What do you think? What is your answer to the question: Is camping good for kids? Now, I suppose some might think that’s a silly question. Other inquiring folks may really want to know what benefits there are in store for families planning and going on camping trips with their kids.
Now, if you have been camping with your family and children for a good number of years, I don’t have to convince you that there are positive benefits. The fact that you have spent years camping as a family indicates that you see great benefit in it.
Otherwise, you would have stopped camping long ago. I would encourage such folks to leave a note in the reply section below and share what you consider to be the benefits of camping with your kids.
I did come across an interesting article by Barbara Adam in which she gives some amazing insights on how travelling with your kids has an incredibly positive impact on them. In my mind, camping with your kids provides exactly the same impact as taking them on trips to experience other cultures. Here’s an excerpt from Barbara’s article:
Travelling and Camping Good For Kids
One of the best ways to experience local culture is to be led by your children. Kids are natural explorers and scientists, full of wonder at the world, wherever they are in it. . . .
Travel presents all kinds of learning opportunities. Children get to see, hear and taste so many new things, new languages, new food, new modes of transport, new animals and, yes, even new flavours of gelato.
In her article, Barbara also shares some insight that she learned from Nancy Sathre-Vogel, an educator and mother who biked with her family from Alaska to Argentina. You can learn more about Nancy and her family at FamilyonBikes.org/blog. Here is some of what Barbara shares in her article:
World-traveling mom and teacher Nancy Sathre-Vogel, who completed a masters thesis on brain research and how children learn, said travel helps build the connections in the brain that make learning easier.
The key to learning, according to Nancy, is growing dendrites, the physical connections within the brain that join cells together and allows messages to whiz from one part of the brain to another.
“As we travel, our kids are always in new and stimulating environments, therefore their brains are always growing dendrites which makes it easier for them to learn anything,” she said. “It appears as though their brains are so stimulated by everything that is going on around them that they just pick stuff up — it seems like it goes in through osmosis.”
Of course, kids don’t have to travel in order to learn efficiently. It’s stimulating environments that help children learn. “It’s just that it’s easier to get kids in those challenging and stimulating environments while travelling,” said Nancy.
Isn’t that amazing. My wife and I have been taking our kids on camping trips ever since they were infants. Now that our kids are older, during the last 6 years, we have been able to travel further distances with them. I am a firm believer that 1 week on a camping trip provides just as much learning experience as a whole month in the classroom.
Now, we have not travelled outside of the US, but I say we have experienced a variety of different cultures right here in the US. The way people live and view life are different in Upper Michigan than Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach different than those living in Estes Park, CO. (If you have experienced the Upper Michigan culture, you know what I mean.)
In our travels to each of our camping destinations, we have learned history. We have learned about nature and science. We have experienced new wildlife up close and personal. It is impossible to have the same kind of learning experience in a classroom.
Is camping good for kids? My answer: absolutely!! And it is good for parents as well. Now, if your camping experience so far has kept you close to home, I say, broaden your horizons. Get beyond the borders of your home state. Turn loose the desire for discovery in your kids. It just might be the best thing for your kids’ education.