Bring Beach Toys
Children love to play with familiar toys, and although there will be plenty to explore on the hike to the camp site and at the site itself, bringing along toys is a surefire way to stave off boredom. Beach toys have the added advantage of being washable and sturdy. Moreover, if you camp near a lake or stream, they will float and help create a mud and dirt castles. Although it may seem odd to bring beach toys into the forest or up a mountain, consider that a lot of them are inflatable, and this greatly decreases the weight and volume you have to haul up and down the trail.
Children Need Child-Sized Camping Gear
Kids love to have gear that is made especially for them. Look for child-sized camping lanterns and sleeping bags. Having their own gear helps kids learn to be responsible for their belongings, and also carry them to and from the camp site. It also makes the entire experience a lot more comfortable for the child, since a child-sized sleeping bag---such as the Eureka Kid's Lady Bug 45 Degree sleeping bag---is far more likely to keep her snug and warm overnight.
Plan Activities Ahead of Time
Children love hiking and running around, but after a day or two, these might become a bit boring. Plan plenty of activities ahead of time, but be flexible and accept that some---or maybe all---may need to be scrapped if something more interesting comes along. For example, pack a badminton or bocce set, bring along a few card and board games, pack a craft box and do not forget word puzzles and crosswords for older kids. Keep all these items packed away, and only unpack them one at a time as needed.
Snacks May Take the Places of Meals
Relax your need to put three square meals on the camp table. Kids are likely to snack all day on trail mix, string cheese, peanut butter crackers, dried fruit, bagel chips and jerky. The odds are good that they won't be hungry for a big lunch. Instead, heat hot dogs on a stick over the campfire, roast marshmallows and make s'mores. Always keep the kids well hydrated with water, sports drinks and juice.