Taking the kids camping this spring? Here are some gimmicky must-haves to pack in your camping bins to make them smile. These products may even help them amuse themselves while you take five minutes of relaxing peace after all the packing and setting up. This article first appeared on www.teetertot.com, and it contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you choose to purchase something through these included links, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
We discovered these little packets of wonderfulness once while camping at a state park three years ago. The camp host sold us a bundle of them. We threw one in the fire that night, and we suddenly had rainbow flames. We were all amazed. The colors lasted for almost a half hour. In addition to enjoying them in your campfire, firepit, or backyard chimenea, you can safely put these packets in your home fireplace as well. These were definitely worth the few bucks we spent on them.
Kids just love these things. There’s something so satisfying about cracking these bracelets, necklaces, and sticks and watching them glow. I love to pick up extras at the big box stores around July Fourth, Mardi Gras, and New Year’s. That’s when I’ve found some interesting wands, jewelry, and other glowing toys. Bonus—it’s easy to find the kids in the dark when you deck them out in these!
3. Pretend Camping Gear
What kid doesn’t want to imitate Mom and Dad when they’re working around the camp site? The Educational Insights Grill and Go Camp Stove looks realistic and makes sizzling sounds as does the RealTree Pretend and Play Camping Set. Little Treasures also makes a camping set. My kids also enjoy binoculars and bug jars—these you may have just lying around the house. Poke holes in the top of a Mason Jar and see how many fireflies the kids can catch!
4. Story Telling Aids
No camping trip is complete without some story telling. That said, how many times have your kids asked you to tell them a story and you just couldn’t think of one? Enter a story telling aid like Rory’s Story Cubes. Kids and adults alike will love these around the campfire or in the tent late at night. Story Cubes will really get your kids talking and telling some hilarious or scary stories. These sets have pictures representing characters, actions, and events on the pieces that give even our non-readers a chance to take part. Isn’t communication and building family relationships what camping is all about?
5. Camping Games
Ladder golf, horseshoes, and ring toss will keep the kids amused even in the most remote camping area. The Elite Ring Toss Game, Champion Sports Rubber Horseshoe Game, and GoSports Indoor/Outdoor Ladder Toss Game will all fold up to fit in your camping bins.
Games like these allow you to trash talk bond with your kids while working on eye-hand coordination.
But what happens if it rains? How about a game of Uno—Wilderness Version? Our family loves Uno so much that I’ve been known to carry around a deck of Uno cards in my bag. That’s why I was so stoked to get my hands on the Wilderness Version. Again, non-readers can play, too, by matching the colors.
So there you have it, folks! Five easy-to-pack items that will surely keep your kids amused at even the most remote camping location. Even if you’re hardcore and pack your camping gear into the wilderness instead of car camping like the rest of us pansies, you can surely find room for a glow stick or two and a pack of cards. So get out there and make some memories!