Choose campsites that offer fun and facilities on site and in the area that are appropriate your children's ages. A safe environment allows young children to explore, make new friends, find new challenges and just enjoy themselves without adults watching them. There's no doubt that the weather can make or break a camping trip so bear in mind patterns and forecasts - some areas are notoriously wet!
Camping itself is a big adventure so try not to over-plan the holiday; allow plenty of time to pitch camp when you arrive and try to make it fun rather than a tense time for all. Tempting though it is to put your tent near to the shower block, bear in mind how noisy it may be through the night and early in the morning. Tents look very different through young eyes lacking a height advantage so try to make your pitch stand out from the crowd to avoid lost children and tears.
Tough, durable and warm are the obvious words that spring to mind for packing clothing but flexibility is the keyword. Waterproofs, a fleece jacket and wellies are obvious but shorts, sandals and t-shirts are just as important. Easy care, quick-drying clothes avoid the need to pack mountains of spare clothes.
A small rucksack for each child means they have somewhere to store favourites things - toy, game, book - as well as their own torch and toothbrush.
A decent sleeping bag and sleep mat/airbed should guarantee a comfortable night but keep a fleece blanket handy to throw over the youngsters if they complain of being cold. Bear in mind, of course, that they might just be a little scared by odd noises through the night!
If you try too hard to maintain order in the tent, it's almost inevitable that frustration will build and tempers fray. Tent life is a learning curve for everybody so relax the home rules and focus on enjoying each other's company. The same goes for washing; get a morning and evening routine going but try not to obsess about cleanliness.
Simple, quick to make meals are best to satisfy activity-honed appetites. Keep plenty of snacks handy and make sure there are always plenty of drinks for children - as well as the adults!
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