It’s May long weekend – the unofficial West Coast kick-off of camping season! The car is packed up with tents, sleeping bags and all the snacks you can carry. You’ve got the kids leaving all their screens at home and you’re ready to be an unplugged family for a few days.
We’ve put together a list of family-friendly activities to keep your kids so busy they won’t even miss YouTube.
Starting with the basics:
Bikes – if you are at a campground with trails or pathways where the kids can ride their bikes, this is fantastic. They’ll get exercise and make friends with the other kids in the campground. If you need to get a tune up before you go, Oak Bay Bikes Westshore can help.
Cards – there are a multitude of card games available for every age group and skill level, including some that can even be played solo if your little needs something to do while you get lunch ready. Go Fish is tried and true classic, but there’s also Old Maid, Crazy 8s, Uno and SkipBo. Check out Mastermind Toys for a big selection of travel sized games for all ages.
Chalk – is your campsite near cement? Let your budding Picasso decorate for you! Maybe help your little draw up a hop scotch game and show them how you played when you were their age.
Colouring – after a long day of hiking, swimming and exploring, colouring is a nice quiet activity that everyone can appreciate during down time. Surprise your littles with a brand new colouring book and a fresh box of colours and you’ll be the hero.
Books – a favourite bedtime story or surreptitious reading practice? You decide. Coles has a good-sized junior section that will certainly have something to pique your child’s imagination.
A little out of the box:
Bocce – bocce is fun for all ages, with the bonus of being possible to play even in smaller spaces. If you have a field or a park close by even better, but even in smaller spaces it can be a lot of fun. Ask at Atmosphere for the original version, or the bean bag-style version (perfect if you’re worried about the balls rolling away).
Scavenger hunt – this is something you can prepare before you head out on the road by printing out a list (Google will help here) of fun outdoor things to find. Pack a few paper bags and some pencils and you’re good to go. No time to prepare? No problem! Just make it up as you go (feather, Y-shaped stick, something yellow, etc) – you’ve got this!
Adventure exploration – there are many varieties of nature exploration items available at Mastermind Toys, including bug observers, binoculars, butterfly catchers, magnifying glasses and more. If you’ve got a future astronomer in the family, consider investing in a telescope and a guide to the night sky.
Whatever activities you take with you on your family camping trip, you are sure to make a million memories that you and your kids will remember forever. Those memories rarely have anything to do with what you did either, the best memories are always about who you were with, and how it felt to be with them.