You love camping (maybe more specifically, you love your RV, and camping is a great excuse to get out on the road with it!). You love spending time with your family. The problem? Your kids want to play videogames or chat with their friends; they don’t find anything “great” about the great outdoors.
So how do you convince them to give camping a try?
Make it comfortable
Roughing it, at least initially, may be off the table for reluctant campers. However, a fully stocked RV, with portable wireless – that they can only use in the evening – and comfortable beds makes the transition to Outdoor Enthusiast a little easier. Pack their favourite foods and let them bring along a friend. Make the experience feel familiar before you introduce new things.
Lead by example
If you want to get your kids away from their electronics, make sure that you take a break from yours. It is hardly fair to tell your kids to look up from their screens while you are glued to yours. And this doesn’t just apply to camping – set rules about checking emails or answering non-emergency calls when you are with your kids. Let them see you enjoying activities without relying on technology.
Learn from your kid’s favourite game
If you are having a problem encouraging your child to take a break from a favourite game, talk to them about what they like about that game and try to integrate that into an outdoor experience. If they like games involving building, teach them to build a fire or an emergency shelter. If they like games that involve exploring new territories and gathering resources, you can design scavenger hunts to get them to explore the outdoors. Your kid is satisfying a curiosity or an interest with their video games; nurture that curiosity with the outdoors.
Bring them outside at night.
Sign up for Aurora alerts, where you get notifications when the likelihood of Northern Lights is high. Take your kids somewhere, like Elk Island Park (where there is a Dark Sky Preserve), to show them the wonder of the Aurora Borealis. On nights where there are no dancing lights, you can still see the constellations, so there is never really a bad time to go. Or, bring some flashlights and glowsticks and let them explore the neighbourhood in the dark, a time when kids are usually told to be home. Encourage them to have fun outside, and camping will feel more enticing.
Join clubs that encourage exploring the outdoors.
At a certain age, peers tend to influence kids more than parents. For this reason, it is great to get your children involved with other children who love the outdoors. Nature Kids, Girl Guides or Boy Scouts are all options for clubs that will help your kids not only make friends with other children, but with nature as well.
Getting children to engage in nature might take some work initially, but will pay off with more camping, more RVing, and more family time. What could be better than that?