Making Spiders Dance: Take Your Kids Camping

July 23, 2012

Children, Family

making smores with your kids

Making Spiders Dance

“I can make spiders dance.” That’s what I told my oldest son many years ago when I took him on his first camping trip. He was 7 years old and we’d just pulled back the tent flap on one of the canvas tents provided at Cub Scout Summer Camp. The tent was full of Granddaddy Long Leg spiders and my son’s face was full of apprehension.

“Really?”, he tentatively asked. “Sure, watch this.” I said confidently.

I entered the tent and gently blew on one of the 8-legged arachnids. It started bouncing and moving it’s legs and all directions trying to stabilize itself. My son almost fell to the ground in laugher. He chased every spider in the tent trying to make it dance for himself.

His enthusiasm didn’t falter. Each time we returned to the tent during that initial weekend trip, he wanted to be the one to open the flap in hopes that there would be another spider to make dance.

The Benefits of Camping

With that, my son become an avid camper. In the past two years, he’s spent over 50 nights sleeping in a tent or under the stars. He’s camped in the rain and in the sunshine. He’s pitched tents near campground parking lots (car camping) and hiked miles from any road during backpacking trips. He’s even made debris huts out of sticks and leaves and spent the night in his emergency shelter. He enjoys it all.

Camping is a great way to introduce your kids to new prepping skills. During a camping trip you can help them:

  • Overcome a fear of creepy crawlers.
  • Learn to make a fire and to cook over it.
  • Discover that they really need fewer supplies than they may think.
  • Learn to tie knots and make camping gadgets like tripods or tables.
  • Become comfortable in the great outdoors and with the noises they hear at night.
  • Build confidence in their own abilities to handle things out of their comfort zone.

But most importantly, it’s a great way to spend time with your kids, to invest in your relationship with them.

Recently, I took my 5 year old daughter on her first camping trip. She helped me to pitch the tent, gather tinder and kindling, and gently blow the spark from my firesteel into a nice little flame. We roasted hotdogs and made s’mores.

She was beaming with each new thing that we did that night. She can’t wait to go again. And neither can I.

Do you have a camping story?

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9 Comments on “Making Spiders Dance: Take Your Kids Camping”

  1. Practical Parsimony Says:

    Thank goodness for men and little boys not being afraid of spiders! I am not at all liable to camp out, but our family went before sunup to a river, built a fire and cooked breakfast. We were not campers, just comfortable eating outdoors and spending time outdoors. We four children listened to Daddy giving a blow-by-blow to my mother of everything he did while building a fire or fishing, just whatever he was doing. We stood around and watched. Yes, we helped gather wood.


    • Joe Says:

      That’s great. I try to do the same thing with my little ones, explain what I’m doing as I do it, but it doesn’t always work out that way.


  2. MamaLeash Says:

    Took my future son-in-law from Texas to Colorado for his first camping trip. Our family always camps out for vacations. When we got unpacked & had dinner made, I realized that I hadn’t packed any plates. Being a country girl who can sub items for those that you don’t have, we ate out of our coffee cups. We laughed a lot that trip. Now my official son-in-law loves to camp! Just take a chance & take an adventure!


    • Joe Says:

      Camping is such a great way to spend some time together, to get outdoors and see God’s creation, to practice skills that the creature comforts of home don’t afford us a chance to do.

      Glad to hear he loves camping now.


  3. Petra Says:

    This web site really has all the info I needed about this subject
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