Kid Camping with Jill Simonian


  • For newbies and first-timers, pick spots that offer toilets.
  • Visit and and look for a campground close to a town.
  • Recommended minimum age for first-time campers: 3 or 4, potty trained, old enough to LISTEN and HELP.
  • TIP: "Practice" in your backyard to check if kids are ready!


  • A great resource is
  • Take familiar or fun new "surprise" toys to make first camping trip special.
  • Take comfortable items. There's no need to "rough it," especially with little ones. Take pillows, for example. Fred Flare makes a great Log Pillow with microbeads that custom contour to your child's neck and head.

I recommend first timers camp at a site where there are CLEAN bathrooms. Especially if you are still potty training and don't want to interrupt training. If you are bold enough to rough it for the weekend, I recommend investing in a separate "bathroom tent." Choose level ground and set up a camping toilet. You can buy them for around $67 from They even come in flushable models!<

GEAR: Make sure you're equipped for LITTLE kids. Lucky Bums products provide a variety of real gear that's tailor-made to work for small bodies, including tapered sleeping bags (no gaps for small bodies), easy-up small tent (for play/activity only... I personally think best that family sleeps all together in ONE big tent so everyone is close), and child-sized headlamps, all starting at $19.99 and up.


  • Coolibar makes sun-protective clothing and accessories.
  • Jason Natural insect repellents and sunscreens are an ecologically safe line of outdoor products. You can find Jason Natural Products at many grocery stores.
  • Also, set rules the second you arrive! Go over fire safety, water safety, and wandering off. Glow sticks necklaces are fun after dark and helps you keeps tabs on where kids are.
  • You can also give your child a playful Smile LED Lantern. They run on AA batteries, provide comfort after dark, and have a cheery style design meant to be pleasing to a child's eye.
  • It goes without saying that you should have a fully stocked first aid kit.


  • For little ones, it's very important that they stay fed and that they don't get dehydrated, otherwise the trip goes downhill fast. Pureed food pouches can serve as snacks for little ones to keep hydrated and to keep their energy up.
  • Shark Skinzz make fun roll-up thirst-quenchers and sandwich bags for easy portability.

For more info, visit Jill Simonian at

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