Monday, September 10, 2012

Camping Fun

Recently my oldest daughter Rachel and her family purchased a travel trailer and have begun making the happy memories of family camping.  I was thinking about them over the Labor Day weekend and wondering if they were having fun.   The husband/lover/best friend and I didn't really start camping in earnest until our four children were teenagers, so I didn't have the issues of entertaining small children on our camping trips.

However, recently I have come across a few good ideas that I plan to use if or when any of our young grandchildren come camping with us.  I'm a big kid at heart, so mostly I am thrilled by any fun little activities.  Here's several ideas you may want to try with your camping buddies:

1.  Once it gets dark pass around a roll of Wint-O-Green Lifesavers to each person.  When you watch each other crunch the lifesavers you will see sparks fly.  (Yeah, it doesn't take much to amuse me.)  If it's rainy, just go inside and crunch away in the dark in front of a mirror.

2.  Give the kiddos a "gas tank" on their bikes.  Duct tape a 16 ounce plastic water bottle vertically on the bike frame between your knees.  Fill it with water and poke a hole in the bottom.  The child will see the drip trail that the "gas" makes as he/she rides, and will have fun watching the gas get low.  You will need a bucket of water, a cup, and a funnel at the "gas station" for fill-ups.  Thanks Dad, I remember having so much doing this as a kid with my bike and my posse of friends.

3.  All kids like s'mores.  Now I am a s'mores purist, and you can read my thoughts about that in this previous post.  However, in the case of rain or when no campfires are allowed, desperate measures are called for when the kiddos (big and small) need s'mores.  If you don't have a microwave, skip this activity and go to #4 (sorry).  

S'mores On A Stick

Crush graham crackers in a ziploc bag.
Melt chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave.  
Put a marshmallow on a pretzel stick.
Roll it in the melted chocolate and graham cracker crumbs.

4.  Learn the difference between butterflies and moths by making Moth Milkshakes.  In a saucepan mix 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups water.  Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Use paintbrushes and flashlights to paint the mix onto a tree trunk at night.  Wait an hour then check the tree trunk.  Butterflies will fold their wings back. Moths' wings spread out.

5.  Make pebble pets.  Send the kids to find a few smooth oval-shaped rocks on your campsite, and using marker pens decorate them into pebble pets, like ladybugs or frogs.  Use these to hold down napkins on the picnic table.

Whatever happens, rain or shine, relax and have some fun.  I'm so excited for my next camping adventure!  Tonight!


  1. Wish I were a kid gain. Maybe it is about time to start my second childhood.

  2. :). So far our girls keep busy with their bikes and scooters, coloring, smores, finding catapillers, and fishing. Oh...and playing in their bunk house! Rachel

  3. Oh and they have already informed me of the need for gas tanks on their bikes and scooters!