Camper Trailers Tech Tips

Camping & Travelling with Kids





camping & travelling
with kids


memories of childhood camping trips

Childhood memories of camping trips in the bush or to a caravan park is something kids will carry with them throughout their lives. Getting them out of their home environment and into the world of camping can be a chore at times. Kids are only too happy to bring their electronic gadgets along camping with them to keep themselves amused and perhaps their parents sane, but it does little in helping to create a family atmosphere.

Camping is a family affair and getting the kids involved, however small, can be a big help to you in setting up camp and also makes them feel useful and part of the family unit. Instead of watching a video or listening to their own music via headphones while travelling, there are games which can be played involving the whole family to pass away the hours confined in the car.

setting up camp

When you are setting up camp it is a great idea to get the kids involved too, however small you or they think it may be. Having a peg girl or a pole boy placing these items at the exact location is a big help after a long day’s drive and creates a feeling of importance in them helping to set up camp. Depending on their age they can do jobs like unfolding the awning ready to be zipped on, rolling up the canvas windows around the camper, putting their bunkbeds together, organising their sleeping gear or setting up the table and chairs ready for the cold drink and relax when camp is done. A few simple jobs all count in the end.

in camp

Last thing you do not want to hear is “I’m bored”. Keeping their minds active is a big job, but can be easily achieved with a little forethought.

A walk around camp collecting leaves, bark, feathers & the like is good fun. Placing them in a scrapbook for safekeeping with photos and postcards along with a few words to say where they were collected & what the tree or bird was can build up a knowledge base and create an interest that will carry on in later life.

A short walk in the bush along a walking trail discovering the natural wonders is a great pastime. There are several pocket sized field guide books that they can carry to identify what they see including ferns, fungi or wildflowers. A good introduction book is Burnum Burnum’s ‘Wildthings Around Sydney’ which has easy identification via coloured photos.

Another pastime is birdwatching which can be a lot of fun for kids, with the addition of a bird book and a decent pair of binoculars, not the plastic lens kids version. There are several books around including those by Pizzey & Knight or Simpson & Day. I still have my ‘What Bird is That’ my grandmother gave me in 1964, although it is a little outdated by the above books. Once again this is an activity or pastime they will continue with later in life.

Simple family activities might include skipping stones, guessing the shapes you can see in the clouds or sitting quietly and telling what bush sounds you can hear.

Kids like nothing better to be sitting around the campfire with a stick poking and setting the stick on fire.

in the car

Instead of letting the kids stick their heads into an electronic game or watch a DVD while travelling, there are plenty of games the whole family can play. Some of our favourites we used to play with our kids include

A CD made up at home with all their favourite songs on it. They will happily kill the kilometres singing along to their favourite songs.

Make a word or a sentence from the letters of the number plate from the car in front of you. This can be a lot of fun with plenty of tongue twisters created.

Make up a laminated page or two with pictures of common objects seen along the road like different types of cars, bikes, trucks, buses or machinery, road signs, animals, a lollypop man and buildings like a church or perhaps a type of bridge. The first to tick all objects off wins the round. The marks on the laminated sheet can be rubbed out to play again.

Count the cars coming towards you. Count cars of a nominated colour, say white for example. When a red car comes along that person stops counting and writes down the score. The next person takes over counting the white cars until another red car comes along. Each round could be 10 counts each.

Of course any trip would not be the same without a game of eye spy.

If you are not in a hurry to cover the kilometres a stop in a playground for half an hour every so often will release plenty of energy ready for another session in the car.

You can make up or purchase ready made gear bags to hang off the back of the front seats to keep all their activity stuff in too. There are even fold down tables like in a passenger plane to rest their pages on.

Hope this gives you a help in keeping the kids active and you sane on your next trip.




bathtime camping on the beach Magpie proofed

 article by Rob


 march 2010