I have been camping my whole life but my partner and his son have not camped much. My partner is great about helping out but his son loves to help too. I was wondering if anyone has some ideas that of what a 9 y/o could do *independently* to help set up camp or with day to day necessities.
Collecting firewood is the number one best task for kids! My toddler loves to make huge piles of pinecones next to our fire pit- it keeps her busy for a while and also stocks up on kindling. 🙂 Or for a 9 year old, maybe building the fire pit- digging it out, lining with rocks, etc. Guess it depends on what kind of camping you're doing, but anything that involves collecting or building materials I would think would be good.
Hi @kellichpmn !
Great advice from @meg_trow on helping with the campfire! We are heading to Rainier to family camp this weekend and are also planning ways to keep the kids busy. We have a 6.5 year old and a 2 year old and they both need to be kept very busy.
Here are a couple other ideas for camp chores:
-Helping with camp meals: Our 6.5 year old helps with food prep, setting the table, cleaning up and washing dishes.
-Packing their backpack for the day of adventures....with snacks, water, and the 10 essentials.
-Fetching water is a big hit! They love to help carry us the big water jugs back and forth.
-Prep the smores each night! Find perfect sticks for everyone if you don't have skewers to use, lay out everyone's allotment of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows! (this is a popular job!)
-We even try to get the older one involved in planning our activities....she likes to journal out what we might do with pictures, etc. That way they can be engaged in decision making where it makes sense.
I wish I could train them to make coffee each morning and bring it to me in the tent, but that hasn't quite panned out yet!
He is old enough to help set up the tents.
I also have my kids collect firewood.
Teach him about Leave No Trace and have him pick up trash left in the campsite. There is almost always something!
Have the boy be in charge of finding cool wildlife like different insects, or wildflowers, etc.
I love that you're encouraging your partner's son to get involved. It's way more fun if they feel important and integral to the experience. My 9 year old loves getting water, collecting firewood and most importantly scouting out the places to fish or swim. I've started having him be more involved with the cooking and prepping food. We also watch a movie in the tent as we fall asleep and he's in charge of downloading them ahead of time. That's the only techology we allow. 😉