We just got back from a camping trip with my family. This was not the first time camping with my son but last time we went he had just started walking or waddling, really, so this time it was so much fun to see him really take in the experience. Later on, I will be writing a post more specific to the location we were at but, for now, I want to share some easy activities you can do with a toddler while camping (at any location!).
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Ok, so this isn't specific to camping but it was very handy to have around. I bought one of these small bubble guns so it didn't take up much space and one bottle for refills.
My son loved the rocks. He tried to pick them all up - big and small. One way to keep your toddler from throwing the rocks is to collect them. This will give him something to do with them instead of making them off limits all together. It's also a great activity for comparing sizes and weight (heavy vs. light).
Dig in the dirt
Sand toys can keep a toddler occupied for quite awhile when there's nothing but dirt around.
You can walk a trail or do a toddler-friendly hike but if there's not anything nearby you can just walk around the campground and collect things of nature in a bucket or bag.
This is an activity we did not do but I wish we had. The thought didn't even cross my mind until we arrived at camp and I saw all of the rocks (and my son's fascination with them). Next time I will definitely take paint!
Pine Cone Soccer
Who needs a soccer ball when you have pine cones? (We actually did have a couple of soccer balls.) This is a great gross motor activity for the little ones and big kids like it, too!
Pine Cone Hunt
Go on a search for fallen pine cones!
Practice Animal Sounds
What better place to work on your animal sounds than in the great outdoors?
If your little one makes it to dark, have some fun making shadow puppets on the tent.
This was another activity from home that was great to have on hand. We had a bucket of sidewalk chalk out at all times. It was perfect for keeping the kids occupied (my bother's kids are 8 and 11 and they enjoyed it, too) during down time when we were just hanging out at the campsite.
Throwing Rocks at a Target (Preferably a Non-Human One!)
I know I just said to collect rocks to help keep your child from throwing them but, if you think your child can handle the responsibility, you can have her throw rocks at something or toss them in a bucket. My dad taught my son how to throw rocks at a soda can. He loved it and I loved it because it's a great activity for building both fine and gross motor skills.