RV travel with kids — It’s Not That Challenging!

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RV travel with kids — It’s Not That Challenging!

  Painted Rocks For Children To Find In The Woods

Every summer for the last 5 years I have taken to the road with my three kids looking for adventure. We have traveled up and down the east coast twice and out west three times, always taking a different route.  When I tell people my stories they always ask the same thing. “How do you handle the kids on those long rides all by yourself? Wouldn’t it be easier to stay home?” It would definitely be easier to stay home but certainly not as much fun.  As for work, yes, it can be work, but it’s all worth it. Traveling with my kids has huge benefits. It creates opportunities I could not find at home. A long car ride is very effective in teaching them how to get along with each other. For me,  RV travel with kids is not just about what we do when we get there but also the journey itself. 

 I see our RV experience as an opportunity to introduce my kids to different situations and places. We create adventures from which they can learn. In order to stimulate further their very active brains, I first eliminate what I view as a highly negative distraction. That would be their tech toys! I am a big proponent of there being no electronic toys during our summer months.

I strongly believe that their reliance on electronics for their entertainment inhibits their creative growth. It also can make them moody and there is no room for bad attitudes in my travel plans. Before hitting the road every summer, my kids spend weeks trying to negotiate their electronic games into the travel picture. Every summer we leave without the devices. I have to admit the first few hours are tough. However, when they at last acknowledge the truce in the battle of the summer electronic devices, I get the best kids ever.

While on the road they have plenty to do including watching movies, most of which are educational. I spend a lot time looking for quality movies to take with us. They also play games. I have a basket filled with card games and they love to create their own rules for them. I also keep colored pencils (not crayons as they melt in the heat) and paper available for drawing. I have an iPod loaded with music, which they love to listen to.

And let’s not forget there are plenty of books to read. Each child has a personal reading light. I can’t get them to read the rest of the year without a debate. But come summer, every one becomes a book worm. It’s amazing what happens when you take away their tech toys. I have learned over the years that the fewer toys I bring the fewer decisions they have to make over “what” to do. They become more creative. 

At the campground, it’s a lot easier to keep the troops busy. I try to pick family friendly campgrounds where there is a possibility of meeting and socializing with other kids. Meeting other families from different parts of the country and playing with other children is important for developing their social skills. I also look for campgrounds with good amenities: a pool, playground, and hiking trails or bike trails. Everyone needs to burn off some energy after a long day on the road. Unfortunately, there are times when I have to settle for a campground with little to offer the kids.  Conquering these down times really isn’t as challenging as one imagines.

  The Product Of A Child’s Imagination

This summer the kids came up with many of their own solutions. They used some items from my tool bag. They borrowed markers for drawing and leaving messages on rocks they found in the woods.  Then they left them behind for other campers to find. They used glue to build boats out of twigs, which the boys floated in big puddles they made. My daughter used the glue to build fairy houses, which she hid in the woods. It is ideas like these that were spawned by long car rides with “nothing to do.” 

Oh, sure there are some little squabbles along the way. Let’s face it, it’s impossible not to get in each other’s way when traveling for long periods of time in the confined space of an RV with three kids and three dogs. Times like that can get stressful. However, I find that if I make it clear that they need to solve the problem or else, someone usually comes up with a solution. I may have to provide a couple of ideas to move the resolution along. But in the end, by focusing on the solution rather than the problem, I find the problem always gets solved.  In the meantime, I see those times too as teaching moments. Learning to get along with each other under stressful times is important. There aren’t many other places I can better teach that.

My goal as a parent is to raise healthy, happy, successful kids. To do that, I cannot rely on their school or anyone else to show them how to find success. I do believe the best thing I can do as a parent is to give them the experience they will need to navigate in their world socially and intellectually. In order to do that they are going to have to be creative as well as patient, as success is something they will have to earn. Traveling in the RV offers creative, social, and educational opportunities in addition to unbeatable family time. I see every challenge along the way as an opportunity to create positive experiences for my kids. This is why I look at our RV travel with kids as an experience, not as a road trip, but as a creative journey in addition to an educational adventure that can’t be found sitting at home in front of a computer.

Mygoal as a parent is to raise healthy, happy, successful kids. To do that, Icannot rely on their school or anyone else to show them how to find success. Ido believe the best thing I can do as a parent is to give them the experiencethey will need to navigate in their world socially and intellectually. In orderto do that they are going to have to be creative as well as patient, as successis something they will have to earn. Traveling in the RV offers creative, social, and educationalopportunities in addition to unbeatable family time. I see every challengealong the way as an opportunity to create positive experiences for my kids.This is why I look at our RV experience, not as a road trip, but as a creativejourney in addition to an educational adventure that can’t be found sitting athome in front of a computer.

Every summer for the last 5 years I have taken to the roadwith my three kids looking for adventure. We have traveled up and down the eastcoast twice and out west three times, always taking a different route.  When I tell people my stories they always askthe same thing. “How do you handle the kids on those long rides all by yourself?Wouldn’t it be easier to stay home?” It would definitely be easier to stay homebut certainly not as much fun.  As forwork, yes, it can be work, but it’s all worth it. Traveling with my kids hashuge benefits. It creates opportunities I could not find at home. A long carride is very effective in teaching them how to get along with each other. Forme, “RVing” with my kids is not just about what we do when we get there butalso the journey itself.

 I see our RVexperience as an opportunity to introduce my kids to different situations andplaces. We create adventures from which they can learn. In order to stimulate furthertheir very active brains, I first eliminate what I view as a highly negative distraction.That would be their tech toys! I am a big proponent of there being no electronictoys during our summer months. I strongly believe that their reliance onelectronics for their entertainment inhibits their creative growth. It also canmake them moody and there is no room for bad attitudes in my travel plans. Beforehitting the road every summer, my kids spend weeks trying to negotiate theirelectronic games into the travel picture. Every summer we leave without thedevices. I have to admit the first few hours are tough. However, when they atlast acknowledge the truce in the battle of the summer electronic devices, Iget the best kids ever.

While on the road they have plenty to do including watchingmovies, most of which are educational. I spend a lot time looking for qualitymovies to take with us. They also play games. I have a basket filled with cardgames and they love to create their own rules for them. I also keep coloredpencils (not crayons as they melt in the heat) and paper available for drawing.I have an iPod loaded with music, which they love to listen to. And let’s notforget there are plenty of books to read. Each child has a personal readinglight. I can’t get them to read the rest of the year without a debate. But comesummer, every one becomes a book worm. It’s amazing what happens when you takeaway their tech toys. I have learned over the years that the fewer toys I bringthe fewer decisions they have to make over “what” to do. They become morecreative.

At the campground, it’s a lot easier to keep the troops busy.I try to pick family friendly campgrounds where there is a possibility ofmeeting and socializing with other kids. Meeting other families from differentparts of the country and playing with other children is important fordeveloping their social skills. I also look for campgrounds with good amenities:a pool, playground, and hiking trails, bike trails. Everyone needs to burn offsome energy after a long day on the road. Unfortunately there are times when Ihave to settle for a campground with little to offer the kids.  Conquering these down times really isn’t aschallenging as one imagines.

This summer the kids came up with many of their own solutions.They used some items from my tool bag. They borrowed markers for drawing andleaving messages on rocks they found in the woods.  Then they left them behind for other campersto find. They used glue to build boats out of twigs, which the boys floated inbig puddles they made. My daughter used the glue to build fairy houses, whichshe hid in the woods. It is ideas like these that were spawned by long carrides with “nothing to do.” 

Oh, sure there are a lot of little squabbles along the way. Let’sface it, it’s impossible not to get in each other’s way when traveling for longperiods of time in the confined space of an RV with three kids and three dogs. Timeslike that can get stressful. However, I find that if I make it clear that theyneed to solve the problem or else, someone usually comes up with a solution. Imay have to provide a couple of ideas to move the resolution along. But in theend, by focusing on the solution rather than the problem, I find the problem alwaysgets solved.  In the meantime, I see thosetimes too as teaching moments. Learning to get along with each other understressful times is important.  Therearen’t many other places I can better teach that.

My goal as a parentis to raise healthy, happy, successful kids. To do that, I cannot rely on theirschool or anyone else to show them how to find success. I do believe the bestthing I can do as a parent is to give them the experience they will need tonavigate in their world socially and intellectually. In order to do that theyare going to have to be creative as well as patient, as success is somethingthey will have to earn.  Traveling in theRV offers creative, social, and educational opportunities in addition to unbeatablefamily time. I see every challenge along the way as an opportunity to createpositive experiences for my kids. This is why I look at our RV experience, notas a road trip, but as a creative journey in addition to an educationaladventure that can’t be found sitting at home in front of a computer.

By |2018-07-05T22:02:47+00:00November 27th, 2017|Environmental Education on the Road, Kids and RVs|0 Comments

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