Summer is here which means no school and now your kids need to be entertained all summer long. Luckily for us full-timers, this means there will be lots more kids hanging out at campgrounds or the various places we camp at. However there aren’t always kids around at every place we stay at, so here are some tips to keep your kids entertained this summer them entertained so you keep your sanity.
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Arts and Crafts
As RV Travellers we don’t always have a dollar store close by. The next time you are close to one, stock up on arts and crafts supplies. We have a box full of supplies that I pull out a couple of times per week and let them have at it. If we have space, I’ll put them outside so the mess happens outside and not in the rv! They love making all kinds of creations out of paper, pom-poms, popsicle sticks, paper plates, markers, etc.
Here are some fun ideas.
This is another great way to get their creative juices flowing and have some fun. Set them up outside with some paintbrushes and paper and let them have some fun. Just keep an eye to make sure they’re not making too big a mess or painting the neighbors’ dog.
Crayola makes some great washable paints for kids. You can see them here.
We started this life because we wanted to get outside and have fun exploring with our kids. At least three times a week, we’ll plan some field trips, the kids are encouraged to come up with some ideas too. We are 20 minutes from Yellowstone so for the month of June and early July, we visited Yellowstone as much as possible. It’s mid-July and the crowds are too chaotic so we need to find other places we enjoy visiting. On Thursday we packed up our swim stuff and headed to the river down the road. The kids had a blast playing in the water with some other kids they met and we relaxed outside enjoying the warm weather. Find your nearest park, pack a picnic and let the kids run around for a bit. If you are exploring a National Park, look around the area just outside of the park- there are always some fun/ interesting, educational things to do.
One thing we always do as soon as we land somewhere is to check what the local library has to offer. They always seem to have some activities going on, on the plus side it’s great to get out of the heat for a few hours and chill.
During the summer we try to get outside with the kids as often as possible whether it be playing tag, going on a nature walk or bringing their toys outside and playing with them. The great thing about kids is they don’t care what they are doing, as long as they are hanging out with mom and dad (usually.)
We try and fit several hikes in during the hike, depending on where we are. We are in bear territory here in Idaho so we haven’t been doing as many hikes as we normally would. Check out your local area for information on where you can hike and what you can see. It’s a great healthy way to get everyone outside doing some exercise.
We have been doing a lot of bike riding this month, the views in our area are spectacular, we’re surrounded by mountains and a lake so it’s been amazing to enjoy a morning bike ride and take it all in. Depending on where we are we’ll try and take a long bike ride together.
During the school year my kids don’t get to watch a lot of tv because when they’re not in school, we’re outside enjoying the area, by the time we get back it’s usually time for bed and a little bit of reading. During the summer from time to time, we’ll all settle down for a movie in the middle of the afternoon or we’ll have a family movie night if we’re close to a red box and catch up some new movies we may have missed. Netflix downloadables are great too!
I came across this idea online (I have no idea where) and it has worked out great for me. I write out several choices for the kids to pick from using the resources we have, so when they tell me they’re bored or I can sense quiet time is needed I pull out my box (actually it’s a Tupperware). These suggestions range from Art Hub for kids (we love art hub at our house and it’s free!), spirograph, coloring books, art tracing, arts, and crafts, taking a walk with mom, spending one-on-one time with mom and dad. They love it because they don’t know what they’re getting.
In our household, we love nothing more than hanging out together playing card games and board games. Our favorite at the moment is Uno, we are slightly (okay totally) obsessed with it, the kids can play it together or with us. We also love playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Eye Found It and Dominoes. It’s actually raining here at the moment and we have an afternoon set up of Uno, Sorry and Monopoly (the classics are always good!)
Every birthday, we try to get one new game that can be played outside such as bocce ball or the bean bag game. The kids love playing anything with mom and dad (at least for now). Bocce ball is one of our favorites because it’s always so much fun and everyone can play it regardless of age. They also really like croquette although they usually end up just smacking around the balls. Ring toss is another fun one. We found a set that collapses down into a small bag and has rope rings so they can take it out anytime.
At least three times per week, we’ll pack a picnic and get ourselves outside into nature. The kids enjoy packing the food and exploring a new place to find that perfect spot to sit and eat. Whenever possible that will involve some kind of animal viewing.
We are in Idaho at the moment and it is HOT. Depending on where we are, if we are close to neighbors, this may not be a good idea but if you have some space, fill up some water guns and let the kids have some fun getting each other wet. It’s a great way to stay cool in the summer AND run off some energy.
Most campgrounds don’t mind if the kids draw on the sidewalk, we always offer to clean up afterward and that always helps in the decision making. It doesn’t keep them distracted for too long (as least mine don’t) but it will give you at least 30 minutes without the “I’m bored mom” statement.
During the summer we give our kids the opportunity to earn some extra money by doing more chores. This is a win-win for both you and the kids and now they have some pocket for ice cream treats etc. Not always the most fun for the kiddos, but if the money is good they are all in- especially if there is a trip into the Dollar Store or Ice Cream Shop coming up!
Hope this list gives you some good ideas for summer fun. Do you have any great ideas to share? Let us know!