We just recently got back from Tawas Point State Park where we camped with our friends for three nights. We have 4 children and they have 5 making a grand total of 9 kiddos ages 2 to 12.
I had never even been camping with all of my children so I did a lot of research online before we left.
We didn’t actually camp on the sand for the record, but we were right next to Lake Huron. I pinned all kinds of hacks for the beach and the camp. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t.
I thought I would share the results here in case it’s helpful to anyone else considering a similar adventure with their family. Keep in mind I didn’t have a camera with me (other than the one on my phone) and I was busy watching kids and enjoying my time away. How some of these bloggers can have families and produce magazine quality photos of their food and crafts is beyond me! Anyway, pictures or not here are some Pinterest things I tried
We did the campfire classic and it was a hit… with the adults. The good news is for the kids a weenie roast is always an easy substitute so that’s what we did in this case.
This wasn’t a total success either. The Walmart we went to only sold an big pack of assorted snack bags so we couldn’t buy a bunch of individual bags of just fritos. We ended up buying a couple big bags of fritos instead along with disposable bowls. It was tasty and everyone loved it, they just weren’t the portable “walking taco” we had envisioned.
We had smores pretty much every night and those are always a treat, but one night I ventured out and tried this cast iron skillet recipe I found on Pinterest. It was yummy. One of my own accidental hacks was using sugar packets. I had them for coffee, but when I realized this recipe called for a 1/4 cup of sugar I was glad a few packets to sprinkle in.
The crowd went wild for this easy utensil-free beach meal that can feed a large crowd. I highly recommend this lunch hack for multiple occasions.
I pinned this beach tip where you use a sled to drag your stuff through the sand because I thought it would be better than strapping a wagon to the top of the van (like we did last year).
In the end the sled doesn’t really work for us because our beach includes a walk that would not be conducive to a sled. It’s a beautiful walk by the way. You even have a view of a Lighthouse.
Luckily we had several able-bodied little soldiers to help us get stuff out to the beach.
6. Story Cubes
This is a game I‘ve mentioned on the blog before. You roll the cubes and share a story inspired by all the images on the cubes. The kids loved doing this at night. We also had a cow mask that we packed. One night we gathered all the kids around the fire and I told a “legend” about a cow-man that has been spotted at Tawas point. At the end of the story J came out wearing the cow mask. I made sure it wasn’t too scary. We had tons of fun that night. Campfire stories will always be a great way to keep the fun going after sundown.
I haven’t tried this one, but I have friends who did. If it’s not convenient to make your own ice cream hopefully you are camping near a local ice cream shop like we were and then you can still put a smile on EVERYONE’s Face!
8. Rain Backup Plans
It rained a little bit off and on the whole time we camped. It didn’t ruin the fun, but I did put PONCHOS on my list for things to bring next time we go camping. Thankfully we had a tarp to put over the food area. We also had cards and games to play when some light showers passed by which was actually really special.
9. A sheet
I saw an idea on Pinterest where you use a fitted sheet to keep sand out.
All I could do was laugh out loud when I saw this because with our rowdy clan I guarantee you sand would still get in the sheet! I still like the idea of bringing a sheet to the beach though. Sheets can be used for blankets, forts, a knapsack, or even a swimsuit cover. They are light weight and always come in handy!
10. A Good Attitude
I don’t have any more ideas for how to have a good beach/camping trip because the fact is, the kids were destined to have the time of their life whether or not I used any Pinterest tricks. They play at the beach, eat by a fire, AND sleep in a tent.
What a fun time!
I’m sure they are going to treasures these memories forever. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect camping with 9 kids. I’ll admit I was a bit fearful! In the end though it went great. One night all of the kids went off to their own sleeping bags in their own tent and one after the other put themselves to bed! Even the two and four year olds! I don’t know about your kids, but with my brood this is unheard of! All of the adults got to hang out and talk around the fire. It was awesome, until the skunks arrived. Actually, it was still awesome. They ended up scurrying along without leaving any stench. We all had a good laugh about how frightened we got and we made some great memories.
After all that research I did online what I learned most is that camping with kids can be an incredible experience. I would definitely do it all again!