Well, we did it. We successfully camped with three kids 3 and under! I have to admit, neither Keith nor I looked forward to this trip. I think we almost changed our minds about ten times in the days leading up to this trip. We’re both SO glad that we decided to give it a try!
The prep work at home wasn’t fun with two little boys underfoot and a baby who wanted to be held while we packed. The setup at the campground wasn’t exactly easy, either. Once we were set up, though, it was SO MUCH FUN!
The baby was content to nap in the camper, and she slept through the night both nights! She had her fussy moments during the day, but she was a good little camper!
The boys shared a bunk this year, and Max had a hard time with that on the first night. He kept waking up whimpering, not knowing where he was. He also kept rolling onto Alex’s sleeping bag, and then he’d cry when Alex tried to push him away. Keith got wise for night #2, and we put the bench cushions between the boys to separate them. It worked, and EVERYONE slept great!
Morning comes a little early when you’re camping with littles, but we tried to keep our kiddos quiet until 7 AM.
Alex is turning into a water-lover this year. He had no fear of the lake, and he loved the freedom to swim somewhat independently. (Daddy is VERY close, don’t worry!)
Max was very brave (TOO brave, really) on the playset. This is a pretty high tower for a toddler, and he made me very nervous running around up there! Both boys enjoyed watching the peacocks, even though the birds never spread their feathers for us. Max even threw his shoe to the birdies when Mommy wasn’t looking. (I had to squeeze my arm through the fencing to retrieve it.)
Last year, Keith told Alex that he would take him fishing when he turned three. Well, that was in December. Where do you fish in Indiana in December?! ;)
So, finally, with his Cars fishing pole in hand, he and Daddy had their first fishing experience together.
Honestly, Keith said Alex is a typical three year old with no attention span. He’d cast his line, reel it back in right away, and get the line tangled. Finally, Alex started entertaining himself by “fishing” with a big stick when Daddy stopped fixing his tangled line. Daddy caught the fish for Alex! ;)
Daddy & Alex had a mud fight!
Note to self: Keep Max FAR AWAY from such events!
Daddy taught Alex how to roast marshmallows.
(It was more like how to start marshmallows on fire…)
Max decided Hershey bars are better than making s’mores. I opened a chocolate bar for myself, and he ate it while I roasted my marshmallow. Then he proceeded to check all the empty wrappers on the table to see if any chocolate was hiding in there…
We learned a little something from our friend Angie. There’s NO NEED for any sort of fancy cooking when camping with small children. Keep it VERY simple – cold cereal in disposable bowls is a fine breakfast. Hot dogs cooked over the fire, grapes, and potato chips is an easy dinner that leaves no dishes to wash. Someday we’ll make those yummy camping meals, but for now…SIMPLE is good!
I figured that Keith & I would spend most of our time busy with the kids, but I was amazed that we were able to sit back, relax, and enjoy. The boys played freely, the baby relaxed in our arms, and we had some nice quiet time to just sit.
This trip was SO worthwhile! The forecasted rain never came (thanks, God!), the kids were SO cooperative, and we had a great time! I don’t know that it will always go so smoothly with three little ones, but we’re so thankful that this first trip convinced us that it’s worth the effort!