You have the very best intentions: take your kids on the road! Show them the world! Expand their young minds! But even your best laid plans can go awry with children in the mix. So what’s the best way to handle unpredictable little travelers new to the RV life? Read on for a few ideas.
1: Create a diversion.
When you first arrive at your campground, there’s a lot to do. Unless you’re blessed with a pull-in site, you may have to back into your lot, as well as unhook your vehicle from towing, and connect to electric, water and sewer lines. Your best bet is to have an adult take the kids off site while someone else handles all the above. Many campgrounds have playgrounds, and kids who have been on the road for a bit are bound to have energy to burn. Getting kids outside and distracting them with a walk will allow time for any necessary set-up to happen without the risk of anyone getting hurt.
2: Account for all your tools.
Double check that all your tools are accounted for and stored safely away before the kids come back to the site. Both because kids are likely to play with anything they find lying nearby, and because nobody likes paying to replace tools they’ve already bought once and now can’t find.
3: Set boundaries.
Designate which parts of your campsite kids can play in and which parts are off-limits. For young kids, you might want to use objects to block their access to anywhere little fingers shouldn’t go. For older kids, communicate clearly what parts of the RV are off-limits to play with and why. And make sure an adult is always designated on kid-watch duty when your little ones seem particularly mischievous.
4: Limit access to the ladder.
If you have a climber in your clan, you may need to proactively limit access to the RV ladder. We’ve found a welcome mat a couple of bungee cords do the trick quite nicely.
5: Secure inside hazards.
Inside your RV, you can take many of the same kid-proofing measures you use at home. Secure cabinets, drawers, the oven and the toilet with locking latches. Keep anything hazardous, like cleaning supplies, out of reach. And make sure your kids have an area where they know they can play, so they’re not always looking for something more interesting to get into.
6: Bring indoor activities.
New views out the RV window can be a great source of inspiration for kids. Make sure you bring along activities that can keep them quietly entertained indoors, which is a life saver on dreary-weather days or anytime you need to keep kids in your line of sight. Coloring books or just crayons and paper are a great way to let their imaginations run free, even as they sit quietly (if you’re lucky) at the table. Card games like Uno are great for almost all ages, and little wooden or metal brain-teasers can keep anyone occupied for longer than you might imagine. And when you have a moment, be sure to pass down all the great road trip entertainment of generations past, like “I Spy,” the alphabet game and any never-ending songs you know. Classics.
7: And enjoy the outdoors.
Though your RV itself is limited in space, when you travel, the world is your playground. Let your kids enjoy the outdoors however they prefer. Some kids may love to run around, roughhouse and tumble in nearby grass. Other kids may be content with a hammock and a good book, reveling in the extra space where they can enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. With so much nature surrounding you, there’s always some new and delightful way for kids of all ages to engage with the world.