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Old 09-18-2016, 06:11 PM   #11
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Depends on your kids. We took our daughter camping for her first trip at about 8 weeks. Our boy was about 4 months. We just got back from Gettysburg, they loved playing in the creek behind our site, going for walks with the dogs and playing at the playground.

Generally speaking, we bring a water table and toys for the kiddos to play. They like playing in the water (pool, lake, stream, etc), they like playgrounds, they like bike rides. From private to public campgrounds, we always find something. I like camping because it makes the kids find something to do.
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:12 PM   #12
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Poor Bono is getting a lecture. Their kids are under 3!! Short attention spans are normal at that age and I highly doubt they are addicted to t.v. and video games already. Just change it up for them, take them on hikes, explore nature, cook, etc. Bring a few comfort items for down time. Before you know it they'll be a teenager.....😐

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Nor was mine meant as a lecture. Yes, they are still young. But it goes very quickly. And he was clearly asking for advice. So, he got it.

Our two sons are 33 and 32 years of age, and they turned out really great. One reason is that we taught them to create their own fun sometimes, instead of sitting around bored playing video games all day. That's the easy way out for parents who don't want to work at keeping the kids busy. Just handing them a game controller keeps them out of their parents' hair for now, but I am a firm believer it harms them in the long run.

Bono clearly wants advice and ideas on keeping the kids busy, so that's exactly what was provided. No harm intended.
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:00 PM   #13
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You might also want to look at some outdoor games like Bean bag toss, etc. It will get easier as they get just a little bit older and independent.

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I bought this off Amazon for $40 which is a great deal for a 3 in 1 game set for outdoors. Good for kids and adults. They had this at some sports stores for $80-90 but Amazon was cheap. I will testify it to be great quality and super lightweight, it just takes up space like a folding gravity chair. The wait to ship time was like a month but who cares it was worth it!

FYI - ring toss is harder than it looks

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Old 09-19-2016, 08:32 AM   #14
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THANK YOU guys!!! This is beyond my expectations. Some excellent ideas suggested here. I will need to make a list!

My son is very social, so I think that lack of other kids in his age was the most shocking for him. There is no easy fix for this. We will try to engage him more in the activities you suggested.

I would like to avoid KOA, etc. as at least from the photos, those campground look more like parking lots for me. Probably we will try one or two of KOAs, just to have an idea anyway.

Thank you again. This is a great forum!
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:48 AM   #15
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We started camping in a tent when our daughter was about 1 yo. We didn't have a lot of money, so camped in state parks. We couldn't afford the "resort parks" with all the activities. So we made our own activities. Hiking, playing catch, Frisbee, we brought outdoor toys, we searched out free and low cost activities in and out of the park. Look for ranger programs, most are geared toward kids and families. We'd help her hold a stick with a marshmallow on the end to roast it over the fire. She loved every minute it.

As she got older and we had more money we still stayed away from KOAs and the like. Parking lots are just not our "thing".

She's now married and in her early 30s. Still camps in tents, still goes with us when they can (they live in a different state).
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by bono View Post
THANK YOU guys!!! This is beyond my expectations. Some excellent ideas suggested here. I will need to make a list!

My son is very social, so I think that lack of other kids in his age was the most shocking for him. There is no easy fix for this. We will try to engage him more in the activities you suggested.

I would like to avoid KOA, etc. as at least from the photos, those campground look more like parking lots for me. Probably we will try one or two of KOAs, just to have an idea anyway.

Thank you again. This is a great forum!
Invite one of your son's friends along on a trip as he gets a bit older, and you'll be amazed how they will find mischief together.
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:56 AM   #17
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I'm going to be following this thread! LOTS of great ideas!!

My son is almost 2, so he's pretty easy for now, but it's already getting harder. He's been going with us since he was about 6 weeks old, so he's used to it and has a good time. It's hard to tell him "not yet" when he sees the trailer in the driveway; all he wants to do is go hop in the truck!

For now, we can keep him entertained with a few outside toys and helping him to explore whatever is in our site. He likes to use his dump truck to collect rocks (we put them back later if it gets out of hand) and other little things. It's harder to keep him entertained inside, he constantly wants to go outside and play (a good problem to have IMO). He's not really into coloring yet (but he's getting there) and it's hard to get him to concentrate on anything for more than a minute or two. I've discovered that if we constantly give him "tasks", he stays on target longer and keeps himself occupied.
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:52 AM   #18
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Take them out to "spy" on the local wildlife. They'll eventually learn to "spy" on your campsite, LOL! Before you head out, think of some "tasks" they can do to help set up the site upon arrival. A bit advanced for a 2 or 3 year old, but a 5 year old can retrieve the water hose, push the button for the awning, hold the end of the water hose out of the dirt, pull the handle on the black or grey tank valve (maybe you don't want to teach them this one in case they pull it at the wrong time, LOL). Sweeping dirt from the doorstep, holding your tire gauge while you check tire pressures, making the beds. Little kids are often willing to help if they have a job to do. Sure, it will take longer, but it's worth the effort and time.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:33 AM   #19
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Our daughter has been camping since she was born. We do everything from state parks to RV resorts. We also live in WA and get a lot of rain so when she was younger sometimes we were inside staying warm rather than outside. She enjoys art, nature, biking, hiking, sports, fishing, crafts, video games, movies, reading, coloring, painting... essentially everything.

The best thing we did was dedicate space for having all of these things that just stayed in the RV so that we never really had to think about it and it was just like at home. She is a little older now and as such we allow her more freedom to do things on her own but it seems like anywhere we go she will meet a few other kids who are camping as well and pretty soon there is a basketball, Soccer, or baseball game going on, or a hike or bike ride exploring and meeting some new friends.

I guess I'd say don't overthink it. You would have the same issue entertaining the kids when they are young wheter your in a campground or at home.

I also totally agree with give the kids some jobs during setup or takedown. Our's loved to play with the levelling blocks and that was always her job to throw a few under each jack pad. Still does that do this day. It's amazing what kids will pick up. She can help someone hitch up, and participates in the safety check before we leave. I test her occasionally and she has not failed me yet. Weve moved to a fifth wheel this year and so it's a new drill.
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:46 AM   #20
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We've been camping with our daughter since she was a newborn... off grid, no amenities, tent style, poop in the woods kind of camping. When she was really young, we entertained her same as we would at home... no change. We'd read her stories, play games, live life normally. Being bored is a luxury. Now at 13, there is zero difference in how she deals with camping, vs being here at the house. Now that she's old enough to have her own tablet, phone, etc and we bring a house on wheels with us, my biggest issues are in getting her to enjoy camping like she did when she was a kid, and to unplug a bit more. My dad taught me at a young age to never tell him if I was bored. He always had a laundry list of chores to hand off to me. Different approach needed at different ages, but at such a young age it should be pretty easy to get them involved in something fun? Last weekend my daughter made her own knife out of some shale she found on a hike, I taught her how to make a basic fire we then cooked our hamburgers on. The 'prepping' gene runs strong in our family and there's always something to do... if you want. Boredom is a sign of a restless mind, feed it with something.
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