Friday, July 5, 2013

camping {with kids}

Last summer, I took off a few day to take my kiddos camping. Unfortunately, Handyman had to work. I've never gone camping without him before, and our last trip was cut short by an unhappy camper -this little guy-so even though we went with friends, I was still a little bit nervous.

don't be scared, go camping!


camping with kids: easy meals and activities


Lucky, I when I'm nervous I tend to over-prepare, and those preparations came in nice and handy on this trip.

ACTIVITY PREPARATIONS
One of my favorite aspects about camping is that the kids love being outdoors and playing in nature. And for us, that means lots of imaginative play and few structured activities. However, for those moments when their creativity is running low, there's been on too many squabbles about freezer tag rules, we've already been to the beach, taken our daily hike, or no one wants to ride bikes anymore, an activity bucket comes in handy.

The activity bucket doesn't have to be elaborate, in fact the simpler the better. (Remember, you'll be camping, so be emotionally ready to loose or damage anything you pack.)

I filled a plastic bucket with an oversized checkers set, pick-up sticks, crayons & coloring books, creative clay, embroidery floss for friendship bracelets, water balloons, and simple puzzles that I made from cutting up cardboard cereal boxes. We were camping with kids from newborn to 12, so having a variety of activities was important. Fill yours to suit your needs and preferences.



Of course when you're camping you have to eat. Our camp site had a little country store that sold ice and a few groceries like milk, so it was easy to keep our perishables cool and food safe. I did plan to eat the fresh food first, then progress to more pre-fab foods.

MEAL PREPARATIONS
Dishes
  • silverware
  • plates
  • cups
  • tablecloth and clips
  • chef's knife
  • cutting board
  • mixing bowl & spoon
  • cast iron skillet
  • dish soap, dish pan, & towels

MENU-Day 1
Breakfast
eggs catastrophe
homemade cinnamon rolls
fresh fruit

Lunch
peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
fresh veggies
store bought chips &cookies

Dinner
tin foil dinner {meatballs, green beans, onions, carrots, onion soup mix}
s'mores & popcorn


MENU-Day 2
Breakfast
zucchini bread muffins
fresh fruit
eggs

Lunch
peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
fresh veggies
store bought chips &cookies

Dinner
chicken skewers with peppers, onions, pineapple
s'mores & popcorn

MENU-Day 3
Breakfast
pancakes with maple syrup & hashbrowns
fresh fruit
eggs

Lunch
peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
fresh veggies
store bought chips &cookies

Dinner
hotdogs & canned baked beans, fresh fruit platter
s'mores & popcorn


MENU-Day 4
Breakfast
oatmeal & hot chocolate

Pack up and go home!

Packing & Prep Ideas
Prep all your meals at home. for the above menu I:
  • baked the zucchini bread muffins
  • baked the cinnamon rolls (make and drizzle the icing on site)
  • assembled the tin foil dinners
  • assembled the chicken skewers
  • assembled the eggs catastrophe (minus the eggs, add on site)
  • chopped all the lunch veggies
  • cut the breakfast fruit
Preparing and packing for a camping trip can be a lot of up front work, but once you get to your destination and are all set, it becomes all worth it when you can set back relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Plus, then you can get fun photos like this of your children.

 
Sunday: |I Heart Naptime|Nifty Thrifty Things|It's Overflowing| MopItUp| Monday: | C.R.A.F.T.|Sumo'sSweetStuff | diy home sweet home| KeepingItSimple | Tuesday: Coastal Charm |  SugarBeeCrafts | My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Get Your Craft On |  WeMadeThat | diydreamer | Wednesday:| Savvy Southern Style | NYMelroseFamily | Gingersnap Crafts | LifeWithTheCrustOff | Thursday: The Shabby Creek Cottage| Made in a Day | House of Hepworths | the 36th Avenue | 52 Mantels Friday: Making Lemonade | Blissful and Domestic | One Artsy Mama | Serenity Now| The Shabby Nest |Thirty Handmade Days | Funky Junk Interiors | Financial Friday | Classy Clutter| Show&Tell


41 comments:

  1. Thank you for the sweet comment on my Orange Julius post! I love your camping tips, I really could have used those when my kids were young and we went camping all the time. I'm following you on Pinterest and Facebook, I would love a follow back! Carrie @ amothersshadow.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. All great ideas! Can't wait to try them out!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Did you keep the dinners in a cooler? Did you freeze them before you left or just make them and take them that day? We are heading out in a few weeks and I have been trying to decide what I can make ahead and will it stay fresh.

    Thanks,

    Nicole

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicole,


      I kept all my perishable food in a cooler. A day or two before I made and froze the following:
      •zucchini muffins
      •cinnamon rolls
      •tin foil dinners (already wrapped in foil, ready to throw on the coals. You could even brown the meat and just warm them up at the campsite.)
      •chicken skewers (just the seasoned chicken breast, cut, and threaded on the skewers, then wrapped in foil (just wrapped the meat, the sticks will pierce the foil if you wrap the whole thing)
      •the eggs catastrophe (same as the foil dinner, you could brown the sausage and soften the veggies ahead of time and just cook the eggs and warm the veggies over the coals)
      •the hotdogs (just so they could act as a small ice packs, keeping things around them cool)

      Either tightly wrap everything, or keep your ice in bags so that your items don't get soaked as the ice thaws.


      I also cut up all the fruit and veggies. For me, It's worth it to do more work at home and then at site.


      The other kids can thread their own veggies skewers, then roast over fire. We placed them directly on the grate. Next time, I would lightly spray both the veggies and chicken with oil before placing on the fire -some of them stick a bit. You don't want to leave half your dinner on the campsite grill!


      Hopes this helps!

      Laura


      Bonus Tip: I lightly scrambled my eggs and put them in a recyclable/disposable water bottle. Then I didn't worry about the fragile eggs cracking and making a huge gross mess in my cooler, and they it was easy to pour right into the sausage & veggie skillet.

      Delete
  4. I am so excited to find this from the Sundae Scoop Link Party. We are planning our first family camping trip, I am so excited. But, I am a little nervous about taking our 3 years old. Thank you for all the good advice!

    Brenna
    http://lifeafterlaundry.com

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