Posts Tagged ‘Camping’
by Seth Walters
Every summer millions of families head to the mountains to spend time camping and relaxing with their families. A big part of getting ready to go camping is deciding what foods to bring along. Hot dogs and s’mores are popular options, but here are some fun new recipes that your whole family will enjoy.
If your family enjoys tacos, then they will really enjoy the camping version of this favorite recipe.
1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
Black olives (optional)
Sour cream or ranch salad dressing
Single size servings of Fritos
You can either prepare the taco meat ahead of time or prepare it while you are camping. Brown the ground beef and add the taco seasoning and water according to the directions on the seasoning package. If you have prepared it ahead of time you will just need to heat it up again.
Set out the taco meat, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, black olives, and sour cream or ranch salad dressing.
Give each member of the family a bag of Fritos and have them make their own “walking taco” by adding the ingredients of their choice to their bag. All you need is a fork, and dinner is served!
Note: For an even easier meal, you can substitute warmed up chili for the taco meat.
These nachos are a great quick snack for camping trips. One recipe makes enough nachos for 2 to 3 people.
Black olives (optional)
To prepare this recipe you will also need aluminum pie pans and aluminum foil.
Arrange the tortilla chips, cheese, chili, and black olives in an aluminum pie pan. Cover with foil. Set the pan on a grill or in the coals of the campfire. Avoid direct heat or chips will burn quickly. You just want to heat them up until the cheese melts.
These banana boats make a fun camping dessert. Your kids will have a fun time helping make them.
Banana for each person
Butterscotch or chocolate chips
Slit open each banana, leaving about a half inch at each end of the banana. Carefully pull the peel apart, creating a “pocket” to put the goodies in.
Have each person place marshmallows and butterscotch or chocolate chips into their banana.
Wrap each banana in foil. These can be grilled on a barbecue or set in the coals of a campfire. Heat just until marshmallows have melted and enjoy.
This is a fun activity for older children. Younger children will need help from an adult.
To prepare this recipe you will need an orange for each person and one brownie mix.
Prepare the brownie mix according to the directions on the package.
Cut the top 1/3 off each orange, setting the tops aside. Have everyone scoop out the insides of their orange, taking care not to rip the orange peel.
Fill each empty orange 2/3 full with prepared brownie mix. Carefully put the tops back on the oranges and wrap them in foil.
Place the oranges in the campfire coals and cover them completely with the coals to allow them to “bake”. Check oranges after 20 minutes to see if the brownies are completely baked.
Let cool for several minutes before serving.
Camping is a great time to try new recipes. The great outdoors has a way of making you work up an appetite. Get out there and go camping with your family, and try one of these fun, easy recipes today.
Seth Walters is a professional blogger that enjoys writing for http://patriotretreat.com about Alabama deer hunting, fishing and camping.
If you are looking for a fun activity for your kids to do the next time you go camping, try having them create a map for a treasure hunt.
Half of the fun of this activity is actually making the map! Give each child a piece of paper and crayons or colored pencils and have them create a map of the area where you are camping. You may have to help younger children. Help them to identify the locations of trees, large rocks, tents, streams, etc., to get a general idea of the area.
After your children are done with their maps, you get to place the “x’s” on the maps for where the children can find their hidden treasures. Go to each of those locations and leave them a little surprise, like a pack of gum or a bottle of bubbles. Our grand prize was a nerf football that my boys had a great time playing with the entire weekend. I also bought a large package of little army men for about $1.50. I opened up the bags and left a handful in each hiding spot.
Our last camping trip was the first time we created treasure maps, and my boys had a great time with them. I had them draw their maps on 12×12 pieces of plain scrapbook paper so that I could put them in their scrapbooks. I will add a camping photo with each map. Great memories!
Copyright 2012, Christian-Parent.com. This article may not be reprinted.
It never fails, when you go camping your kids are probably going to complain about being bored. With a little preparation ahead of time, you can make the most of your camping trip and spend some great quality time with your children.
Some of the best memories I have camping as a child are of going on nature hikes. Some of the state campgrounds have beautifully maintained trails that are great for taking your children on nature hikes. Give your children a list of things to look for on their hike. If they are young you can use pictures instead of words for the items they are to find. You can also bring along guidebooks that show birds that are native to the area you are visiting. Children love to identify different types of wildlife. You can also get guidebooks for identifying local trees and wildflowers. There are even books and charts for identifying animal tracks.
Camping trips are a great time to dust off those lawn games you never get around to playing at home. A current favorite is Ladder Ball. You can pick this game up for about $20 at Walmart. You take turns throwing balls attached to ropes at small ladders. You keep score according to which rung of the ladder the balls and rope wrap around. Kids love this game and will play it over and over again (teens and adults love playing it too!). Horsehoes are also an old family favorite and are easy to take along with you.
Kids loving playing board games. We parents don’t always take the time to play board games with our kids, but camping is a great time to spend playing games with your children. Most preschool-aged children love Hi Ho Cherry-O. My boys will play it over and over again. Grandma bought our boys a new Toy Story version of Yahtzee Jr. That game is really fun too and easy to play for kids that aren’t quite yet ready for Yahtzee. My boys also love to play Sorry. I can’t wait until they’re old enough to play Scrabble.
In case it rains, you might also want to bring some new coloring books and crayons. Kids always love new coloring books. Word finds and word scrambles are also fun for older kids.
Remember that the main purpose of spending time camping with your family is to spend quality time together. Go hiking with your kids, ride bicycles with them, roast marshmallows over the campfire. Your children will treasure these family memories.
by Michelle Caskey
Do you need some great homeschool camping ideas? Are you planning a camping trip and have no idea what to do with your sons while you’re out in the great outdoors?
Camping is one of the best ways to teach your sons without them even realizing it. Homeschooling your sons while out in nature is lots of fun – but you’ll want to be prepared with lots of camping ideas before you go. The most natural way to learn is to teach from situations as they present themselves and not to try to force specific events to happen.
While camping, it will be obvious to you that you aren’t in control of the weather or your environment. If you are prepared with many possible homeschooling ideas beforehand, you’ll be ready to teach your sons regardless of the circumstances you might encounter.
Here are some great camping ideas that you can try with your boys on your next family trip:
Animal Tracks – Finding animal tracks can be so much fun. Identifying them is even more gratifying. Depending on your own skills, you can attempt to follow them and see how far you can track the animals – be careful which animals you attempt to locate. Raccoon and deer would be safer to track than coyotes or bears!
Bird Watching – You can identify birds by sight – or sit quietly and try to identify them by sound.
Campfires – Roasting marshmallows and hot dogs is a favorite past time for our sons. Also, take this opportunity to instruct your sons in the proper art of campfire building. They’ll love it!
Field Guides – You can get amazing field guides on everything from mammals to birds to flowers to frogs – and you can get guides that are specific to your area! We have found the guides by Stan Tekiela to be very helpful. Get the guides with the audio CDs if you can. You will be amazed at how quickly your boys will learn the sounds of the frogs and the birds. And they’re great to listen to in the car on long rides.
Fishing – What little boy wouldn’t want to learn to fish? Whether you cook your catch or throw it back, they will learn a lot from this experience. And let them hunt for their own bait as well.
Hiking – When you choose your camping location, make sure to pick one which has hiking trails. Most state parks and national parks have many trails – pick up trail maps at the office so that you can explore them all.
Maps – Speaking of maps, let your sons be the navigators when you are hiking. Bring along a compass and let them learn how to use that as well.
Mushroom Hunting – Depending on where you camp, you may be able to hunt for edible mushrooms as well. If you decide to give this a try, make sure you know what you are gathering before you eat them!
Nature Journals – At the end of every day, have your sons write about their experiences and draw pictures in a nature journal as well. If they are interested in photography, they can leave room for any pictures they may have taken throughout the day instead.
Scavenger Hunts – Boys love scavenger hunts. It helps them to practice their reading skills as well as their deductive reasoning. Write your clues so that it will help them to practice many of the other skills they’ve learned while camping as well.
Sports – Bring along Frisbees, baseball gloves and balls, footballs, and other sports equipment that your sons enjoy. Downtime at the camp site can be a wonderful time to practice these skills as well.
Stars – Bring along a star map for your area and for the proper season. The more remote your location, the more easily you will be able to see the stars.
Survival Skills – Boys love to learn survival skills and camping is a great time to try these out. Some of the more useful skills would be:
- Making a fire without matches. Try a flint and knife, first, and once they have that mastered let them try it with two sticks. There are several methods for making fire this way. This will be an adventure for the whole family!
- Looking for edible plants and bugs
- Tying knots
- Signaling for help
- Purifying water
- Building shelters
- Drying out wet wood & grass
Swimming – If your boys haven’t taken formal swimming lessons, this is a great time to teach them. At the very least, teach them how to tread water and how to float on their backs. That way, if they ever fall out of a boat, then can hold their own until they are able to be pulled out of the water.
Tents – If you and your sons are going to get the most learning out of a camping experience, you need to use a tent. Leave the RVs and trailers at home. Also, leave behind the TVs, hand-held video games, and anything else that might distract your sons from nature. Yes, this type of vacation is less relaxing for the parents; but, you need to remember what your reason was for getting your sons outside in the first place!
Weather Wisdom – Identify the clouds and what weather they usually precede.
Nature is the best classroom for your sons – and homeschooling is something you can do with your children whether at home or on vacation. We hope you try several of these homeschool camping ideas with your family. When you make lessons relevant for your sons, you will be amazed at how eager they will be to learn.
Michelle Caskey has been homeschooling her sons for five years. Michelle graduated from the Western Michigan University with a degree in English and Computer Science. Read more of her homeschooling articles at http://www.homeschool-your-boys.com
Have fun camping with toddlers? Is it possible? If you’re looking to get away and have a relaxed, stress-free vacation, then you probably don’t want to take your toddlers with you. If, on the other hand, you want to get away and spend some quality time with your family, then these tips may help you keep your active toddlers safe and entertained.
You probably already know if your toddler is a good little traveller. We have twin 2-1/2-year-old boys. One likes to ride in the car and will nod off when he’s tired. The other one has disliked riding in the car since he was a baby. He will under no circumstances sleep in the car (maybe for five minutes by accident). When he decides he’s done riding in the car (every fifteen minutes or so) he cries and whines incessantly until daddy threatens to pull the car over.
If you have a toddler that doesn’t like to travel, don’t torture yourselves with a long car ride. It just isn’t worth it. Three hours is about our limit. If we stop when we’re about half way there and let the boys run around and play for a few minutes they do a lot better. Make sure to bring plenty of snacks in the car. Daddy’s no-food-in-the-car rule was dismissed quickly when we started taking two toddlers on road trips. If you need a quick lunch Lunchables are great. One Lunchable is enough food for two hungry toddlers.
Something else you need to think about when you camp is where your toddlers are going to sleep. If they’re used to sleeping places other than their beds you’ll probably be fine. Our boys have always slept in their cribs and don’t know anything else. Our first camping trip was a disaster.
The boys were 18 months old and we tried to get them to lay down with us on an air mattress in a tent. It took hours to get them settled down at night with a lot of crying involved. They didn’t nap at all for two days and then we endured six hours home in the car. I have heard others tell of similar experiences with this aged child. If you’re not sure how your child will do you might want to wait until he or she is a little older.
Our camping trips this year have gone much better. The boys are still sleeping in their cribs at home, but we recently bought an RV. My husband slept with one boy in one bed, and I slept with the other boy in a different bed. They still went to bed much later than normal (after dark) and refused to take a nap, but there was no crying and they had a lot of fun. Two days is all they can handle with that little sleep, but they did great. We have gone on two two-day trips this summer and they slept very well (although I can’t say we did).
If you are tent camping, you might try a portable crib/play pen. I wish we had tried this last summer, I think it may have helped.
Once you get the sleeping thing down, there are some other things to consider when you take your toddler camping.
Make sure there aren’t too many hazards where you will be camping. You might not want to camp right next to a lake, river, etc., anywhere that would be too tempting for your toddler when you’re not looking. When you are camping you can’t take your eyes off of them for even one second or something could happen to them. It happens that fast! On our first camping trip this year one of our boys tripped and bonked his head on the camper steps, and then the same day stepped off the edge of a swimming pool into the deep end! And I was standing right there both times.
On the other hand, you do want to go somewhere where there are fun things for your toddler to see and experience. Rivers and lakes are great places to visit with your toddler. They love to throw rocks in the water! We drove up to a scenic mountain area where there was still snow and the boys had a great time throwing snowballs at us. There were also many waterfalls to look at. The campground where we stayed had a lot of easy walking trails that were great for exploring with the boys. We wish we had brought a wagon with us. They would have loved being pulled around in it.
Another thing that we found a necessity when taking two toddlers camping was to bring other family members with us. The boys got to enjoy camping with two grandmas, two grandpas, and an aunt and uncle. It is a great opportunity to spend time with your extended family, and they love spending time with their grandchildren, niece, nephew, etc. This is big help for mom and dad and takes some of the pressure off.
Hopefully I haven’t discouraged you from taking your toddler camping. We are glad we did this year. It was a great experience for our boys. You don’t need to bring a lot of toys with you, they will have fun exploring with you and experiencing new things. Have fun, they grow fast! Oh, and don’t forget your camera!
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For resources for the Christian family, including parenting, toddler and preschool activities, homeschooling, family traditions, and more, visit http://www.Christian-Parent.com