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Old 05-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #1
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Childrens activities

So, we are fairly new to the RV lifestyle. We just recently purchased a Jayfeather 228 so the wife, myself and our three kids (seven year old boy and twin four year old girls) can head out camping on the weekends. But the wife and I are mostly apprehensive about having things to do for the kids so they do not go stir crazy. For the wife and I we can easily sit around outside and relax after a hard week of work. But we are worried the kids will have nothing to do and bug us to the point that it will no longer be fun going out. We are planning on camping in a bunch of different places. Some that are in the forest some with a beach and some in the mountains. Some times we will have some sight seeing to do but other times it will just be to sit around. Anyone else have a younger family who are out camping with nothing much to do and what do you do to keep your kids entertained so you could sit back and relax? There will be trips where it is just the five of us so there may not be anyone to visit with either. Am I just being paranoid or is there something we should plan on to ensure the camping trip is relaxing yet entertaining for everyone? Thanks

Me, the wife, three kids (Son, 9 yr old & twin 5 yr old girls)
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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Aside from their bikes we have a few outdoor games that we keep ONLY in the camper such as bean bag toss, and some ladder game with balls on a rope. Driveway chalk, bubbles, coloring books, "shut the box" game, Uno, fishing poles, butterfly nets, frisbee, whiffle ball and bat. Small screen room where they can do their own little "camping", basketball, tennis ball (just for throwing), kick ball. Of course if your kids are like mine, after an hour or so of them playing together, someone is bound to do something to the other one and this one did that and that one did this.......

The driveway chalk is great and will keep them busy for HOURS, but I have run across other campers who get cranky when the kids draw on the pavement? A big easel with black board and white board can serve instead of the black top, and be *almost* as much fun.

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:56 PM   #3
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Take the kids hiking on one of the trails and if you want them to have real fun, get a small pup tent and set it up outside. Kids will play for hours in their own space.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:27 PM   #4
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I keep an eye out during the year for puzzle books and activity books to put into grab bags. This year I found a book on making paper airplanes, tons of patterns of different styles. Starting them on collecting things is a great idea as well. Be sure to check with the hosts of a campground they sometimes have planned activities as well. If your kids are older 12 and up...you could check into geocaching where they use a GPS to locate hidden "treasure". Most parks and tourist spots have these caches waiting to be found. If not they can hide their own and take turns looking. Only thing is you need a gps and they have to learn how to use it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:11 PM   #5
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all other comments are great but also be prepared for bad weather, if you have to spend a day inside the tt, be prepared, board games, color books, videos,and a few cheap ponchos, so when you can stand no more, you can all take a walk in the rain. happy camping!
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:33 PM   #6
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All of the above comments are good, but my advice is this.....Camping is a family event. First trip, involve yourselves with your kids, nature hikes, cooking out, smores, campfires, scary stories after dark, anything and everything you can do with them. Second trip, leave all of them with G.mom and G.dad and you two go and RELAX....do things at your pace. Then, just alternate with and without the kids. You will enjoy both.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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Bring a paint set and pick rocks to paint, when we go to campgrounds we look for ones with swimming pools, Buy a little plastic aquarium tank and find out what new temporary pets you can discover. A frog will preoccupy them for awhile.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #8
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ok.. this wins long squidmo post of the day.... here goes:

we've played many hours of 'sorry' in a pop up... we also have a rule... no dvds can be brought camping unless the movie is over 20 years old... sometimes i enforce the 50yr movie rule (came up with that one on a hunch, works great).... we do bring along the PS1... it's fun to beat kids at pac man... WELCOME TO MY WORLD, YOUNGSTER.

bikes are great, but don't be surprised how far a child can go on one.. better sneak off a bit before a trip to get your wheels under you..

buy kids a digital camera of their own. getting them to keep a journal or scrapbook is fun as well... tell them to find something to glue in it from every place they stop.. (legal, of course)..

we've always tried to make sure campgrounds were more 'kid-friendly'.. maybe a playground or pool. maybe a lake for fishing... easy access to the beach without any dangerous roads to cross, etc.

be sure to let them help in anything that involves getting dirty, or messy... like helping dig out a stuck jeep... or cleaning fish in the rain... getting them to help hook up in the rain... give them some responsibility other than taking out the garbage.... making kids part of the team is a win-win.

we always include 'indoor' things into our trips, as plan B to a rainy day.. museums, maybe a movie in town, or something out of the weather and out of the camper...

like on the boat, when the fish aren't biting, or it's too rough, or the surf is crummy, it's always cool to go look for shells on the beach, or go snorkling, etc. etc. showing kids how boring camping (or fishing) can be is not the way to impress them with it.

also, if it's too hot during the day, nighttime hikes can be really fun, even for the young-uns... mornings are prime.. don't waste time on breakfast.... kids wanna GO. grab a pack of peanut butter crackers and a jug of water and enjoy the morning.....come in when it's early lunch, eat, nap, etc. when the sun comes out, then hit it again in the afternoon into evening...

i guess the key (at least in our adventures) is to not go too hardcore for them... try to do things that you know they'll find fun, even if they haven't done that particular thing before... keep the pace more at a kids level... pause to look around... let them kind of feel the way, ask them how they are feeling (they might not tell you if they are feeling bad).. give them options on what is going to happen in a day... let them lead the pack.

i guess i could go on... good memories of our oldest who is now in college... and soon-to-be memories with littlesquid who is 5yrs old.... gonna be fun, getting to do it all over again...

by the way, and it probably goes without saying, take lots of photos... i mean A LOT.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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As the parent of 6 & 4 y/o girls and 1 y/o boy all I can say is you are kidding yourself :-) No matter what you bring for kids of this age, including other kids, parents are the primary source of entertainment. There is very little sitting back and relaxing for the grown ups in our campsites---at least while kids are awake. Hopefully when they get older that will change, right now we are very happy to get 30 minutes of undisturbed RR. We just keep reminding ourselves we are make memories and will never get this time back.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:39 PM   #10
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yes... i guess i forget that i've always had 'kid' and not 'kids'..... it's easy to concentrate on just one... good luck with sibs.... hehehe. :P

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