There are many things to love about camping. Getting back in touch with nature, taking a break from technology, campfires and exploring the great British countryside, to name but a few. Most importantly though, camping is a great opportunity to spend real time with the kids, without the usual distractions. Here at The Vintage Tent Company, we’re dedicated to helping you make wonderful memories on your camping and glamping adventures. So, let us share with you some of the family glamping ideas we've accumulated over the years, to make your family time together even more magical.
Flower Press And Scrapbooking
A great way to treasure those memories is to make a scrapbook. Give your children a notebook and encourage them to write about what you all get up to. If you take a walk, they can record what they see. You can even pick up nature presses for children so they can press flowers they find (make sure they’re not protected) and can stick them in their scrapbooks after you get home. This activity is not just fun but can also be educational. Top parenting points for this one! There are many flower press kits available but we particularly love this one from Etsy
Ok, so a swingball set will take up a little of that precious room in the car boot but it will definitely be worth it. Stick your swingball pole in the ground as soon as you get to your pitch and the kids will be entertained whilst you set up your tent and get organised.
If you’re at a family-friendly campsite, it can also be a great way for your children to befriend other kids. Not to mention, swingball helps to develop hand-eye coordination.
Lawn games are a wonderful way to bond with the family. Laugh together as you watch your giant Jenga tower fall. Get competitive with croquet or badminton. Or have a legendary space hopper race.
Sometimes, the same old games can get a bit boring and replacing them can be costly. So why not ask friends if they’d like to do a swap for the weekend? Trade your giant Jenga for their giant Kerplunk for a few days and enjoy a new family game, without the expense.
For younger children, this dinosaur-themed croquet set from JoJo Maman Bebe is perfect and it's wooden so it's environmentally friendly too.
Dressing Up And Facepaint
Get the adventure started with some imaginative play!
It’s not always easy to get the kids to come along for a walk in the woods but there are many ways to make it more fun for them. One of our favourites is to get them dressed up and playing pretend.
You can take inspiration from ‘Going on a bear hunt’ and go through the 'swishy grass' and the 'squelchy mud', making the noises as you hike across the countryside.
Or walk through the woods as Winnie the Pooh characters! A firm favourite of ours is the Lost Boys adventure. Remember that part of Peter Pan where John and Michael explore Neverland with the Lost Boys, singing ‘following the leader’? Paint on animal faces, add a tail and ears and you’re all set! Plus, the getting ready part is great bonding time.
Check out this great DIY costume guide from A Beautiful Mess (pictured above)
It’s not always easy to cook when camping. You don’t want to bring along boxes of kitchen equipment, you probably won't have electricity and you certainly can’t bring the kitchen sink, which means you’ll want to keep washing up to a minimum. However, there are some fabulous meals that can be prepared quickly with minimal equipment.
Head to Fresh Off The Grid for some fabulous one-pot camping recipes: https://www.freshoffthegrid.com/one-pot-camping-meals/
A Telescope For Stargazing
Stargazing in town is almost impossible with all our light pollution. So, when you’re out camping in nature it seems like a dreadful waste to not make the most of your starry view and study the cosmos. Again, this is another great opportunity to add some education into your family getaway.
Don’t know anything about constellations? Not to worry. There are a few easy-to-spot stars and constellations out there and a great many guides to help you find them. Why not get a book especially for the kids?
Teaching children (and possibly yourself also) to use a telescope can be a memorable camping experience, but stargazing is still possible without one. Especially at camping sites right out in the sticks.
You can even make it a game. ‘Who can find Orion’s belt?’ ‘Or the Big Dipper?’ ‘Who knows the more common name for Ursula Major?’
You can find very reasonably priced children’s guide to the stars books through The Book People. https://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/qs_product_tbp?productId=707957
Although it’s great to be away from light pollution, meandering your way in the dark can be dangerous. Don’t let your family camping trip be ruined by you or the kids falling and injuring yourselves. The Vintage Tent Company have two great solutions to finding your way in the dark.
Head torches - If the most common question on your family camping trip isn’t ‘where’s the torch?’ then you’re very lucky. For most of us, constant searching for misplaced torches is an inevitability. Let’s face it, kid’s aren’t great at carrying things! So invest in a head torch each. These are a fun and practical way to find your way to the toilets and back to your tent at night. Also, being that they're strapped to their heads they're just that little bit harder for the kids to lose.
Solar-Powered Spike Lights - The most common injury when camping? Tripping over the tent guy ropes! We’ve all done it and it’s far easier to do so at night time. One of our top tips is to stick a solar-powered stake light in the ground beside each outer tent peg. This not only makes your tent look magical at night time but also gives you a much-needed guide to those pesky trip hazards.
It’s not always easy to get the kids to wind down when on a camping trip. Although a day out in the fresh air should help to wear them out, it can be strange and unsettling for them not to be sleeping in their own beds. Especially if you’re going to be up and chatting outside the tent for a while. Here at the Vintage Tent Company, we’ve discovered a effective and magical way to soothe your children and help them feel safe in their sleeping bags.
Introducing the light projector. Maybe you bought one when the kids were babies? Most likely, it was hardly ever used. Well, dig it out now because it’s ideal for camping. It works in any tent but exceptionally well in our Bell Tents. Projecting mesmerising light patterns across the tent, your children will fall to sleep dreaming of tomorrow's adventures underneath a colour-changing canvas.
Head over to Tek Touch for some great projectors.
Board games (for if it rains)
Whatever the time of year, here in the UK, we can never really be guaranteed sunshine. So it’s always good to have a back-up for if the heavens open. Boardgames are great for rainy days camping so bring a few family classics and shelter up.
Bell tents are particularly great for if the weather turns because of the extra height and space. And, even if the weather is glorious, then board games can be a good way to get the kids out of the sun for a while.
A great way to make your last evening of camping a bit more magical is sparklers. Whilst fireworks can be dangerous and banned from most campsites, sparklers are a simple way to inject a bit of spark into the evenings. Take a pack along (make sure you keep them in a safe place) and watch the kids light up as they swirl patterns in the night sky.