My four-year-old and I recently took a camping trip, and we had so much fun! The experience brought about so many new skills and experiences, and we made memories that will last for a lifetime. Here are some of the best reasons to try this adventure out with your family, too:
1. It Brings New Experiences
When was the last time your child jumped from rock to rock in a slow-moving stream, or climbed up a hill in the middle of the woods? When you’re staying outdoors, new experiences are sure to fill your days.
2. It Helps Form a Love of Nature
Nature is calming, grounding, and oftentimes inspirational. Teaching your kids to love the outdoors gives them a healthy hobby to rely on when they need to unplug, even as they move into adulthood. A love for nature encourages children to treat the planet well, too.
3. It Includes Lots of Dirt and Mud
This may seem like a downside at first when you picture the mess (and the mountain of laundry to follow), but dirt and mud are great for sensory play, emotional health, creativity, and even building the immune system.
4. It Gets Kids Away From Screens
Camping is the perfect activity for leaving screens behind (beside an adult’s communication device for emergencies, of course). When kids are out in the woods, screentime will be the last thing on their mind, giving them a chance to learn, grow, and have a good time in many different ways.
5. It Teaches Kids to Have Fun With Less
Our kids today have everything they could need and more. When all they have is a tent, a sleeping bag, and a whole lot of nature, they learn to be content with far less. Drawing in the dirt with sticks is pretty cool, after all.
6. It Gets Kids Moving
Research shows that being outside gives kids intrinsic motivation when it comes to physical activity. Walking, climbing, running, and jumping are all enticing activities in a camping environment.
7. It Provides Fresh Air and Vitamin D
Time in the fresh air has proven to reduce levels of anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity, as well as boost social-emotional skills. Vitamin D helps to build bone strength and reduce cancer risks. In this sense, camping can quite literally improve your child’s mental and physical health.
8. It Teaches Basic Survival Skills
On camping trips, kids can learn how to build a fire, how to cook over the flames, which wild plants are safe to eat, and more. They may never need these skills, but the added awareness can improve their self-confidence while out in nature nonetheless.
9. It Boosts Creativity
Time in nature can lead to creativity, whether it’s inventing a new game with sticks and rocks or drawing in a journal they brought along from home.
10. It Strengthens Self-Confidence
Camping gives kids space to try new things with fewer rules, limits, and norms to fit into. It teaches them both what they are capable of and who they are by allowing them to overcome challenges in their own creative way.
11. It Builds Positive Family Relationships
Camping gives your family space to connect without outside factors. Lessened phone service and fewer screens eliminate distractions. Overcoming challenges together helps to strengthen your overall bond as well. And these benefits aren’t left in the wilderness — they’re brought home to serve as a basis for relationship building to come.
12. It Forms Memories That Will Last A Lifetime
It’s true that kids won’t remember their best day of television. But they will remember each and every camping trip they go on as a child. These memories will become highlights, even if they include unfortunate circumstances like waking up in a sopping wet tent or getting a little bit lost on the trails through the woods.
No matter where or when you go camping, it’s sure to provide a long list of benefits for both you and your child. Even if it’s just for one night in a nearby town, consider giving the activity a try
with your child. You never know — you might just discover a new hobby that continues to bring
brightness for years to come.