Where would you rather take your kids on their holidays: to a fun park which costs the earth and where there is no real food around for miles, or to the great outdoors where all the family can be together with relatively little cost? We live in a world where instant gratification seems to be what everyone wants. I believe that this kind of lifestyle is started off when we are young. We need to bring our children up with an appreciation for the slower things in life, for Mother Nature in all her wonderful glory and for making their own fun without spending money. Camping is an ideal family holiday and here are some great ideas for family activities to keep your kids entertained.
One of the things my kids love is telling stories. They love me reading them stories at bedtime and they have a wealth of imagination to draw on when they are making up their own stories, as most parents know about their own kids. Kids also love a bit of healthy competition. So one of the first things we do, once we have everything set up and have the campfire roaring, is to have a story telling competition. Depending on the ages of the kids, or whose little ears are still awake and listening, we tend to choose the theme for the competition by what the kids want. If they want horror stories in front of our four year old, who gets scared at a fly tickling her little neck, we get to choose and will probably go for family anecdotes.
Another game that we love to play, again involving stories, is to sit in a circle and play story go round. This is where each person says one sentence of the story then passes it on to the next person in the line. We’ve had so much fun with this one. The story can just keep going and going with hilarious results.
Now, as any parent who has ever taken their kids camping knows, even with the best of planning, you are never guaranteed to have a full holiday without rain. So what are you going to do? Sit and wallow, waiting for the rain to pass, hopefully not too soon? No. We always have extra clothes and it doesn’t take that long to dry off the wet ones once the sun comes out again. We play rain forest explorers, taking the kids to whichever forest is closest and just enjoy the unique atmosphere that every forest brings.
So as you can see, with a little thought, a lot of imagination and maybe a bit of friendly arm twisting for the more stubborn kids, you can get out there with Mother Nature under the canvas and have a really good time. Once they’re there, they have no choice but to have fun. The more energy you can inject into the proceedings the better.