Finding time for forging real connections with your family seems harder every day. But a camping trip in your new or used RV can provide fantastic opportunities for meaningful connection and conversation. Make a game plan for your camping trip so that you can make the most of the time spent with your family. Here are some top RV tips for camping with kids from toddlers to teens.
Nature scavenger hunts can keep the littles occupied for hours. Look for free printables online and have multiple (and different) copies available for your kiddos to enjoy each day. Not only does it provide them with something fun to do, but it gets their eyes and awareness dialed in to the environment around them.
Another fantastic game my own children enjoy is “Seek and Find.” This is an inexpensive card game you can find here or at the retailer of your choice. Each card gives a prompt of something to look for – a texture, color, etc. It’s a great boredom buster!
Middle Schoolers and Tweens
Despite what our culture tells us, middle schoolers and tweens actually enjoy spending time with you more than they let on. Involve them in tasks that are truly helpful around camp – like gathering brush, kindling, and pine cones for the fire. You might be able to do it faster and easier yourself, but there’s a value in giving them something to do and learn – and the dividends are huge. Make sure to thank them for their efforts…because when someone feels valued and appreciated, they kind of want to stick around.
Another way you can connect with your kids is by taking specific time to engage them with thought provoking questions. Don’t instigate with topics you know you’ll disagree about. Try the game “Fireside Chats,” which you can find here, to prompt thoughtful discussion. There are no right or wrong answers – just think of it as a conversation prompt. You may be surprised with what you learn about each other!
Setting Realistic Expectations
If you don’t have regular family time together, it may either feel daunting to plan time for family connection or you may have unreasonably high expectations. Let go. Take a breath. Plan a few solid times of connection and be flexible with the rest. Communicate your plans, hopes, and expectations with your family. Consider setting periods of screen-free time during the day when everyone’s phones are put away (even yours!). Making time for connection on a camping trip will allow you to think of creative ways to keep making time for connection once you’re home again.