Preparing for your family camp experience
Pack your car:
1) Keep on hand a couple old towels, some oversized T-shirts, wipes (even if your kids are out of diapers), spare underwear, and a roll of paper towels. Messes happen.
2) Stash a couple of jugs of water and some paper cups. Thirsty people are headachy, cranky, irrational people.
3) Pack dry snacks like nuts, pretzels, rice or corn cakes, and dried fruit. Hungry people are mean, and you don't want to cave in to fast food or a 7-11 stop on the road because everyone has the munchies.
4) Color pencils (markers dry out and crayons melt), coloring books, puzzles, and books. These are great for bathroom stops, waits in lines, and unexpected misadventures. Only use them while in motion if your kids are not prone to motion sickness. Bored kids are whiny--spare yourself from having to listen to them.
5) Keep numbers for your favorite take-out places in your phone. In emergencies (e.g. you were stuck in traffic when you were supposed to be making dinner), you can place an order while stopped at a red light and the food will be ready when you (finally) arrive back in your neck of the woods.
6) Sunscreen. Because children with sunburn won't sleep well at night--and neither will you.
7) A bag of Legos, Polly Pockets, or some other small toys to entertain kids in the car.
8) Park equipment.
9) Optional--groovy music and age-appropriate audiobooks. Titles by Beverly Cleary and Andrew Clements are surefire winners.
Pack your house:
1) Get all (or at least most) of the junk food out of your house. Stock up on seasonal fruit and healthy snacks.
2) Buy/save art supplies like:
- glue, especially glue sticks
- plain paper (you can also cut up paper bags and cereal boxes for a great drawing surface, especially for the Crayola gel markers I mentioned in a previous blog...works great with tempera paint, too)
- construction paper
- old magazines
- glitter glue (I don't recommend the powder glitter...it's messy and can be a health hazard)
- kiddie scissors (remember to get Leftie ones if you have a left-handed kid)
- poster (tempera) paint
- a variety of stickers
- construction paper
- drawing notebooks
- craft glue
- old cereal and shoe boxes
- paper towel and toilet paper rolls
- tissue paper
3) Make sure you have a jump rope, Chinese jumprope, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, kid-friendly garden implements, balls, and other yard fun favorites.
4) Make sure your family has valid library cards with no fines on them.
5) Make sure everyone has a swimsuit that fits.
6) Make sure you have a small cooler and ice packs.