Going camping with your kids has so many benefits for them – ones that you wouldn’t guess. I know it can be a hassle to go camping with the family, but it is so worth it. After knowing about all of the good effects it can have on our children, it’s the least we can do for them. Plus, once you’ve done it a few times it becomes easier every time and it can easily become a monthly thing.
Disconnect from Technology
Taking your children camping will help them to disconnect from technology and connect with nature instead. They’ll also learn something else very important – to respect nature.
Did you know that kids who watch 2 hours or more of TV daily are more likely to be overweight? Not only that, but according to a study published in ScienceDaily, the source being the University of Southern California, children who use digital devices often are twice as likely to show symptoms of ADHD.
It is crucial to show our children how they can connect with nature, and how to respect it as well, because it can benefit their mental health, especially later on in life.
It’s Good Exercise
Obesity affects 1 in every 5 children and adolescents in the U.S. simply because children stay indoors too much.
Camping is the perfect opportunity for kids to exercise. Your kids will probably end up running around without you having to encourage them to do so. However, if you find yourself having to coax them, you can do it in subtle and fun ways - like going for a swim in the lake together and hiking to your camping spot which is conveniently a long walk away.
From my experience, it’s usually enough to just show how excited you are to be hiking and camping – admire all the plants and talk about the beauty of the trees.
Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are of camping trips, and I really feel like those were the times when we bonded the most as a family.
I think the reason people bond more when camping is because there are no distractions. The parents don’t have to think about work, the children aren’t worried about school, you’re all feeling grounded and just enjoying each other’s company.
It’s very peaceful, and that is a really good thing for the mental health of children.
Basic Survival Skills
While you’re camping, your children will get to see and experience how to set up a tent and how to make a campfire.
Some other really amazing things that are really useful to teach your children while camping are - how to: read a map, filter water before drinking it, and keep a fire going. If possible, you could also show them which wild plants are edible.
Of course, it depends on their age, because if they are too young all they can do is watch (which is good too), but once they reach a certain age they can pitch in and start learning first-hand. Plus, you get to have a little helper!
Boosts Creativity, Self-Esteem, & Confidence
For kids, in particular, it’s that freedom to play and explore that really boosts their creativity.
It’s completely understandable for a parent to not let their child out of their sight, but family-friendly campsites provide a safe and usually relatively secure environment for kids to have a bit more freedom.
When it comes to self-esteem, this article from Today’s Parent tells us that praise alone is not enough to build a child’s self-esteem and confidence. Camping is an excellent way to boost both of these things – you could give them small tasks to do throughout the camping trip. As they complete each task, that sense of accomplishment is what increases self-esteem and confidence.
Don’t forget to step back and let them make mistakes too, leave them be to figure out ways to solve problems without intervention.