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Caravans and Kids: How to Make it Work for Everyone

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Being on a caravan holiday with the kids can be wonderful and exhausting at the same time. When you’re in a confined space for an extended period, it’s sometimes hard to keep the little ones happy – and if they’re not, you won’t be.
Here are a few ideas for things to do during the holidays, plus some tips for keeping little ones entertained on the road.
Plan ahead
The secret to successful holiday activities is to be prepared.

  • Record yourself reading storybooks to keep everyone amused on long drives.
  • Pack glue, string, paper, colouring-in books, cardboard, pencils and scissors. They don’t take up much room and can be used to create, record, build or scrapbook.
  • Plastic, stackable storage boxes are your friends: use them for storing stationery, toys, shoes, clothes and treasures.
  • Carry play equipment that’s versatile, inflatable or stackable, such as ropes (for knotting, swinging, tug of war), totem tennis and a glow-stick ring toss.

Include the kids in the planning, and if you intend to ban electronic devices when camping, let them know in advance.
On the road

  • Keep songbooks, audio books and CDs handy for singalongs.
  • Be prepared to play endless rounds of I Spy, Road Bingo and round robin storytelling.
  • Have some movies or episodes of the kids’ favourite television shows loaded onto an iPad or tablet to keep them occupied during longer journeys – this will give you a guaranteed length of time before boredom and arguments set in.

At the campground
When you first arrive at a new park, go for a walk, check out the features and make sure the kids know how to find their way around. Set up the awning to work as a spare room, and throw down matting to keep sand, dirt and water at bay.

  • Take time each evening to plan the next day’s activities together.
  • Read Australian children’s books, such as Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, and go looking for the characters.
  • Grab some bedding and sleep outdoors.
  • On rainy days, take an excursion outside and have the kids collect random items of interest: shells, stones, leaves, seaweed, driftwood. These can be used in artwork, to tell a story, or as props for a play.

The easiest way to ensure everyone enjoys the confined space of the caravan is to spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors. After all, you’re on holidays! Relax, enjoy the different rhythms and routine, and don’t be afraid to try something completely different.
Are you planning a longer trip away? Check out our guide to Homeschooling Your Children while caravanning.
Image source: Jayco

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