Kids love camping, the preparation, the travel and the adventure. My daughter Melanie put together two backpacks for her two boys and filled them with camping stuff. The boys don't get to play with these backpacks until they go on vacation or camping. What a great Mom! With school just out the kids have their old backpacks, just fill them up and put them away. The dollar store is a great place to stock up on outdoor toys and they bring in new items all the time. Every time you go camping throw a few new items in the backpack and the kids will love opening it to find out what's new in the bag. Think outside of the box and of course age appropriate items, my older grandson got a real knife and the younger grandson got a plastic cutlery knife. Go to Texas Parks and Wildlife to download an "Outdoor Kids" journal. Happy Camping!
flashlight (flashlight tag)
balls / hacky sack
chalk (washes of with water)
disposable camera (photo scavenger hunt)
rope (clothes line, build a raft or teepee)
spork (spoon & fork)
plastic jars - bugs, tadpoles, rocks, blackberries (recycle old peanut butter jars)
first aid kit
net (tad poles & butterflies)
spiral notebook (to draw what they see, tic-tac-toe, paper boat, bark rubbings)
pencils & sharpened
tape measure (this will keep them busy for hours, teach them half and quarters)
dollar store toys
** My niece, Kelly (a great Mom too), packs her kids lunch boxes with snacks for the trip that they can have at anytime without asking.