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Kids have a hard time sleeping before going to summer camps or camping trips. For some of them, it can feel as if they are being chased away from home. Growing up, I had to cry myself to bed the night before leaving for summer camp. I thought of the things that I would miss out on, and the feeling was just unbearable! It took me close to two weeks in summer camp to get over this awful feeling.
Last summer, I had to take my son to summer camp. As you would expect, I saw the same level of dissatisfaction and sadness that I once went through. But this time, I was prepared! I used some of these methods:
1. Having a Day of Action Filled and Fun Activities
Kids love laughing, playing and engaging in exciting activities. These events even help them to grow as they interact with other children. That being said, I took my child toy car racing to the nearest race track. I knew that he loves the sport and it was essential to get him thinking about something else. Besides, you can take your child horse or boat riding to help him or her grow with nature. Whichever activity you choose, remember that making it something he or she loves to do will help to engage your child, and esnure they are tired at the end of the day, and ready for a good night’s rest.
2. Reading Him or Her a Bedtime Story
Although this may sound like the oldest trick in the book, it gets your child to sleep quickly even when he or she does not want to. Let them pick the book, and take the time to engage in the story with them. Show them the heroics of ‘Superman’ or other popular heroes to get them excited. It’s good for your child to sleep feeling happy!
3. Look at the Stars
Take your child outdoors at dusk - perhaps even have a dinner picnic! - and watch the night sky slowly come to life. You can use this experience to educate your child on the night sky, get them excited about the upcoming camping trip, as well as calm their mind in preperation for a good nights sleep.
4. Having a Late Night Snack
Children need to get a good night’s sleep especially before any outdoor adventure for the strengthening of muscles and tissues. It even helps them to wake up feeling ready and energetic. I like to fill my fridge with milk, fruits, vegetables and other healthy late night snacks. I know that kids who sleep with full stomachs have one of the best nights.
5. Choice Of Mattress Is Important!
The mattress your child sleeps on greatly determines how fast he’ll fall asleep. I took time to go through product reviews from a reliable mattress blog and found that the bouncy type is the best for young kids. I even tried to look for one with funny action figures just to spice things up a little bit. Other than just getting him to sleep quickly, it also offers proper muscle alignment.
6. Playing Night Games
It’s good to engage your child in activities that challenge him or her. Games such as scrabble help in improving your kid’s language and spelling skills. I learned that a child usually has a good night’s sleep when he or she discovers something new. It’s also an excellent family activity that will motivate him or her to go to summer camp the next day.
7. Encourage Sleepovers
If your kid is going camping, invite his or her friends, but first, consult their parents. Let them play, enjoy their time together and eventually they’ll sleep all through the night. I love sleepovers because they get my kid perfectly tired and ready for bed!
8. Constant Exercises
It’s crucial to encourage your child to do as many exercises as possible before going for any outdoor adventure. To encourage this and make it a fun experience, join him or her in doing the various exercises. Once I did this, I realised that my young boy was quite motivated. That night, I had to carry him to bed.
9. Reduce the Exposure to Technology
Some children are using smartphones and tablets from as early as five years of age. The night before a camping trip or summer camp, hide all these devices to prevent them using them before bed, as this can have a negative effect on their quality of sleep.
10. How About an Action Figure or Doll to Cuddle Through the Night?
Sometimes, your advice as a parent may not be enough to encourage your kid to sleep before going to summer camp. Therefore, it’s wise to give your child a sleeping companion to keep him or her feeling safe through the night. My son loves having ‘Oozy’ by his side as he drifts off and I realised that it helps him sleep even in stressful situations.
You can choose the method that will help your child sleep comfortably from the above tips. All in all, you should keep reminding him of the fun and exciting adventures that come with outdoor activities. Fear is usually the main problem, and once you’ve gotten rid of it, he or she will have a fantastic sleep.
About the Author
William Reich is a father and a husband that loves the outdoors. Whenever he can, he takes his family on camping trips for a quick getaway!