Keeping Night Camping Fears at Bay
What are the best moments of a family camping trip? I personally love the evening, especially when darkness begins to fall. It's that cozy, intimate time when, if you're lucky, you'll have a campfire and then all creep into your sleeping bags for a great night's sleep.
Unfortunately for families with young children, this is traditionally the time for telling ghost stories, which is exactly what you don't need. After all, the woods at night can be a scary thing, full of odd creaks, squeaks and rustles, even without any chilling tales. For young campers, a night in a tent can be a terrifying experience, even if mom and dad are right by their side.
So what are parents to do? How can you entertain your kids in camp at night without scaring them? There are plenty of fun activities to choose from, and plenty of ways to ease any nighttime fears your kids may have. Here are some tips for how to help keep your little campers happy all through the night.
Tales from the Tent
What better way to prepare a young children for a camping trip than to read them a camping story before you leave home. Right?
Books are indeed a good way to get your child excited about an upcoming camping trip, but choose wisely. Be careful what camping stories you choose. For some reason, many if not most stories about kids on their first camping trip focus on how scared the hero becomes. There's always an innocent explanation behind any strange noise or odd vision the hero encounters, but not before the terror strikes deep. Two books I recommend are:
Bailey Goes Camping , by Kevin Henkes.
This picture story for young children, ages 2-5, concerns a young rabbit named Bailey who is sad because his older sister and brother have gone camping with their scout troops, leaving him behind. His inventive mother comes up with ways for him to experience the joys of camping at home. Although this isn't actually a book about a camping trip, the entire focus is on the joy of the experience.
- Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems , by Kristine O'Connell George, illustrated by Kate Kiesler. Lovely pictures and easily understandable poems celebrate the many joys of camping. For fearful little ones, however, skip over the poem Two Voices in a Tent at Night, which describes the frightening noise outside a tent.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication