Camping Hacks for Camping with Toddlers

camping hacks for camping with toddlers
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When most people find out we go camping with toddlers, the response is, “Are you crazy?” Maybe, but we do have some camping hacks to make our trips easier, survivable and even fun! I’ll get right to it.

Solar Shower for Hand Washing

Toddlers are messy. And camping is messy. My kids are often digging for worms or who knows what. Get a solar shower, hang it on a tree, add a little hand soap, and now you have a hand washing station.

Pull-ups at Night

You have made it camping with your toddlers. And they are even potty trained. Hooray! But then they have an accident in their sleeping bag. What are you going to do?

Or

You have your kids wear pull-ups at night to prevent the above scenario. I’m not sure when I will stop having my kids do this camping, but I haven’t made it there yet.

Outdoor Rug to Wipe Feet

Did I mention that toddlers are messy? By placing a rug outside your tent or camper, you can eliminate tons of dirt and mud from getting inside. Better yet, just leave all shoes on the rug. I also think it makes your site look a little homier, like a home away from home. Here is one of my favorites:

Portable Clothes Storage

We hang a fabric shoe rack in our camper to keep the kids’ clothes organized and readily accessible. In the past, when I would pack, I would be digging through everything just to find that sock, or shoe or that that thing one of the kids needs right this second. This really helps keep everything easy to find, and if the kids are old enough, they can even get it for themselves!

Dollar Store Games and Books Just for Camping

We have learned the hard way that bringing your kids everyday toys, turn into ruined toys. Now we have specific camping toys from the dollar store. It doesn’t matter as much if they get torn apart or demolished during the trip. Most dollar stores have a pretty good selection of books, toys, games, puzzles, coloring books and even stuffed animals. Let me know what you find!

First Aid Kit

Bringing a first aid kit is a good idea whether you are camping with toddlers or not. But toddlers tend to scrap their knees and get random fevers out of no where. We are also an EpiPen carrying family so there are a few items we have to have on hand at all times. Bring a few kid band-aids for the scrapped knees too.

Laundry Basket

Bringing a portable laundry basket with you is just another way to stay a little more organized, and keep all the smelly clothes separate from any clean clothes. I might even suggest a separate laundry basket for your kids’ clothes if they are prone to accidents.

Simple Meals

One of my best camping hacks for camping with toddlers is to bring simple meals. Don’t over think it! Think peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers, and s’mores. Heck, when we set up in the evenings, we have even brought a pizza with us. And it is usually better the next day warmed up on the fire.

Your kids won’t notice if you make a Martha Stewart inspired meal. But they will notice if you are cranky, because your dinner is taking too long or too complicated with your limited camping supplies. Keep it easy.

Please send over any camping hacks for camping with toddlers. We could all use all the tips we can get!

Happy camping!

Download the PDF of the Camping Hacks for Camping with Toddlers graphic here.

Camping hacks for camping with toddlers

REI Co-op Kindercone 25 Kids’ Sleeping Bag Review

*This is not an ad! I just genuinely believe in this product.

Kindercone Sleeping Bag Review

Welcome the Kindercone sleeping bag review! Both my kids have the REI Co-op Kindercone 25 Kids’ Sleeping Bag. I believe this is the best deal on the market for a low temperature sleeping bag, currently running $59.95. Plus if you are part of the REI co-op like I am, you can use your dividend towards your purchase.

Kindercone Sleeping Bag Review: Warmth

Since we are often camping in the mountains in Colorado, it can get pretty cold at night. Our pop-up camper and buddy heater do a good job at keeping the temperature up during the night, but this sleeping bag ensures my kids get a comfortable night’s sleep while we are camping. The 25°F rating means that your kids will stay warm in temperatures as low as 25°F.

The bag is made with synthetic materials to shield against the cold and dampness should that apply. Also, the synthetic polyester fibers make it easy to wash and more difficult to absorb moisture if your child has an accident (although I always recommend putting a pull-up on your young kids while camping, even if they are potty trained). Additionally, its mummy design wraps around your kids for extra comfort and warmth.

The storage bag is attached to the sleeping bag and can be used to shorten the bag. You stuff the excess material into the bag and cinch it with the drawstring. Shortening the bag to fit your children’s height will keep them extra warm. This bag fits kids up to 5’5”. Heck, I could get away with using it at 5’1”.

Kindercone Sleeping Bag Review: Design

Last but not least, besides the degree rating, my favorite feature is the cute camping design. REI comes out with new designs every year for boys, girls or gender neutral options. I love them all!

If you are in need of a new sleeping bag this season for yourself (if you are short like me) or for your kids, I highly recommend the Kindercone. It certainly has provided my kids with many good nights’ sleep, and has given me piece of mind that they are warm and cozy.

Guide to Making Kindness Rocks

Guide to Kindness Rocks

I first learned about the Kindness Rock Project through a friend that brought idea this to my town. I love everything about kindness rocks, because they encourage positivity, creativity, and connection through painting rocks. And it’s a fun way to talk to your kids about random acts of kindness.

So what is it? First you collect rocks, paint them, write an uplifting message, and then leave them in public places to brighten someone’s day. How fun!

Materials

Materials for Kindness Rocks

Of course there are different ways to go about this, but I will walk you through the steps we used to create our kindness rocks. First, gather the materials. All the purchased materials can be found at Michael’s or Walmart. Here’s a list of everything you will need:

  • Acrylic pant
  • Paint brushes
  • Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer
  • Paint pens
  • Rocks
  • Painting surface (i.e. newspaper)

To collect the rocks we went on a Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt. Larger rocks with flat surfaces work the best.

rock collecting for kindness rocks
Rock collecting.

Before painting, don’t forget to change your clothes and lay down newspaper or other type of painting surface.

Painting

Painting kindness rocks

Now paint a first coat on your rocks. Depending on the type of paint you choose, these may need a second layer of paint. This the hard part…wait for the paint to dry.

After the paint has dried, I sprayed them with the Mod Podge sealer. I like to do this before using the paint pens, because it creates a smoother surface. However, this does require more waiting for the sealer to dry.

messy hands kindness rocks
Messy hands!

Decorating

Once the sealer is dry, you are ready to decorate your rocks! I asked my kids to come up with things that will put a smile on someone’s face. They came up with:

  • You are awesome
  • Smile
  • I hope you feel better (this one was for a friend that had his tonsils out).
  • You matter
  • Follow your heart
  • Dream big
  • Love your heart
  • Have fun
  • Go Gators (we had to throw this one in).
  • Have a great day
  • A drawing of a stegosaurus
  • Be kind

Rock Placement

placing the kindness rocks
Placing the rocks at the park.

The final step is to place the rocks in a public place. The boys and I had fun placing these rocks at our neighborhood park.

I’d love to hear about your experience with kindness rocks!