, grasshoppers, etc. is also a hit with my girls. We do release them in the evening prior to bed time.
Anything that they can do outside, they enjoy. We also let them do their own cooking (to some extent and with adult supervision) by using the weenee sticks and the pie-irons. They think it's great and they are so grown up that they can fix their own food.
Don't get too uptight over anything, take lots of extra clothes and have a good time. If it's not "life-altering", don't sweat it.
I grew up camping and remember some of what we did for my baby brother. Do they have bikes or trikes? We used to take a little red wagon for gathering firewood. We also cooked everything over the campfire - popcorn, s'mores, meals, etc. All of the food was an adventure on its own! We fished, played ball, hiked, etc. Also, we stayed at a National Forest Park and they had kids' shows/activities every weekend. We never ran out of things to do.
Yes they have bikes. I wasn't sure what to expect since I haven't been to any campground since I was a small child myself and didn't know if there would be a place to ride. My 2 year old needs to be on the cement to ride her tricycle. We'll bring them though, just in case there is a place to ride.
We started camping when the baby was potty training, We had a
pup, no bathroom. DO NOT setup where she can see the bath house.
Any way. Our kids had "camping" toys that stayed in the pup. The boy would pull out his toy cars, and the girl would get her tea set, and before the pup was up. Superhighways wouls have appeared all over the campsite, and there would be refreshments at the picnic table, but in tiny little cups.
Now the Grand babies go along. started when they were 2 months old. how do we entertain them? We don't. We let them develope their imaginations, Just like we did with our's. They love to dig in the sand, gather sticks, try to make things wiith the dirt / sand molds. We spend no time in the camper. When your awake, your outside. It just the way it is.
They are now 6, and 4. Their big thrill now, is to ride in the TV, and help "carry" the TT. They LOVE camping. Hotel rooms are foreign to them.
Fishing (use toy fishing poles), water play/swimming, if you're at a lake or river. Walking, buckets & shovels, frisbee, the various throw & cath toys out there, plastic horseshoes, coloring books, paints, crafts... Pretty much anything you can think of is good. Teaching campfire songs after dinner is always fun, too. Like you said in an earlier post, you'll figure it out. Just keep them busy and get them tired.
And don't let them wreck your house. Once they are about two they are old enough to be taught to clean up after themselves (with your help of course). Spending a little extra time doing that now pays HUGE dividends as they get older. Good Luck!
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I think our daughter was three the first time we went camping. Having toys that are specific to camping is great. We bought a badminton set that we play (very badly) every trip. Bubbles, soccer ball, paint to paint rocks (bring wipes), and coloring books. Have fun!
I hate to admit it.. and not to sound harsh.. but I feel they are way to young to be taking camping.. With campground geared to the youngsters.. KOA etc.. I've spent many sleepless night in an average campground where the campers next to us have small kids.. Thus we are going to be looking for sites which are geared more toward the adult camping then kids.. Thou I believe that's what "family camping" sites are made to distance these kind of issues. Hey, we turn in at dusk and get up at dawn.. and typically the camp site is used as our base camp.
On a different note; Toys.. the toys are all around you, nature has allot of things one can do in and around the forest.. maybe one should read what I did in a very trying time in my life: Ode To My Mother
I'll sum it up.. I played with rocks and sticks as my cars and trucks.. made play figures out out sticks and twigs.. So you get the jest.
Again these are our views and don't take them personally.
When our grandchildren were small they loved going to the beach and playing in the sand. We got a Rubbermaid box and filled it with sand and they had their own sand box on our lot. Not only did they love it but all of the smalll children near us wanted to come over and play.
The sand back than cost $1 a bag.
A shower curtain for $1 from dollar tree went under it to keep the sand from spreading all over our lot. I rummaged thru our kitchen supplies for toys the first time, the second year we bought some things along to play with.