We did marshmallows with ds last year when he was 2 - surprised how serious about fire safety he was - to the extent of going up to neighbours when they were passing and telling them sincerely that "daddy has made a fire and you have got to be very very very very careful near it or you will get very hurty"...... obvs supervised him v carefully too but just surprised how well he 'got' it - oh he loved the marshmallows too!
We have had trouble with DD going to bed in the past and haveopted to let her stay up round the fire dressed for bed and sat on one of us wrapped in a blanket until she drops off. That seems to work ok and means we get to relax with wine rather than battling with an overtired child.
Usually the first night she is awake late and subsequent nights get earlier and earlier as the fresh air and exercise take their toll. Daytime naps often reappear on camp too.
A good tip someone told me for children old enough to bargain with , maybe 4 up, is to say they have to go to bed on time the first night and tell them if they do with no fuss they can stay up as late as they want the next. First night all in bed on time (ish). The next night you watch them battle to stay up and then they ask to go to bed (again best to have them in pyjamas and onesies from early on if possible). This works well with groups. It was a cub camp trick I believe.
All our experiences with DS were all positive at that age (apart from very first night in tent when I was thinking about using the tent peg mallet to get him to sleep lol) plenty fresh air and running about should help them settle.
One thing I've learned though (and not just camping but any time away) is not to have any preconceived ideas of how it will be lol ...
Be prepared for her to be until you go to bed and wake up vely.This is why I hate camping with very young chikdren. DH and I have end up sitting in the car at 10 pm trying to let the DC (1, 4) settle. After 2 nights of sleeping 10pm - 5 am they were unbearably tired and grumpy, and my dreams of a relaxing evening in a deck chair with a glass of wine, headtorch and book were shattered.
Just back a few weeks ago from camping in France with toddler DS. The only thing I would add to your list are some crayons and paper or other craft stuff. If its raining you may want an "indoor" activity. We also load up our phones/iPad with stuff he likes so we can distract him while we put up the tent or break camp. Have fun and hope you get good weather!
To be honest, it sounds like you have a pretty good line up of things for her to do already. Insect hunting and, if there is a pond, dipping for pond life, are great favourites for toddlers and older.
You say she is a bit young for marshmallows and sticks. I am not so sure. We and the friends we camp with have always had fires at campsites so had to get the children used to being careful of fires and also the fun stuff. Provided you supervise and use really long sticks which you hold with your toddler, toasting a marshmallow is something your 2 year old could definitely enjoy. And after that, stories/songs round the fire before bedtime is another thing children really enjoy.
Frankly though, I have never met a toddler who didn't love camping. You may find she ends up in with you if she does wake up during the night and want a bit of reassurance but she will soon get used to sleeping in a tent.
Have a great time . We are off next weekend too so really hoping the weather will perk up before then!
Cant believe I'm writing this as its currently pouring with rain, but never mind - hopefully next week will be dry!! We're off camping with our two year old and I'm really not sure what we need to take and how to prepare her. I want her and my partner (who is a fair weather camper at best!) to enjoy our first experience and make it a regular thing. Am trying to think of nice things that can become our family 'camping traditions' if that makes sense. I've got her a little air bed, head torch and a ladybird camp chair. Will let her choose where to pitch tent and am going to get her to help make some bunting to put up in our tent which she'll love. I'll plan a couple of easy dinners that she can help with and she'll no doubt enjoy a bath or two in the washing up bowl and bedtime story by torchlight. She's obviously too young to get involved with marshmallows on sticks - any toddler friendly alternatives? I think/ hope she will just find the whole thing very exciting. Will obviously take full waterproofs for all of us and hope to do lots of exploring and insect hunting. Anything else you'd recommend or tips to help make it a success?