Lisa Leonard Designs

san simeon

July 13th | older posts


some friends are camping nearby and invited us over for an evening of swordfights, campfires, sunsets, and tide pools.  we haven’t taken the boys camping yet, but it inspired me to give it a try.  maybe later this summer?  do you camp with little ones–any tips??

25 Responses

  1. Melissa says:

    We camp with a 5year old and a 1year old and my tip is: bring lots of stuff to do in case it rains! LOL We camped with both our kids from babies on and while it is a bit daunting at first it is still family fun that I hope my kids remember and treasure.
    If your going to tent camp make sure to bring a tarp to put underneath the tent to help keep dry if it rains. Also if another handy little thing to have with are glow sticks, you can hang them in the tent if you don’t have any other light and the kids think they are great fun!
    Hope you get the boys out, it is some of the most fun we have as a family!
    Good luck.

  2. beth says:

    lisa…your photo coloring always amazes me and I know you use picnik and was wondering if you use the same process pretty much all the time or if you always mix it up with each photo you play with…..

    and camping tips ?….just enjoy it all….the rain, the bugs, the snakes and all the other surprises that come with camping, which make camping what it is in the first place :)

  3. lisa says:

    hi beth! i usually antique in iphoto (mac) and lighten a bit. sometimes i color process in picnik. i always resize in picnik and sometimes i create a collage. hope that helps!!!

  4. Kristy says:

    Lisa I was going to say what Beth said :) Just enjoy it all! As long as you have shelter,clothing and food,it’s like going to the beach for the day-the kids will entertain themselves. Just relax and let nature be your guide. We camp with our 3 kids (ages 10,7,5 now) and have since they were 1 month old. We don’t take alot of extra stuff with us because 99.9% of the time they don’t play with it. We have camped in the rain and there is nothing more fun than playing in mud then dunking in the river/lake water to rinse off :)

    PS your photo’s are inspirational and soothing. I can never sit down to read your blog without my cup of coffee in hand 😉 Thank you.

  5. Sarah R says:

    We love camping with our boys! They are 4 and 2 and do great! So far we have only camped near a beach, so that provided us lots to do. I hope you try it soon!
    We only do 2-3 nights at this age though. :o)

  6. Lisa says:

    We are camping now…we have a pop-up camper and 5 children.
    We have camped since our children were babies, in playpens.
    It is so much fun and the kids don’t care where you are or what you’re doing; even the back yard works.
    Do it, you’ll be so glad you did.
    If you are worried, camp close to home and you can always head there.

  7. Deborah says:

    I felt refreshed and young just looking at your pictures. Thank you.

  8. Patti says:

    We’ve camped since our kids were little – now they are teenagers.
    My tips:
    * Always put the rain fly on ~ even if there is no chance of rain ~ it keeps the morning dew off you while sleeping :)
    * My kids never liked the confinement of sleeping bags. So we used a king sized air matress, unzipped one sleeping bag to sleep on top of and then piled the rest on top of us unzipped. We would all snuggle together to keep warm and then wake up with the sun and talk until it was warm enough to get up :)

    I never wanted to camp. Our first trip we had terrible thunderstorms and it went down to 35 degrees at night. But *surprise* I loved it and it has given us the best family memories.

    Blessings, Patti

  9. Tina in Duluth says:

    Camping is a ton of work, but that looks like WAY too much fun. DO IT!! Your boys will love it!

  10. MamáChanga says:

    Last year we took the girls camping for an over nighter and one of them ended up crying until 5 am. This year they are 3 and we signed up for a TWO nighter, they skipped their naps, got beyond dirty playing in the dirt and walking around all over the place, had a bath before bed and slept JUST fine! We all had a GREAT time camping. Next year we’re shooting for 3 nights!

    Hugs & Blessings!

  11. Jackie Smith says:

    Hi Lisa, my kids are not outdoorsy at all. The thought of sleeping on dirt or gas scares us all….including me and my hubby!!!! LOL. Now if we had an RV and the spot we stopped at was the beach, THAT would be great. But the whole wilderness, dirt,grass,bugs,wildlife……yikes…..too scary for us. But kudos to you if you go!!!! you brave souls!!

  12. Amy says:

    Lisa, I love these pictures!!!! Could you please email me some of the others?? It was so good to see you and the boys.

  13. Dawn Suzette says:

    Quintessential Cali beach camping… love it!
    Lori over at Heywood’s Meadow did a post on camping with kids and got lots of comments with tips too…
    Good stuff… Have fun when you go!

  14. Kristy says:

    Absolutely beautiful pictures!

  15. Jennifer says:

    We used to go camping before we had kids but I have not been brave enough to try since! They are 6 and 4 years old now, I suppose we ought to give it a try! Sure looks like you had fun with your friends! Great pictures.

  16. Nicole says:

    we love camping! I don’t really have any tips because mine is much younger than your kiddos but you should go for it! :)

  17. karen says:

    lisa, funny … the camping question. i am 44 and my kids are now 11 and 10. my sis-n-law and i took my kids and hers (triplets and then one 19 months younger than the trips) camping when the oldest was 2 1/2. so you have nuthin on us! take em. they will have so much fun! our kids were crawling in the grass! now, i look back and can’t believe we did it. but am so happy we did. we have pics of the kids painting in their skivees .. guess we brought all kinds of crafts, etc. DO IT! maybe you could meet your sis and her kids half way to make it all worthwhile!

  18. Kimberly says:


    This is such a great questions, and actually I just went camping two weeks ago with my two boys 5 1/2 and 2 1/2. We only did two nights close to home in case things were not going so well. But to my surprise everything was great, they had a wonderful time, my dh and I had a wonderful time, so much so that when I’m on vacation again next week we are going back for two more nights, wanted to do three but they were booked up. Luckily for us there was a beach, playground and hiking trails as well as boat rentals and fishing….ow how they loved the fishing, and helping build the campfires. Get packing…it will be great.

  19. Christie says:

    Lisa, we are definitely not campers (unless we can call hotels with wifi and room service “camping”), but if we lived in your neck of the woods and got to see all those cool things at the beach, we might be so inclined to camp… I’m always amazed by your pictures!

  20. Nancy says:

    Go camping, you and your family will have a blast! We love to camp and go five or six times a year. We have even gone winter camping in the snow. A couple of our provincial parks rent yurts which are semi permanent structures with a wooden floor, bunk beds, heat and lights. During the summer, we use our tent trailer, but when our kids were young we used a tent. What ever you use, you need to be able to get a good night sleep. It’s hard to have fun if you are tired and cranky and your back is bent out of shape. Borrow or rent decent sleeping mats in addition to the rest of the gear that you need. You could also see if local campgrounds rent campers or yurts so that you could try it out before making an investment in gear. Some private campgrounds even have wifi.

    The Pop Up Explorer camping forum has a wealth of info and is worth checking out.

    Ah!… the stuff of childhood memories. Not to mention the new sources of inspiration for your jewellery!

  21. Simply LOVE the first picture here, with the kids running with “swords”.
    Awesome summerpicture. Should be copied and saved for each an everyone of the kids in the picture, for when they grow up. :)

  22. beth says:

    thanks lisa…that helps !
    and lucky me, I have a mac so antiquing here I come….

  23. Bonnie says:

    Just GO and let them get DIRTY!

  24. Michelle says:

    I visit your blog regularly but I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented. But I just had to comment about camping. We love to camp. And we’ve been taking our two boys since they were little. I think the first time we went they were 4 and 2. My best recommendation? A tub of water at the entrance to the tent before bed time. I would always give the kids a wipe down before bed…clean face, hands and feet and they rested a lot better. (I have a thing about kids going to bed with dirty feet…yuck!)

    On our first camping trip, after a long drive, and getting stuck setting up the tent via headlights and nothing for dinner except pickles and muffins (they were the quickest thing within reach) I was finally tucking them into their sleeping bags in the tent and Seth, my oldest (4 at the time), put his hands behind his head, let out a sigh as he looked through the skylight in the tent at all of the bright stars and said, “Mama, this is the life.” I will never forget it. One of my favorite memories…

    Go for it…you won’t regret it.


  25. Jule says:

    came here by accident and enjoy the lovely and nice photos – great! And these camping space seems to be wonderful. I assume we live too far away 😉
    and my tip for camping place: prerow in easter germany!!! many dunes

Leave a Reply