fiddle leaf photography
Jun 21, 2020
Camping season is finally upon us! We headed out for the first time this past weekend and after being in our home for the past 12 weeks, driving just a few hours north felt like a major vacation.
New ice cream shack!
New sunrise to wake up to!
It was magical.
We’ve camped with our girls (who are now almost 6 & 9) for the past 5 years, and over the years, I’ve whittled down the things I bring with us to entertain them.
Here are my essentials that get packed for each and every camping trip.
1.Mason Jars and plastic containers
I always have a few different options for the girls and we use them for observing bugs, holding wildflower bouquets, and collecting treasures. These are so simple, but we end up pulling them out almost every day and we’d be lost without them. I’ll sometimes even toss a small mason jar in my backpack when we head out for a walk or picnic in case we run across something that just needs to be saved.
2. Paint, paint brushes and white paper
Just like the mason jars, paint can be used in SO many different ways. Most trips we’ll paint rocks and leave them in the campsites. Or sometimes I’ll encourage the kids to paint what they see or what we did that day. If you want to keep it super easy, bring some disposable dixie cups for paints and water. It’s also helpful to have a couple of clipboards which help with uneven picnic tables and are great for using in the car too.
We have a set of Kidnoculars that have travelled with us for many, many years and have withstood being dropped, tossed in a lake and being put too close to the campfire! They’re basically indestructible. I keep them in our bag of sand toys and they’re great to pull out when hanging out around a lake to look at birds or across the lake. We also have a good pair of adult binoculars we keep in our trailer for spotting birds or animals.
4. Sticker/Activity Books
If there’s one activity that can span the ages, it’s sticker books. You can find them for kids as young as 18 months and my 9 year old still thoroughly enjoys a good sticker book! The kids do them in the car, at the picnic table, at the beach, by the fire and when it’s raining. Our all-time favourite books are the Usborne dolly dress up books as the stickers NEVER rip (you can often find double books at Costco). Wipe-clean activity books that use whiteboard markers are also a big hit in our family.
5. Bug nets
Chase aimlessly after a butterfly you’ll never catch, or catch a zillion minnows (to put in those mason jars!) – bug nets get pulled out pretty much every camping trip. In fact, ours broke last year and I forgot to get new ones this year before we headed out and the kids were so upset when we found a dock and had no nets to pond dip!
Those are our tried and true items that have withstood the test of time! Other than these staples, I also pack our trailer full of various games and puzzles (card games are the best as there are less small pieces to lose). The girls also usually choose one other type of toy to bring with them (dolls, barbies, horse figurines, playmobil, etc). This past trip I bought Scribble Scrubbies and they were a massive hit. They pulled them out every day we were out and have even taken them out of the trailer at home to play with them. I can’t comment yet on if they’ll be a hit months from now, but I consider it a win for how much time they’ve occupied so far!
P.S. Are you camping close to Edmonton this summer and would like to have a visual diary of your camping adventure? Family photo sessions don’t have to only be in your home! They can also be at your campsite! Send me a note and we can chat about to document this special time for your family.