It might seem too much of a chore to take toddlers camping, but if you do, the benefits are enormous.
Camping is a great option for a fun family holiday, but the idea of throwing toddlers into the mix might seem a little daunting. Taking them away from the familiarity of their daily routine probably doesn’t sound like a relaxing getaway. However, considering that life with a toddler is never really that relaxing anyway, a change of pace and scenery can do everyone the world of good. And spending a few days in a tent, out and about in the great outdoors, has a lot to offer an adventurous toddler.
Enjoy family time
It can be easy to get caught up with busy schedules and cut family time short. But when you go camping, life slows right down. Everything takes longer, from making a cup of tea to cleaning your teeth. This means plenty of time to re-connect. Once you stop rushing around, you can spend quality time with your toddler, at a pace that he appreciates. And one that allows for natural and easy communication.
On the go
Whether you’re in a campsite or out in the middle of nowhere, camping is a holiday that encourages physical activity. Your toddler will be on the go with days of walking, swimming, scootering or simply playing outdoors. There’s no couch to sit on and no television to watch. Even going to the campsite toilet block means walking a little further than usual.
Early to bed
The bedtime routine of camping is actually ideal for toddlers with no late nights or sleeping in. Once it’s dark, it’s time for bed and once daylight breaks, it’s time to get up. Perfect for those early risers, who wake up full of beans and ready to go.
One of the great advantages of camping is the absolute lack of technology. With no tablets, mobile phones or television, kids are forced to find other ways to entertain themselves. Suddenly there’s time for family games, conversations and increased physical activities. Any time away from a screen is time well spent.
What’s for dinner?
If you have a fussy eater, camping can be the perfect foil. While you need to pack up the sorts of foods they like, when you go camping there’s only so much you can take or store. You can’t just whip up an alternative or pop into the nearby supermarket because they don’t like what’s on offer. Daily menus are simpler with less choice. And with all the fresh air and physical activity that comes with camping, toddlers are hungrier and often more prepared to give different types of food a try.
Get into nature
Camping gives your toddler a wonderful opportunity to experience the great outdoors. Especially if you live in a big city and don’t often see such sights as a forest of trees or a night sky full of stars. Whether you set off for the mountains, beach or countryside, your toddler will be able to enjoy the natural surrounding landscape and learn first-hand about its flora and fauna.
You will, no doubt, want to pack a few favourite toys and games, so your child can enjoy quiet time or be entertained on a rainy ‘inside tent’ day. However, life is much simpler when camping, with less room for extra bits and pieces. Your toddler will have to make do with only a handful of items, encouraging him to be more resourceful and easily satisfied with what’s available.
Break from routine
All holidays offer a break from the normal routine, and camping is no exception. Particularly when it comes to bath time. Regular baths and showers are not really part of a camping holiday, which is probably better news for your toddler than you. However, any break from the usual schedule is attractive and a few fewer baths over a couple of days will be a welcome change for all.