I’m Bibi, Mama to three living children six and under. My family and I have been full-time RV'ers in our Class A motorhome and today I’m going to share some tips for activities that you can do with children when full time RV'ing or while traveling.
If you are a routine person like I am, stick with the routines your children are used to. I like to incorporate some Waldorf education into my child rearing, one of which is that I like to stay with a certain rhythm for them during the week. This looks as follows during the winter season:
- Mondays are for washing
- Tuesdays for baking
- Wednesdays for crafting
- Thursdays for the library
- Friday for field trips
Granted, now that we live in a smaller home I do end up washing more often than just once a week. But let’s take Tuesdays for example, we begin our day reading, homeschooling and then we naturally flow to maybe going outside for nice walk and when return, after resting for a little while we joyfully, with a little transition song, get out what little baking supplies we have. When I moved into the camper I downsized my KitchenAid so now we use our hands, which the kids thoroughly enjoy. I do have an oven in here so we make use of that. Baking banana bread, healthy cupcakes or vegan chocolate chip cookies currently are my kids favorite.
When we do travel I do you like to keep the kids on somewhat of a schedule also. I know you can’t always do this when you’re traveling but we like to stick to snack and lunch times that the children are used to for example. I also pack some of the snacks similar to what they would eat at home which for us is mainly fresh fruit and vegetables maybe some fig newtons or Peanut butter jelly or Peanut butter & banana sandwiches. We also play games on the road that they are used to such as “I spy”. My daughter loves to sing songs, so if you come by our RV or car you may hear us singing together. If we all need a time out, a favorite movie works wonders. Once we arrive at a new place we explored together, always making sure we’re not exposing the kids to too much uncertainty. For example when explore a new area we don’t say “What are we going to do?” Or “Isn’t this scary?” As a parent we make sure our children feel secure in a new area and they know that we are here for them.
2.) Visit Local Libraries:
As we still live close to where we used to have our house, I still am able to check out books at the local library even if it is a further drive than what it used to be. We usually make a whole day out of it, we leave in the morning and again I’ll pack healthy snacks and maybe even a healthy lunch that we can picnic with. We go to the library and attend their children’s program and then after that we pick some books for the children. My children have grown up with the librarians and they feel very comfortable around them. Getting library books helps me not to have so many children’s books in the camper and my little ones have new books every couple of weeks, which keeps them interested. If we were traveling I would make a point of finding libraries to visit on rainy days or thrift a handful of books to rotate and donate old ones.
3.) Annual passes to your favorite activities:
For Christmas our children received an annual pass to the zoo which is the largest in our state. We like to visit it at least once or twice a month depending on the weather. Again, we make a full day out of it packing snacks and lunches. My children enjoy seeing the sights and if we don’t get through the whole zoo in one day that’s OK we know we can come back another time. Our zoo membership also allows free admission to a variety of botanical gardens. Another favorite of ours to do is the children’s museum a couple of hours away, which is basically a huge indoor playground that we can use for bad weather to go to. If we were a traveling family I would purchase an annual pass to the National Park system and use it very frequently exploring the national parks in the area we would be in. Depending on the job I would plan on staying in an area for more than just a few days, maybe make a couple of weeks out of it so the children have a slow pace not a hectic go go go.
4.) Go Outdoors:
Now that the weather is warmer the kids love to play outside. We are very lucky in that we have a wonderful campground that we are stationary at. Our new lot is comparably big so they have lots of room to run around. With this warmer weather coming in the kids currently love to play with a bucket of water or they help me plant and water the flowers. The pool also opened this weekend so you will find us there pretty much every day now! I think as a traveling family being outdoors and exploring comes more natura than as a stationary family, though.
5.) Last but not least, Go Slow:
Since we are stationary our day to day life with the children looks similar to what it did at the house, just at a smaller and more relaxed pace. Homeschooling gives us the freedom to go at a slower pace and I do not have to be in a hurry 1st thing in the morning to send my children off to school. We can take our time waking up and reading books and starting school. Living small has enabled us to live a debt-free lifestyle which in turn gives us the freedom both in time and budget to go on weekend trips to the mountains or the coast and to explore. We are still praying about job opportunities that will enable us to work from the road traveling full time. But even then, we will still keep a budget in mind as well as a slower pace so we all can enjoy seeing what a fun and wonderful continent we are living on.
I hope these tips will give you some ideas on activities to do with your children when living tiny.
The main idea is to do what you like and enjoy the ride, wherever it takes you.
You can follow Bibi's family and their RV adventures at @314sqft on Instagram!