8 Reasons to Go Camping With Your Kids

April 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Pastimes

Welcome to the April 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Pastimes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about family pastimes.


The weather is warmer, and it is time to think about taking a break. As you plan your family vacation, consider hitting the trails with your kids. Young or old, experienced or not, camping is a tradition that everyone can share. Check out these reasons why you should consider camping with your kids.

Natural Parents Network: 8 Reasons to Go Camping With Your Kids

  1. Connection. If you want to get close to your kids, try cramming the entire family into a tent. All joking aside, camping gives an opportunity for connection that is different from anything else. The distractions of the outside world fade away, if only temporarily, and you can really focus on slowing down and being mindful.
  2. Memories. The very things that seem like disasters during family vacations are the same ones you will be laughing about for years to come. Spend a little time camping with your kids, and when they are older, you can look back on those times with fondness. Don’t forget to take a camera to capture all of your memories.
  3. Health. Staying in the Great Outdoors allows our bodies to reset. We can reset our sleep cycles as we live by the rising and setting of the Sun. We can breathe fresh, clean air, away from the off-gasing found in building materials. Outdoor activities tend toward exercise, whether they are hiking, fishing, or just exploring. At the same time, you will get a healthy dose of vitamin D.
  4. Getting Back to Nature. In the hustle and bustle of living, we often lose contact with nature. Camping allows us a slower pace and a reminder of where we came from. Help your children develop an appreciation for Mother Earth by learning how to clean up after themselves and learning the importance of taking care of our environment. At the same time, they will learn valuable life skills. If your older kids think camping is boring, try calling it Zombie Apocalypse Training. Those survival skills just might come in handy some day.
  5. Affordability. Vacations can be expensive, especially when you throw in an entire family. Camping, on the other hand, can be done for as little as you like. With a minimum of gear, and food you bring from home or catch yourself, you won’t break the bank to spend a little relaxation time with your kids.
  6. Variability. Camping can provide a multitude of experiences. Check out different areas of the country, from the mountains to the plains, forests to the deserts. Camp for as long or as short as you want. You can take a week-long excursion or go just for a night. Custom tailor your experience for the occasion.
  7. Family Legacy. Throughout human history, we have passed down our family stories through storytelling. Share some of your childhood memories and family tales around the campfire. While you are at it, make some new stories to share.
  8. Anyone Can Do It. You don’t have to be an outdoor aficionado to go camping. Anyone can do it. Whether you are experienced or have never gone before, camping is accessible to everyone.

Does your family go camping? What is your favorite part of the experience?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • 8 Reasons to Go Camping with Your Kids — The weather is warmer, and it is time to think about taking a break. As you plan your family vacation, Mandy of Living Peacefully with Children, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains why you should consider hitting the trails with your kids.
  • Crafty Cohorts — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys crafting with her kids, and the skills they are learning.
  • 10 Hobbies For Families With Young Children — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama knows that finding hobbies families can do together (with young children in tow) isn’t always the easiest of feats. She has compiled a list of 10 family friendly hobbies that children of all ages can enjoy and that won’t break the bank!
  • Helping Himawari — Sophelia’s family at Sophelia’s Adventures in Japan share a passion for helping when a dog is abandoned at the nearby elementary school.
  • The ‘Art’ of Having FunMarija Smits shares some thoughts on family art and fun.
  • How we made our own Family Day — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares how her family celebrates the best day of the week, a chance for connection and adventure and endless possibilities: Family Day!
  • Our Family Hobby — Survivor talks about how animal husbandry has become her family’s favorite hobby at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters.
  • Sowing the Seeds of Passions — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs wonders if her interests, and her husband’s, will shape her children’s passions as they mature.
  • Harry Potter Potions Party — One of the best activities Dionna at Code Name: Mama has ever done with her family has been a Harry Potter Potions Party. She is sharing the resources she used to create their potion recipes, the ingredients and tools they experimented with, and the recipes themselves. Feel free to use and adapt for your own budding wizards and witches!
  • Pastimes Have Passed Me By — Kati at The Best Things takes a new perspective on projects that never get done.
  • Food as a cultural experience for preschoolers — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings finds that food is a good way to engage her preschoolers on a journey of cultural discovery.
  • 10 Reasons I Love Thrifting With My ChildrenThat Mama Gretchen has always enjoyed shopping, but with a growing family she’s become more frugal and thus, her little ones are now in tow on her thrift store adventures.
  • Pastime with Family vs Family Pastime — You can share lots of pastimes with your family, but Jorje of Momma Jorje discovered a family pastime was much more pleasant for sharing.

Photo Credits

Al_HikesAZ via photopin cc

About The Author: Mandy

My NPN Posts

Mandy O'Brien is an unschooling mom of five. She's an avid reader and self-proclaimed research fanatic. An active advocate of human rights, Mandy works to provide community programs through volunteer work. She is a co-author of the book Homemade Cleaners, where simple living and green cleaning meet science. She shares a glimpse into her life at Living Peacefully with Children, where she writes about various natural parenting subjects and is working to help parents identify with and normalize attachment parenting through Attachment Parents Get Real.

8 Responses to 8 Reasons to Go Camping With Your Kids

  1. Camille Flores  

    What a wonderful article! Too often we think of vacation as a trip to an amusement park or week of blitzing museums in an effort to make the vacation educational. Camping does have its risks for disaster, but as you say, these are often the things that make it a family story. :)

  2. Dionna  

    We are taking our first family camping trips this summer – 2 scheduled so far – and I am SO excited! It has taken me years to talk Tom into it, so I hope it lives up to the hype I’ve given him ;)

  3. Marija Smits  

    This brings back so many great childhood camping memories for me – and one day I hope to have some fun times camping with my own children. Thanks for the welcome reminder!

  4. Lauren Wayne  

    I so agree with this! I was afraid we were too indoorsy to be a camping family, but we just take it easy and stay only one or two nights, close to home. The kids love it (so many sticks and rocks and other amazing things to discover!), and I can survive terrible sleep for that long. ;)

  5. Sophelia  

    My absolute favourite childhood memories are of camping! With five kids it must have been a bit of a nightmare for our parents, though. My dad made us all matching cloaks from old blankets and we’d all put them on and sit around the fire while eh read Lord of the Rings to us, then we’d set out for our own adventures in the woods searching for elves. I vaguely remember visiting an amusement park once, and nothing about that memory has the magic that our camping experiences still evokes for me.

  6. Kellie

    We have done a few mini-camping trips with the kids before, and they loved it. They begged to go all last summer but it didn’t work out. This year, I have a camping vacation planned with Daddy and my mom, already on the calendar. We will even be fishing! We are going out to the farm where my grandmother was raised, but there are no buildings left on it anymore – just some wild land, free for exploring!

  7. Jennifer @ Hybrid Rasta Mama  

    We took Tiny camping (to a reggae festival naturally) for the first time last summer and she is addicted. I totally agree that camping is the ultimate family past time! Love, love love it!

  8. Christy  

    We love camping – a definite must for us each summer. Our honeymoon was camping with our wedding party, and we’ve included our kids in the experience. Sadly last summer we had to take a break because the previous summer my youngest had a hard time – waking up at 5 am and crying for hours until everyone else was up. We had to spend that time sitting in the car so we didn’t wake up the whole campsite, and I couldn’t take it so we left early. I dearly hope this summer will work!

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