We have recently been camping now that summer is about and I thought it would be fun to write about our adventures and why it is so much fun to camp with kids.
Firstly, you need to send parents/in-laws ahead of you to put up the tent and set up the camp site… ok, just joking. I know I am spoiled!! Actually, just have a plan before you get started so you don’t get lost in the process :). We have been camping a few times a year for the past 4 years and so by now are fairly well equipped for a comfortable time away. We also have the set up down pat now and can get organised relatively quickly now.
We went up to the Forest of Dean a couple of weeks ago, to camp for a weekend and had a really great time. The Forest is awesome and there are tons of things to get out and do. We walked along the Wye River by Symmonds Yat and visited Goodrich Castle, a ruinous Norman medieval castle. The walk along the river was gentle and slow and very scenic with lots of nature to explore along the way. You could pack a magnifying glass or an insect viewer as there were so many things to see by way of butterflies, dragonflies, beetles and so on. The fauna is also lovely to look at and the flowers are varied and fun to examine and try to identify. We also packed a pair of kids binoculars which were great fun when it came to playing I Spy!
Goodrich castle was a great place to let our imagination run wild about the days of old. The castle is well preserved and the information around the building is excellent.
Sleeping in a tent is a great experience. It evokes feelings of being slightly primitive and needing to work together to get by. That sounds a bit extreme, but if you think of it from this perspective… you cook over a fire (kids can be kept busy collecting firewood and kindling for after the cooking), you have to pack food according to what you can store without a fridge, you eat outside (perhaps under the stars), you sleep in a special magical house that you build for the time you are there and there are no distractions from the time you have together as a family. Everyone has different jobs assigned and then you can just have fun.
For entertainment, we took things like playing cards, a ball, activity books, paper and pens and for the car, we took my mobile phone loaded with movies and the mobigo. In the end, the things that we did around us absorbed us for most of the time and we had a fun relaxed camping weekend.