How to Organize Camping Activities for Toddlers? Here are 9 Steps to Get Started

Camping can be an enjoyable escapade not just for the kids but even for the whole family. With camping, you are giving your kids a chance to explore the world outside the four corners of your home. They will enjoy wandering in the jungle, field, or meadow where everyone breathes in the clean and fresh air. If you are planning camping with your young children, then you should consider the best camping activities for toddlers. 

Getting this activity ill-planned is a big No. Without enough preparation, you may end up getting your children complaining and crying as they want to go home as soon as possible. There are a lot of things to do and consider when organizing a camping event for toddlers. In this post, I will be giving you my best tips for camping with toddlers. This post matters a lot to me. Through this, I can help you plan the most unforgettable camping experience for everyone in the family. 

Steps to Follow in Organizing Camping Activities for Toddlers

1. Choose a Good Campsite Near Your Home

Camping with toddlers is way different from camping with older kids or teens. Chances are bad things may happen unexpectedly and you need to go home right away. If you choose to go camping with young kids far from home, then going back might be quite stressful. At least, the campsite you choose must be an hour or less away from your home instead of taking a 4 to 6 hours drive. 

If possible, look for a place that is already familiar to you and is safe and friendly to toddlers. The site should be far enough from any body of water or plants that may cause harm to innocent kids. If not, then look for a perfect place beforehand. Pay a visit to the area before making a plan. 

Also, be sure to keep the camping trip as simple as possible. Do not think or plan for something big. Go somewhere else and check how it will go. 

2. Make Meals Simple and Child-Friendly

When camping with toddlers, always make sure the meals are simple and child-friendly. If the foods you choose to prepare for the camping are simple but delicious, then you will surely have no problem in feeding the kids. This camping trip will be an amazing family bonding experience. You know the favorites of your child, so ensuring those meals are included in your list would be great. Preparing separate foods for adults and toddlers will be okay. At least, you know your children won’t get their stomach upset after eating something they tried for the first time. 

3. Pack All Necessities in Transparent Cases

This will help ensure a hassle-free camping preparation. Organizing the camping supplies before heading out is important to remain organized when everybody arrives at the campsite. Make a checklist beforehand to be sure you have all the essentials of your child, including yours. 

Organize everything so that when you get to the camping spot, you are sure that everything is easy to find. Label the transparent cases so that it will be easier to see the toys or clothing of your child. Get some bins or large plastic cases that you can label, stack, and store. Label them to these categories:

  • Snacks and food
  • Kitchen supplies
  • Toys
  • Bathing supplies like soap, toothbrush, shampoos, tissue papers, and many more
  • Sleeping bags and tents
  • Clothes and laundry collector
  • Portable DVDs for entertainment and music

When you labeled the bins or cases, taking out everything will be much easier. It helps you save time when preparing for the trip. Also, it will save you from stress and headaches just in case something unexpected goes along the way. 

4. Make a Hand and Feet Washing Station When Organizing a Camping Trip for Kids

This one is a big must for every campsite, particularly when camping with toddlers. To set-up a hand-and-feet washing station, you can use a single or double jug with an open/close squirt that will control the water flow. You may get it at the nearest big box shop or grocery store. 

5. Consider Bringing a Rinsing Basin 

You can use either a plastic basin or a baby bath that has a flat base. Everybody can get into and rinse their feet. Put the rinsing basin on the blanket or towels to keep the feet clean, preventing mud from reaching the camping tent and sleeping bags. Carry another jug for extra water that you can use for cooking or drinking. Aside from a rinsing basin, don’t forget to pack hand and body soap, dishrags, and washcloths to wash the dirt off and help clean those little fingers and the spaces between those tiny toes. 

6. Make Sure Everyone is Safe at Night

You can use glow sticks that you can use as necklaces, bracelets, or anklets to track your kids in the dark. You can also put the glow sticks in the water bottles for illumination. If you have more empty water bottles, then you can use them for an exciting game before bedtime. Headlamps are cheap, so you may buy one for each member of the family. You may also place a headlamp near a water jug and make a homemade glowing lantern that will serve as lighting on the table or inside the tent. You can also use glow-in-the-dark ropes or stakes to keep everyone safe at night, especially your toddlers.

7. Get a Good Quality Tent

Get a nice tent that will give enough space for everyone. Shop for a high-quality tent that is wide, big, and has more features to offer. The market offers a lot of choices to choose from, so be wise when buying one. Make sure your preferred tent allows easy entering and exiting and can provide ample protection for all against rainfalls and dewdrops. 

8. Bring More Toys

Toddlers are not like older kids. They are easier to manage with the help of toys. So, when you plan for a camping trip for them, do not forget to bring games and books to keep the kids entertained. Remember, toddlers are so prone to boredom. If there are no toys, keeping them behaved will be difficult. Introducing their favorite toys to keep them seated and busy while you are preparing food or doing something else during the camping trip. 

9. Bring More Clothes Towels, and Blankets

You can’t tell how cold it will be at night during your camping trip. Cold is not good, especially for the kids. So, bring more clothes, blankets, and towels. Be sure you have your children’s hoodies, blankets, and other accessories that will keep them warm and comfortable at night. Also, bring more clothes so everyone can easily change when they are wet. Nobody is happy when wet and cold. 

Great Camping Activities for Toddlers

Here are 10 camping activities that you should consider when planning a camping trip for your young kids. These camping activities are toddler-approved and toddler-appropriate. You do not need to use all these ideas, but choose those ideas you think will be a good fit for your toddlers. 

1. Read Books Using Flashlight

The first in our list is this one. Sit down near the campfire, have your child seated on your lap, and read a book with a flashlight. Try this. Even you will love it. This is a kind of experience that your child will cherish for the rest of his childhood. 

2. Give Them Mystery Snack Bags

Everyone loves surprises, especially the kids. So, my next tip for camping activities for toddlers is giving them mystery snack bags. For toddlers, snack time is a fun activity. To keep things exciting and fun for the camping trip, you may pack some mystery snack bags. If your kids become hungry, allow them to open the bag and get cookies or anything else. These snacks don’t have to be expensive and so special. Even normal snacks would be great. 

While you think the snacks you put in the bag are enough for the camping trip, don’t hesitate to add a few more. You will be far from the kitchen, and kids are so active. They get hungry too quickly after running, jumping, and playing. 

3. Play with the Glow Sticks Before Bedtime

This is a favorite of every toddler. When the sun goes down and you want to get the kids into the tent, try to get their attention by using those glow sticks. Allow them to play around with those colored sticks before encouraging them to sleep. Glowing sticks are widely available and are so affordable. Tell your kids to wave their hands while holding those glow sticks. This will be a great experience for them.

4. Try a Nature Scavenger Hunt

You may print off a printable for a fun, toddler-friendly nature scavenger hunt. If you see your toddlers picking up something like sticks and rocks on the way, then this activity will be worth trying. You may ask your child to find leaves, cool rocks, big sticks, or anything else that they can find outdoors. 

5. Sing Some Campfire Songs

When your toddlers are obedient and behaved, then you should try teaching them to sing some campfire songs. Cuddling up the campfire and sing songs make for a wonderful memory. Tell everyone to sit down and listen to you as you sing them a song or two then let them follow you. Come up with a list of songs to keep everyone occupied.

6. Playing with Nature Charades

You can also let your toddlers play with nature charades. Take turns with your kids naming various things they see around them like trees, birds, rocks, worms, sky, and so on. Have someone else act it out. It will be a fun activity. See your toddlers giggling and entertained. 

7. Hiking

Since you are close to nature, get your toddlers ready for a short hike. Be sure they wear shoes that allow them to step and walk in with ease. Don’t let them wear open-toed shoes.

8. Use a Bubble Machine

Camping is a fun outdoor activity. Use a bubble machine and allow your toddlers to catch those bubbles in the air. A small bubble wand may work but a bubble machine will make things much easier. Get a battery-powered bubble machine. 

9. Make Dirt Cups

This is a common camping activity held on camping trips with toddlers. Pack them a few chocolate pudding cups, chocolate sandwich cookies, gummy worms, spoons, and a plastic bag. Let your toddlers help you in smashing the cookies inside the bag. You may even let them stepped on the plastic to smash the cookies. Then, have them pour the smashed chocolate cookies on their pudding cups filled with sticky gummy worms. 


At their young age, toddlers can already appreciate what they can see outside the home. Allow them to enjoy the first few years of their childhood by planning a camping trip for them. When the summertime comes in, many consider going on a beach trip, but a camping trip to a beautiful site near home is a great idea when you have young kids. 

With these tips and camping activities for toddlers’ ideas, I hope you will come up with the best plan for a camping trip. Keep in mind the details given above to avoid getting your plan unsuccessful and frustrating. 

Did you have fun in this post? If you like the information provided here, then please share it with your relatives and friends. Also, please do not hesitate to say what is on your mind. For your comments or suggestions, feel free to write them on the comment box below and see what others have in their minds, too. 

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