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  • Writer's pictureKaylin Meck

Camping with Littles: 7 Must-have items to make camping with children easier

I will start by saying I am not an avid camper. I am just your average mom sharing some helpful items that made our camping trip with young kids run smoothly. We are tent campers, so in this post, you will find 7 must-haves for making tent camping easier when traveling with children.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By using the like I am given a small commission at no additional cost to you.

We just enjoyed our first successful camping trip with the kids and here is what I found essential.

Door Mat

You may be thinking "Door Mat?", but trust me on this. We picked up a cheap cloth door mat from Walmart before our trip and it made a huge difference in the cleanliness of the tent. We don't allow shoes in our tent and the door mat did two things for us. First, it reminded the kids to remove their shoes before entering. Secondly, it collected dirt and dry grass we picked up while hanging out outside.

Our spot this past weekend was near a pine tree and the needles were everywhere. I don't know about you, but I much prefer that stuff outside, rather than in our sleeping bags! The rug we picked up caught them as we stepped on it. You can check the rug out by clicking on the picture above. This is a very similar one to ours from Amazon. Nothing fancy but sure did do the trick!

Cozy Corner

This is more of a collection of items rather than just one. If your tent has room to spare, consider creating a cozy corner for the kids to hang out in. I created ours by bringing a spare blanket, and a couple of throw pillows. I also added a bag of toys and coloring books for them to enjoy. This allowed the kids to take a break from the sun when they wanted as well as find something to do when we prepped dinner.

Toys & Coloring Supplies

This piggybacks off of the cozy corner, but age-appropriate toys and coloring supplies are an absolute must when camping with children. I fill a small tote bag with favorites such as toy cars, building blocks, and for my 5-year-old daughter LOL dolls.

I also let the kids pick out a new coloring pack before we leave. I get the Crayola packs that come with coloring pages and magic markers. I know bringing coloring books and markers we already own would be cheaper, but to me, these are a must-have on any trip. The kids want to color more because it's new, and the fact that I don't have to pack a bunch of markers is a win. We picked up these coloring packs shown below.

Portable Outdoor Activities

Ok so this one is definitely up to you and how much room you have in your vehicle. My kids are always on the go and never stop wanting to do more things. On this trip, we brought a soccer net (and ball), scooters (and helmets), and bubble machines. This is all stuff we already owned, so there was no extra expense. The soccer net is great because disassembles and can be put in its travel bag.

Glow sticks

When in doubt get the glow sticks out. That's right, I came up with an ultra cheesy slogan for this item just because I felt like it. I am being serious about this one though. I just happened to pick up two packs of glow sticks at Dollar Tree the week before our trip for no other reason than they looked fun. I am so happy I did! As the sun started going down on the campsite we had had the busiest day. We spent over two hours at the beach, played at the park, roasted hotdogs and marshmallows on the fire, went on a scooter ride, etc., etc. Yet the kids still found a way to be bored. I'm not kidding. That's when I remember I had glow sticks in the bag and pulled them out. The kids spent the next two hours performing "glow stick dances" in the dark. It was adorable. These glow sticks below are what I am going to bring on our next outing!

Another win with the glow sticks is that they doubled as nightlights in the tent. My kids don't like the dark and these kept the tent glowing until well after they fell asleep.

Portable charger

If you are tent camping on a non-electric site. A portable charger can come in handy regardless of having kids or not. Our kids specifically need either an audiobook or music playing while they sleep. I was able to plug my phone into the charger and play a playlist on Spotify for the entire night. My phone was left fully charged and the portable charger was at 67%. I was seriously impressed. This is the charger we bought below.

Baby Shampoo Rinse Cup

This one is such as small item but made a huge difference in our showers while camping. My 3-year-old hates water in his face and only takes baths at home. Unfortunately, I have never been to a campsite with tubs, and dingy showers are the best you get. This baby shampoo rinse cup came in handy because I was able to fill it with water and gently pour it onto my son. If your little is like mine, you will definitely want to pack your rinse cup!


Question: These are the 7 must-have items we live by when camping with children. What items can you not go without when camping with kids? Let me know in the comments below!

💕sending love & momma to momma support,


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