So your campground reservations are made and the countdown is on! Just like any getaway, preparing for your camping trip is part of the fun. The anticipation gets you even more excited for that change of scenery and some R & R. For us, we love getting the kids involved - reading, shopping, planning, and packing are always included. Next week, we will head out for our first camping trip of the season and we have been having a great time getting ready! I was thinking about our favorite ways to get in the mood for camping and so many things stuck out:
- Reminisce with pictures of previous camping trips - our kids LOVE seeing pictures of themselves camping as babies
- Discuss what worked our last trip and what didn't - what changes can we make
- Evaluate where the kids are at physically and mentally - our camping trips evolve every year as the kids get older and more mature
- We have always had a tradition of pulling out the maps and guide books with the kids and involving them in our planning decisions. We show them how far we're going, what rest stops we'll be making, and explain how long it will take to get there (though that often slips their mind a mile down the road).
- Their input is very important on what activities they want to do when we're there and where to eat. This gives them a wonderful anticipation of our upcoming trip.
- We also involve them a great deal in the menu planning - they ALWAYS request walking tacos for dinner one night.
- Though we have just about every camping item under the sun, we always love to go visit our local outdoor stores. Immersing yourself in that area. Discovering the new technology and trends. Picking up small items we may have run out of. And we almost always end up picking out something new to try.
- Grocery shopping is also exciting for our kids because they always get to pick out one special treat to take camping and share with their brothers. Luckily, they usually ask for bananas or baby carrots, but every once in awhile some donuts find their way into the cart.
- The boys LOVE packing their own suitcases or backpacks! It is probably the one thing they look forward to the most. A bad packing job is no big deal - I often sneak in a few changes when they're not watching.
- Our kids don't care much about what goes in and out of our camping equipment tubs, but they do love helping with whatever they can. Just placing items in a tub makes them feel included and all those "what is this for?" questions are perfect learning moments!
These are some of our favorite countdown activities. What are yours?