Camping With Kids

Photo of Kids at a Campground

Camping gives families quality time together. It’s a chance to break away from the ordinary routine, learn new skills, experience the outdoors, and enjoy each other’s company. Of course, it can be challenging to plan a road trip that will be enjoyable for adults and children alike. Drawing on decades of experience, here are some pearls of wisdom from the KOA family.

Get Outdoors USA! recently released summer and fall editions of “10 Ways to Unlock the Fun of the Great Outdoors With Your Kids” to combat the declining time children spend outdoors. These unique lists provide helpful tips for parents and grandparents to plan enjoyable family outdoor activities. To read more about the new and exciting Get Outdoors USA! program and to download the summer and fall editions of “10 Ways to Unlock the Fun of the Great Outdoors with Your Kids,” go to:

Involve children in vacation planning.
Finished picking your destinations? Teach your children how to read maps and ask them to plan the most efficient, or the most scenic, driving routes. Let them explore the area online and in guidebooks, such as KOA’s annual directory, which is full of colorful road maps. Kids love checklists ask them to find out what activities are available at the campground and make a list of things to bring, such as bicycles, bathing suits and sports equipment.

Give everyone space for individual experiences.
You’ve arrived at the campground. Don’t hesitate to ask KOA campground owners, who are often parents and grandparents themselves, what activities would be appropriate for children of varying ages. They’ll also be able to recommend fun daytrips that offer a taste of local history. But don’t worry about planning every moment. Allow time for relaxing at the campground and for everyone to get some time on his or her own while remaining close to family.

Plan family time, too.
Identify focal points for family time. You could go fishing as a group, take a nature walk, go for a bike ride or hike. Try making crafts or experimenting with new recipes around the campfire. Hobo pies are a classic treat; fill slices of bread with the sweet or savory fillings of your choice, then grill over the fire.

Don’t forget the simple pleasures.
When sharing outdoor activities with the family, simple experiences are often the most memorable. Something as simple as sitting around a campfire can be a powerful experience and is one of the best forms of entertainment that parents and kids can have together.

Put kids in charge of commemorating the family’s experience.
Ask children to record the trip in a medium of their own choosing. Start a trip journal or scrapbook. And be sure to bring a still or video camera the kids can use, too.

KOA makes it simple.
You make it all worthwhile. In keeping with the family spirit, nearly all KOA Kampgrounds are owned by the people who operate them. To help families enjoy the outdoors, KOA Kampground owners throughout North America make it their daily mission to come up with entertaining and engaging programs. At some KOA destination campgrounds, the activities have proven so popular that they have become treasured family traditions year after year. From pancake breakfasts to pool parties, from nature walks to trail rides, KOA helps families experience the outdoors in a safe, friendly environment.