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Old 03-02-2013, 02:38 PM   #1
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Tips and Tricks of Camping with kids!

I'm sure most of us got started camping when we were kids, and you've either continued the tradition through the years with your family now, or maybe you're just getting back into it and want to introduce your family to a new lifestyle and weekend getaways. I thought I would start a thread to help each other out with tips and tricks for camping with a family that includes children of all ages, infants to teenagers. What types of things do you do to keep kids entertained? What duties do you assign to your kids? Is there anything specific about RVs that you wish was invented or included? This thread has many possibilities, and I'm sure whether you're a Newbie or an Old Pro, we can all learn something.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:44 PM   #2
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14 & 16 year olds. one of the things we've done is get them involved in picking where we're going. That allows them to get excited as the time draws near. Then always discuss the best things about the campground as if they knew how great is was gonna be. Makes them look into the next trip (via the net) a little more and the kids then find stuff for Mom & Dad to do as well.

We also have always been spontaneous on our trips. Even if the wife and I weren't interested, if the kids both wanted to stop and check out something we would. Not every time, or everything. Just enough to keep them happy and give them something to look forward to next trip.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:58 PM   #3
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Good thread idea ttrost65. My kids are 15 and 17, so I'm sure I'll be returning to the thread for suggestions. We've camped in tents quite a bit but the trailer was new last August so this summer's camping experiences will be a little different.

I like the idea that RPAspey had about including the kids in the planning. I tend to be too controlling in the planning stage so maybe I'll let them do all the research and tell me where we should go, within reason of course. Being spontaneous is also a great idea. Last summer we took a family vacation and drove to Branson, Missouri from Massachusetts. (Great place by the way, I can't wait to go back someday.) On the drive to and from Branson, we had planned points of interest stops that included places like "Where Ducks Walk on Fish", a fire breathing dragon, several really big chairs, and a field of six foot tall ears of corn. We used Roadside America to locate those roadside oddities but we also allowed for the kids to have us stop anywhere they thought we would find something interesting. We found that simple action had the kids actually looking out the window of the car rather than into their phones and/or games. We found all sorts of tourist traps, family restaurants, and scenic locations that we could never have known about even with internet planning.
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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Great tip about them having input on where to go, especially as they get older. We found that it you keep them active and interested they don't get bored and sleep better at night. As ours got older they gained more responsibility (jobs) when setting up/taking down. Nothing like a 10 yo cranking up a pup or cranking down the stabs. They think it's soooo cool! Helping start the fire IMO is a life skill as is making sure it's out before going to bed. They grow up too fast so savor every trip!
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:14 PM   #5
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We have 4 kids B6, G10, G12, G13. Just got back into camping last fall. Most of our summer is spent with the middle two playing competitive softball but when we camp.

The kids love to help set up the trailer. Middle 2 are better backing assistants then DW. They also like to cook and are proud when new things work out.

Required duties are washing dishes, taking out the garbage and walking/taking care of the dogs.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #6
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Have two girls 5 and 7. Have been camping with them since our youngest was a baby. First and foremost, camping with friends that have children around the same age always makes it a great trip. We make sure and pack coloring books, have a set of continually replenished arts and crafts in the camper, and have them bring some of their toys along. We usually take an EZ up canopy with a bug screen and ground mat so they can play inside it (seems to turn into a gathering place for other campers and kids we meet along the way.)

For hot months we have a snow cone maker that is a real hit all around. We also have brought an ez bake oven with to keep them entertained. Of course there are playgrounds, scooters and bikes.What they really love is when the DW and I ride our bikes and tow them in the bike trailer. They also love the little wagons we got one trip from a dollar store to collect sticks, rocks and pinecones and catching lightning bugs, caterpillars, and butterflys with the nets we got during that same trip.

While they dont have any duties yet besides keeping their room picked up, I am sure it will start soon. Another thing is late night movies with our projector and a sheet hanging from the awning. That really attracts the kids from all over.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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I should add they ask when we are going camping again all the time, which tells us they love it!
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:50 PM   #8
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I really like the idea of getting kids involved in planning the trip. I may have them do an entire trip this summer. My kids are g6, g16, g 17, b 20, with the oldest in college, so he doesn't get out with us that much. We just got back into camping last year so I'm still working at keeping them busy and entertained. The oldest girls are pretty easy going. The youngest is a ball of fire, completely spoiled, and has to be busy all the time. I do get her involved in cooking, she loves to help. Chili day is something she looks forward to. Last year we decided to camp on our spring break in Ft Myers instead of staying at the family vacation home. Was the best decision we ever made. The oldest ones can come and go as they please, the youngest just wants to play on the beach. The 2 oldest usually take friends along also, so we have a full house. One thing we do at night is have movie night. Outdoor projector and 8' screen, the kids (and adults) come from all over campground, set up a chair and watch. It helps kids break the ice with each other, and they usually then have a playmate for the weekend, and gives the parents a break also.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QCCowboy View Post
Another thig is late night movies with our projector and a sheet hanging from the awning. That really attracts the kids from all over.
That's brilliant Cowboy! I must have been typing when you posted. I got sidetracked by a little girl mid post.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
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We use to take our oldest granddaughter with us on camping trips (she out grew us with college and a baby on the way). It was her job to make sure that we where on the right road, plan when we needed to stop for breaks and tell us interesting facts and places to see. She helped plan most of the trip and she learned to read a map.
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