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Here’s the thing: While social distancing is necessary right now, it simply doesn’t play well with kids. This is especially true when said kids live in an RV, and even more so when they’re parked just feet away from their good friends and all they want to do is play together.
If you’re like most Fulltime Families parents, you’re likely already feeling a bit crazy as you’re breaking up yet another sibling argument, trying to get the baby down for a nap while the older kids are causing your whole home to shake, or attempting to keep your child from running to their best friend to give them a hug.
Finding a way to occupy the kids and keep the mood positive in an RV during isolation might be feeling next to impossible, and the idea of living like this for several weeks likely seems pretty daunting.
Fortunately, there are solutions and you absolutely will make it through all of this. We recommend finding new activities to break up the monotony of staying home everyday, finding ways to allow kids to connect with their friends, and seeking out opportunities for kids to let out their energy.
Below is a list of ideas for doing just those things.
In too many families, playing with the kids is somewhat of a rarity. In most cases, the excuse is that we just don’t have the time. Well, you have the time now. Use it wisely.
Your kids are growing up fast, and soon they won’t necessarily want you to play frisbee with them or paint their toenails. Use this time to reconnect with your kids and just play. You have no idea how much something so simple will mean to your little ones.
Crafts are a wonderful way to pass the time in an RV during isolation. There are many crafts that kids can do on their own, and some that are more fun to do as a family.
Didn’t stock up on craft supplies? No problem! There are even crafts that can be done with stuff you probably already have on hand.
When you finish your projects, consider hanging them in your window for passersby to see as they take walks. This is a great way to brighten someone’s day even when we can’t necessarily get out and say hello.
Experiment with Science
As homeschoolers, we all have the best of intentions when it comes to doing science projects with our kids. Unfortunately, most of us don’t do nearly as many experiments as we’d like.
Now is the perfect time to make up for that fact. We’re all stuck at home anyway, so we might as well take advantage of this time and dive into science. These super simple experiments make that easy to do.
All of the businesses in your area might be closed, but the great outdoors are always open. Go check out your campground hiking trail, or have foot races in the field. You could also go out for walks or bike rides, play “Simon Says”, try your hand at jumping rope, or work on your hula-hoop skills.
Just remember that if you end up playing outside with campground friends, you should stay 6 feet apart, refrain from touching one another or sharing toys, and wash your hands before and after.
Play from Afar
Speaking of campground neighbors, if your kids have friends that are parked nearby and they’re dying to spend time with each other, you might consider a “long-distance playdate”.
Let the kids chat and play games from afar while sitting on their own sites. Make sure they know the rule is that they must stay within their own boundaries, and make it a game to see what kinds of activities they can come up with without leaving their own space.
Try Video Calls and Online Games
A similar idea that works even if you’re not parked right by friends is to play over video chats or online video games. Video chats could include things like LEGO builds, playing with action figures or dolls, the Guess Who? game, Battleship, and games like “Hangman” and “20 Questions”.
Take a Virtual Field Trip
Roadschoolers are lucky in that they get to go on more field trips than any other kids out there. Unfortunately, field trips aren’t really possible right now. What can you do instead? Virtual field trips!
Here’s a list of some of the awesome virtual field trip opportunities we’ve heard about:
- Louvre Museum
- National Gallery of Art
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Van Gogh Museum
- Uffizi Gallery
- San Diego Zoo
- Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo
- Reid Park Zoo
- Ouwehand Park Polar Bear Cubs
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Georgia Aquarium
- National Aquarium
- Seattle Aquarium
- Great Wall of China
- Yellowstone National Park
- Tour England
- Colonial Williamsburg
- Ellis Island
Earn a Badge
Another thing you can do to take the place of your usual field trips is earn a Junior Ranger Badge. Sure, you can’t visit the national parks physically, but many of the parks provide fun activity sheets and other ways to earn your badge at home.
Combine these options with some videos of the park you’re studying—or a virtual tour, if available—and you’ll know all about the park and be fully prepared for your in-person visit.
Learn Something New
One of the things we absolutely love about this digital age is the ability to learn absolutely anything. YouTube is a wealth of information (once you sift past the pointless videos), and by putting this resource to use, you could learn to braid hair, bake a cake from scratch, or knit a scarf.
Use this time to learn something new as a family, or suggest that your kids find something new to learn on their own.
Cook Something Up
Cooking is a fabulous way to learn math, and an essential life skill besides. It’s also a fun way to pass the time together and can even serve as a creative outlet. We’d say something with qualifications such as these is well worth doing during your time spent at home.
Need recipe ideas? Try one of these super easy recipe ideas.
You’ll want some ways to get the wiggles out. For this, we highly recommend Cosmic Kids Yoga, a YouTube channel that encourages kids to stretch and do yoga poses while also going on epic imaginary adventures.
Another option is to take advantage of virtual dance lessons. There are a number of free virtual ballet lessons happening in light of the social distancing, and online Irish dance lessons are always available through Aistear Irish Dance (check out the free trial lesson to give it a whirl).
Lastly, there’s the option of trying an online martial arts course. A free kung-fu course might be just the place to start, but there are a number of other options, should something else suit your fancy.
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts are a fabulous way to keep kids entertained without the use of screens, even when stuck in an RV during isolation. Even better, many kids’ podcasts are educational, meaning your kids are engaged, learning, and best of all, not fighting or bothering you.
We recommend listening to podcasts as a family if you can, as they make for some great conversation material after the fact. That said, there’s nothing wrong with putting on a podcast so you can get some stuff done.
Need podcast ideas? Try one of these!
Put on Some Music
Music is another great tool that is entertaining without the use of a screen. There is a ton of great family-friendly music out there, and finding some good tunes might just put everyone in a better mood. Our recommendation? Find songs that everyone loves, create an awesome playlist, and start each day with an epic dance party to put everyone in a positive mood and get the energy flowing.
Our favorite kids albums can be found listed in this article.
Have Some Fun With Fulltime Families
Finally, there is the option to have some fun with Fulltime Families. We have a brand new activity pack out that is full of fun things to do with our mascot, Rambler the Pup. We’re also hosting all kinds of online fun on our various Facebook groups and branches. Hop over to find out how you can join in the fun!
Of course, sometimes things will need to get done. In these instances, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, please, put the TV and mindless tablet usage to use without guilt. If a little extra screen time is what it takes to keep us all sane and happy through the next few weeks, then a little extra screen time it is.
For the rest of the time, we encourage you to try some of the activities above. Your family might just find a new favorite hobby and come out of this situation closer and stronger than ever.
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