Camping food requires some forethought
Bring lots of it! When gathering food for your impending camping holiday, consider what your toddler loves to eat and double the amount. All that running around will have them extra hungry and tired. Take simple snacks that they can hold and move with, such as muesli bars, rice cakes, fruit, or a dried biscuit. Also handy when you jet around to various activities.
You don’t have to overthink it- 1 quick and simple breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and a filling meal for dinner. Full bellies at night means a good sleep for your toddler.
> Get more camping meal ideas for kids
Heating up a bottle when camping
Although it’s a novelty heating up your toddler’s bottle of milk over the campfire, they aren’t as patient as us parents. Research if your campground has a camp kitchen that contains a microwave. So much more convenient. You can thank me later!
Bring a mat for crawlers
A handy item to bring camping if your toddler is crawling. We would put a large mat down with some toys to keep them entertained and out of the dirt. If they’re anything like my toddlers were, they’ll try to eat dirt and insects. Also convenient after they have had a bath, to keep those hands and feed clean.
Baby wipes are a toddler's best friend
You can never have enough and baby wipes are your best friend when camping with a toddler. They have multiple uses other than for changing a nappy. Faces, feet, hands, highchair and wiping all surfaces your toddlers dirty hands have touched.
Take your time
Patience is a virtue, especially when camping with a toddler. They love to explore and slow down to look at a lady bug or pat a horse. Remember to factor this into your plans and account for toddler tantrums. Keep your cool and your toddler will too.
Games & Devices
Having a campsite activity for your toddler is important if you’re preparing dinner and would like your toddler to stay still.
A game on a phone or tablet is a great option to keep them occupied. They’re fun, age appropriate, and often the games teach your toddler about animals, shapes, and colours. Don’t feel ashamed for giving your child a device while camping. We often go camping to disconnect, but this can be a good option for this kind of situation. Alternatively, take a few toys with you to pop into your tent for you toddler. This way they are contained and kept busy.
Choose the right activities
Research any nearby activities and decide which is the most appropriate for your toddler. Bear in mind that toddlers like to do things at their own pace and don’t like to keep quiet, so something like a guided tour might not be the best option.
If you want to do some day-walking or a hike, make sure you’re prepared and check the terrain, weather, any park warning/restrictions and the total return distance. All these things will weigh heavily into a toddler’s comfort, and let’s face it, our own!
Bring a headlamp
Give your toddler a headlamp to wear around the campsite, or when you’re heading to the toilet/shower at night. They love exploring in the dark with one and it is also a great sense of security. Another fun option is a glow stick.
Toddlers are cheap campers!
More of an FYI than a tip, but toddlers are cheap as chips! When it comes to camping site fees, it’s more than likely your toddler will be free. Likewise, if you’re heading to a nearby attraction (or activity) toddlers are generally FREE of charge. How good is that!
These tips have had a positive impact on our family’s camping adventures: the kids are happier and we’re more relaxed. And when everyone is happy, you’ll enjoy proper, quality time together and your toddler will grow more confident, independent and resilient in the outdoors.
So what are you waiting for? Time to get out there and make some camping memories with your adventurous toddler. But before you do, make sure you’ve got everything you need with the camping checklist.