Camping with younger children can be quite a challenge. You need to be really prepared and have things well thought out. It can be very fun for the whole family and your kids get to learn alot about nature and camping.
Obviously the easiest thing would be is to go camping in a camper or cabin, but if you can’t afford that or they aren’t available to you, don’t get discouraged. They sell great stuff at affordable prices that can make camping fun and easy. Air mattresses are a great thing to have in addition the the normal things you take with you like sleeping bags, pillows, a tent, lanterns, stuff for a camp fire, and your food. Of course you would bring your clothes, personal hygiene items, and other comforts from home.
When you are taking kids though, make sure you bring some of their favorite toys and plan some activities that you can do to keep them occupied when you aren’t fishing, swimming, hiking, or playing at the playground. A great idea is to make smores, it’s pretty simple and the kids can make them with a little help from an adult. Every child enjoys helping when it comes to doing adult things, it gives them a sense of accomplishment and being older. You could even try a scavenger hunt of simple things depending on the age your children. Maybe even find a book for kids about nature and see if you can find some animal prints or different insects. At night you could tell stories around the campfire.
You may want to consider inviting some of your friends or family with children around the same age as your own to let them have some playmates. You would also have the enjoyment of having other adults around incase your husband or wife wants to do something you don’t enjoy as much as they do. With any luck the kids will wear each other out early and then you can just hang out by the fire.
When it comes to cooking, try to plan meals that everyone likes, they have griddles and stoves that make cooking much easier. You aren’t limited to what you can cook on a grill or on a stick. Make sure you involve your kids though, at any age they can help collect sticks or help make a sandwich or something that isn’t hot. You may even show them how to catch fish and then cook them.
Wherever you decide to go camping though, make sure its kid and family friendly. Alot of places have activities that you do and someplaces have things like make a sundae night where you pay a fee to do an activity. It’s important to know if you can buy firewood or ice if you run out or need it. I personally always choose the campgrounds with a bathroom and shower and other conviences rather than just pitching a tent in the woods and really ruffing it. It all depends on your families wants and needs though.