Camping Tips and Tricks Part II - Sleeping and Activities
Part 1 focused on meals and food prep for camping. Part two will focus on what we do to keep our kiddo occupied. Camping is much different with a toddler and we definitely have to make some different considerations to make sure she is occupied and happy for the trip. Here is what we’ve learned along the way.
My number one concern when we started camping with our daughter is what the sleeping arrangements would be. We never co-slept with our daughter and knew she would need to have her own space to go to sleep comfortably. We started bringing her pack and play since day one and have never done anything else. She does to sleep comfortably in it and is totally used to it. Plus having something that we can put her in to keep her out of the way when setting up or packing up is great to have as well. She naps in the pack and play as well. We try our best to keep her on her regular sleep schedule when camping as much as possible. When we camp out here in Colorado it gets super cold at night even in the middle of summer. For that reason we bundle up for sleep clothing. My daughter usually sleeps in her fleece jammies with a layer underneath. We all sleep with hats on and down blankets. It’s not unusual for it to get so cold at night that she might wake up in the early morning and we just bring her into bed with us for the rest of the night. We just roll with it and for the most part it works out. Just be prepared that the sun is up early and usually means our daughter is up then too. Sleep is not something we get a lot of camping and we usually turn in early ourselves.
How to keep our kiddo occupied is another topic that stressed me early on. I used to pack lots of toys and even her play yard. Now a days i have learned to play more with what’s in nature or what we have on hand. We do still pack a special camp chair for her that comes in handy for meal time or if we need her to stay still for a moment. Yes we have brought a kindle along for meal prep time or if there is poor weather which has been a lifesaver before. Here’s a list of things we like to do:
Scavenger hunt/hide and seek
Playing in the water-throwing/skipping stones
Building stone towers/cairns
Drawing in the dirt with sticks
Playing fetch with the dogs
Throwing a ball or frisbee
Playing with glowsticks/flashlights
Tracing leaves/leaf rubbings/nature art
Again i’ve learned to keep this down to a minimum but I do bring a couple items in her diaper bag for some variety and if there is poor weather. I bring a book or two for a quiet activity and for bedtime stories to keep our routine the same. I also bring a ball or car toy that she can play with in the dirt. I have to bring her baby doll (because it’s an obsession for bedtime). I will bring a sticker or coloring book for back up again in case of weather or to work on at her chair when we are getting a meal ready. Lastly I will bring a tablet for her to play some games on. I never thought I’d be that parent but when we were stuck in the tent because of rain with two dogs, it really came in handy. Also when we are setting up or packing up our site it’s nice to keep her occupied so we can both carry things and work on things without her in the way. When possible we give her little tasks to help out, but she’s still little and needs to be out of the way sometimes.
Hope you enjoyed some of my tips. What works for you all when camping? Comment below!