Ideas for Toddlers/Pre schoolers

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by EmilyC, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Sotovoce

    Sotovoce Active Member

    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    86
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Location:
    Georgia
    These suggestions are bringing back many memories of when our campers were younger.
    My current standby play things are bubble blow and Frisbees.
     
  2. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

    Messages:
    887
    Likes Received:
    189
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Location:
    MN
    I've been camping with my kids for a lot of years now, the two youngest are now 15. To be honest, when the kids were younger, camping was not a vacation at all for most of the day for the us, but that was OK. In the end, we just kept them active all day and enjoyed the time when they crashed early. It is a lot of work. It is not much different than at home except that you need to keep them relatively close. You got lots of good advice. For sure anything except electronics and preferably something that fits in with camping. Picking up sticks for the fire, finding bugs...... As they get older you work with them to help and be part of the team. Pretty soon, they can do most of the stuff and it is much more relaxing for you. Parenting is a lot of work, even when you are camping.
     
  3. lksdrinker

    lksdrinker Active Member

    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    I'd never have kindling for the fire if I didnt have kids out there collecting twigs all day! You could turn it into a competition....set a timer and each kid has their own pile with the biggest pile winning. Or maybe single biggest twig thats not a branch wins.

    During our last trip another family we went with had recently been to the beach and saw an "artist" piling up odd shaped rocks. Their kids loved the idea of trying this during our entire camping trip.
     
    MaeKay likes this.
  4. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Location:
    California
    Please, if you're going to stack rocks, knock them over when you're done. Not everyone wants to see dozens of them everywhere they go.

    There was an article a while back about the controversy of this. It's not just the people visiting, but the rangers who have differing opinions as to whether it's "harmless" or not in the big scheme of things. So, by knocking them over before you leave, you get to enjoy them, but don't interfere with someone else's enjoyment of the place without them.
     
  5. Redbird234

    Redbird234 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    44
    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    Location:
    GTA
    When mine were little as long as there was water they were happy. We still bring a blow up pool with us, between that, the blow up boat and bowls they are happy.

    I bought a mini screen house, they like that it's a tent, I like it because I can see what they are up to.
     
  6. lksdrinker

    lksdrinker Active Member

    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    I wouldnt have thought of a blow up pool. Any campsites ever frown upon something like that?
     
  7. Redbird234

    Redbird234 Member

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    44
    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    Location:
    GTA
  8. Nani2

    Nani2 Active Member

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    116
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Location:
    Tennessee
  9. amberckaufman

    amberckaufman Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    Location:
    Wrightwood, ca
    I have a 4 year old and 7 year old - both boys. Both maniacs.

    I agree - ZERO screens. Not allowed while camping unless were watching a movie as a family on the laptop at night or whatever.
    I bring hotwheels cars. I drew a huge circle around the site where they were allowed to stay (so I can see them). I gave them a pile of sticks and rocks and some water. Go for it dudes. They made ramps, mud pits, tracks, whatever. That makes them pretty happy even when were not cleaning/cooking. Bubbles. My 7 year old tries so hard to make a fire with two sticks, they also ended up wandering around the big circle area and found a huge praying mantis, animal tracks, etc.

    Were camping in Joshua Tree for easter and theres rocks to scramble. Ill still bring the cars and stuff but I suspect they will find plenty to do.
    Camping is a zero ipad, screen, dvd, computer, phone time.
     
  10. LucilleToo

    LucilleToo New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2019
    I bring one folding fabric box of toys and books for my 2.5 year old twins- half dozen books they love, coloring books and crayons, a couple pages of stickers, sand toys (to be used in the dirt), a couple cars, a couple baby dolls, a very small selection of play food/ utensils etc from their play kitchen, bubbles and large bouncy balls. I keep the sand toys and play food outside near where we cook, coloring books and stickers inside so we don't litter, everything else they move where they want. They entertain themselves pretty well!
     
  11. LucilleToo

    LucilleToo New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2019
    I do this with my twins! But at 2.5 they don't have the fine motor skills for pipettes so we use little squeeze bottles, they mostly shake drops of vinegar out onto the baking soda. They LOVE this activity, but it sure stinks!
     
  12. Rideswithchrist

    Rideswithchrist Member

    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    24
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Location:
    Buda, TX
    I know this is an old post, but nothing...They dig in the dirt and find sticks and such. Sometimes we bring bubbles or outdoor games. We have a no-electronics rule when camping...except for the Kindle for bedtime books if we are in the middle of one.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  13. MaeKay

    MaeKay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    255
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2017
    Location:
    Utah
    Having a VERY active child (super smart and with sensory processing issues) who gets into just about everything if I’m not right on top of him, I get it. (I’m jealous of those relaxed parents who don’t have to be hypervigilant...I feel like a neurotic woman for being so “on”. But then I realize they aren’t raising the kid I am). I finally found the sensory things that soothe him. Luckily a shovel, buckets, and those little mini toy-state diggers keep him occupied. For us, luckily, when we’re out doors, he gets into less trouble. So we get outside as much as possible.

    This trip I went to the dollar tree and bought paint with water books, markers (because I could supervise them, otherwise markers are not allowed), and printed a ton of coloring pages. They sat at our dinette and colored or painted rocks with water colors for hours! I brought the art supplies that I know soothe him (colored pencils work best because they have a lot of proprioceptive input vs markers and crayons) so I was able to get some quiet time. We’re also lucky in that he’ll sit still for books. So we bring a whole box of them to look through.

    Other than that, they’re outside digging in the dirt. He can’t break things as easily outside as he can in buildings. I get to say “yes” to a lot more things while camping that I usually do. (Sure, bang that stick against that other stick as hard as you need to! Yep, it’s totally ok to dig there. Sure, get muddy, just take your shoes off before you come in the trailer)

    (I know this is an old thread but thought i’d add ideas)
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  14. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,485
    Likes Received:
    953
    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Location:
    South Carolina
    We made plaster of paris cast of animal tracks, for one activity. Made a ring out of cardboard the size needed to capture a track or two.
     
    MaeKay likes this.
  15. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    877
    Likes Received:
    412
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    I just let mine help me with whatever I'm doing.
     
  16. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Location:
    California
    MaeKay - sounds like you are doing a great job. The truth is every kid is different.

    While having kids help may take longer and things won't get done perfectly, I believe it is very important for their futures. Between 4 and 8, they are so eager to be of help that giving them that opportunity reinforces a desire to be of service to others. It is really easy to identify a teen who never "worked" when younger.
     
    MaeKay likes this.
  17. FARfetched

    FARfetched Active Member

    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    167
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Location:
    Sector 706, Planet Georgia
    @MaeKay, we have a 3-1/2 year old foster with sensory issues as well. He thinks the camper is awesome—it's something sort of inside while being outside, and he always wants to be outside. Unfortunately, he's only had one night in it (Camp Driveway at that). He's a flip-flopper, so I moved the dining table and put cushions between the benches; that worked really well for a bed. As far as activities go, he'd be content to drag me around the campground to look at all the big trucks. (A pool and playground would be welcome distractions, though.)

    The 10 year old likes to fish, ride a bike, and have Nerf gun wars. The latter requires other kids at the campground, and the former two are more fun with others as well. I might like an empty campground for the peace and quiet, but he wants a busy one with lots of like-minded kids. Heck, when my parents borrowed or rented a TT for occasional campouts Up North (we lived in SE Michigan, and Up North was pretty much anything 50+ miles north of Grand Rapids), hanging out with other kids was the whole point of the trip for us.

    I'm not as doctrinaire about electronics as some, especially since the younger one will be getting a tablet for use as a talk box (he's largely non-verbal on top of the sensory issues). Besides, once the kids are down for the night, I'm not above pulling out a laptop or tablet+keyboard and doing some writing. Oh, and I'll take pics with my phone through the day. So yeah, I don't like being a hypocrite. And… it turns out that the 10 year old only uses a tablet at bedtime when we're camping. He's too busy having fun through the day.
     
  18. MaeKay

    MaeKay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    255
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2017
    Location:
    Utah
    Oh my gosh! You just aced my parenting goals. We occasionally see tracks and I happen to have a carton of plaster of paris. That's going on my packing list for our trip next week. We even see them around the neighborhood occasionally. THANK YOU!!!
     
    FARfetched likes this.
  19. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    877
    Likes Received:
    412
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    I don't know how to snip your post but you mentioned that nerf guns/battles require other kids in the campground. I 100% disagree. I'm 44 and have been in a ton of Nerf battles, sometimes I lose, other times my advanced skills come out on top! If my daughter wants to paint my toes then my toes get painted!! Why because it makes them happy, no harm is done and a memory of a life time is made.
     
    FARfetched likes this.
  20. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Location:
    California
    Just make sure you have a bottle of polish remover on hand or that ER visit could be a bit embarassing... :)
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.