I've been scoffed at more than I would like to admit for us living in an RV with our kids. People have called us crazy, and some are even downright mean about it. But, our kids have fun living in an RV! They do. But, they have fun because we make it fun and it's like one big campout, only a little on the semi-permanent side.
Do we plan to live in an RV forever? No. But, right now we are because it saves money so that we can buy a home later. I started this site with the intention of being full-time homesteaders, but then we moved. I'm ok with that. We'll have our homestead and I can still share those things too.
Related Post: How to Homestead in a Camper or Small Space
How Do Kids Have Fun Living in an RV?
Let me preface this and say that we have a 31ft RV that has 2 slides. One slide is in the living room/dining area and the other slide is in our kid's bunk area. I didn't realize just how spacious it would feel in here, but it really does feel like we have a lot of space.
We didn't live in a big house back home. We had about 1000-1200sq.ft. of living area. So, downsizing to this for a little while wasn't hard at all.
And, our kids have loved it. They get to visit home often – my husband's parents live on the same property so they visit their grandparents. They have 11 acres back home to run and play on. We take them home every chance we get. But, in the meantime, they love living here.
We have lots of fun!
What fun things do we do?
A couple of these might be considered “rainy day” activities. I'm going to do a post on just rainy day activities too. But, for now, I want to talk about all the different things we do on a day to day basis.
I think it's good for people to get a real sense of what kids are able to do even when they live in a small house, tiny house, or even an RV or camper. They're not limited by any means. The only limitation is on how many toys they can have.
And, believe me, these kids have a good bit of toys. We just store them fairly well. Not to mention, they like legos so that helps a ton!
#1 Roughhouse in the RV
This is probably my kid's favorite thing to do. They will use my husband as a jungle gym until he can't take it anymore.
I have to say, that this is probably my favorite thing to watch. They get so excited and squeal so much. Sometimes they get a little loud and I have to tone them down a bit. Can't have kids screaming bloody murder because they're being tickled after all.
Our place is always roughhouse central unless the kids are otherwise preoccupied.
#2 Nature Walks
We love spying little creatures, plants, and flowers. My husband is pretty knowledgeable about certain things that we pass and is always telling our kids about them.
Between squirrels, cardinals, red-headed woodpeckers, and all sorts of bugs they enjoy watching the wildlife.
Sometimes we'll bring home a conglomerate of little trinkets that we find along the way. We've brought home worms, acorns, rocks, shells, leaves, butterflies, beetles and some other things I can't remember.
I need to get a book or something to keep their things in or so they can draw in it. Charlotte Mason homeschool method does something like this called a Nature Journal. I've been meaning to let them do that.
Here are a few resources we love:
- Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World (Julia Rothman)
- Handbook of Nature Study
#3 Fish at the lake
If it's not storming or colder than crap my husband likes to take the kids fishing. There are bass, catfish, and brim in the lake here on post – though, you wouldn't know because they rarely bite. People find it a huge challenge to come fish at the lake by the campground due to how hard it is to catch a fish.
Mostly, the kids go out there with a fishing net and try to catch minnows and small fish that are up near the docks. Too bad they are loud and splash all over the place haha.
My daughter loves the little fishing pole that we bought for her. You can look at the one we have here. She'll be getting an upgrade soon.
#4 Play tag outside the RV (we have a good sized “yard”)
Ever seen kids that don't run out of energy? Yeah, we have some of those too. These things can go from sun up to sun down. So, we have them run around outside and play tag.
My husband plays with my son a good bit of the time. I'm not sure who wears who out though haha. My husband will sit down panting and my son will be beckoning him to play more.
#5 Canoe on the lake
We're a family of water bugs. Thankfully, we can all fit in the canoe we have and the lake is pretty big. Exploring the lake is fun. We get to see turtles and geese.
We actually were able to see a pair of geese that had eggs go from eggs to hatchlings. The babies are a little over a month now. The kids love to check in on them to see how they've grown.
I'm hoping to get a kayak so I can kayak and the kids can be in the canoe. Even though we all fit now, we won't all fit as they grow. I've been keeping my eye on this one right here. It's bright orange and pretty decently priced.
Related Post: How to Live in an RV Without Feeling Cramped
#6 Pick blackberries when they're in season
Probably the best ever fun activity. Too bad blackberry season doesn't last forever. We have tons of bushes around our campground. The kids and my husband picked enough that we were able to make a blackberry cobbler.
But, that was it sadly. The birds and other animals cleaned the blackberries out and we haven't seen a blip since.
#7 Go to the Zoo
We've wanted to go to the Audobon Zoo and Aquarium down in New Orleans for a little while now. My husband recently checked out how much it would cost, and that sealed the deal. We didn't go.
It would cost us $160 as a family to go to the Zoo and Aquarium in New Orleans. That is insane for 4 people. That doesn't include gas to get down there, food while there or any souvenirs. Crazy.
We're going to stick to the zoo here in town. It might be a little small, but it has a splash pad and some pretty cool animals.
My husband wants to plan and save to go to the New Orleans Zoo and Aquarium. So we're going to do that. We can call it a mini-vacation. Maybe we can rent a place down in the French Quarter and ride on the riverboat too.
#8 Go to the beach
Summer is a great time to go to the beach. But, we could go to the beach here near year round. It's typically not that cold on the gulf where we are. We're hoping to make more beach trips though. They love finding little crabs and shells on the beach.
I get worried about them getting in the water. I have this fear that the undertow will take them away. Maybe I'm just being irrational -_-.
In any case, the beach, for us, is a great way for the kids to have fun. Don't forget your umbrellas for shade when you go!
#9 Watch the C-17 land and take off
Since we live on a military post that has an airstrip we like to take the kids to the outside of the end of the runway. We stand outside the fence and watch as the C-17 comes in for a landing and then watch them take off too.
It's kind of a cool feeling and really cool to experience.
I know that not everyone will have this luxury, but if you live near an airport that has military aircraft it might be a great family field trip you could plan.
#10 Play cardgames
Card games are something we use for education and fun. We try to work in a little math when we play games like Uno or just regular cards. My son does the math and my daughter is identifying numbers.
It's a great way to have family fun and knock out some education at the same time.
Related Post: How to Find an RV Site for Long-Term Living
#11 Start a fire and roast marshmallows (or just the fire)
I love a good fire and so do my kids. I have to watch them though because they're both little pyromaniacs. They love some fire. Unfortunately, they get it honest.
They will gather the sticks and my husband lights the fire. Then we'll roast marshmallows if we have them. We try not to give the kids sweets too much though.
Thankfully, they're not upset when we just have a fire. I think it's partially because they love fire.
#12 Help water the container garden
We're trying our hand at container gardening this year. Our kids helped us make potting soil, plant the little plants, and help us water them on a daily basis. Each day we check them for new flowers or ripe tomatoes.
I think we're also going have peppers, cucumbers and some squash. The kids get excited when something new pops up. It's so funny to see their reactions when they run over to tell us about it.
Even if you're planting one or two plants it's great to get them involved in the action.
#13 Play with their toys
This is kind of an obvious one. Kids can play with their toys in the RV without causing too much strain. Sure your RV might get a little dirty, but since it's a small space it can be cleaned really quick.
Don't get upset if the area gets dirty. Let their imagination run wild and have a little fun.
Our kids know they have to pick up their toys once they're done. Keeps the area clean and we're all happy.
#14 Build lego castles with mom and dad
The kids both received legos for Christmas. We break those out and have castle building contests. Or, we'll build spaceships. That is unless the kids try to break ours. Which happens a good bit of time.
They're big on crashing things, so if we build it they like to tear it apart giggling and laughing the whole time.
It makes for a big fun time for all of us.
#15 Play in a kiddie pool for fun!
Since it's getting warmer we've been using their sandbox as a kiddie pool. It's just deep enough that they can splash around and get wet. They love to splash so it's worked well.
We'll be upgrading to one of those plastic pools, but for now the sandbox has worked wonderfully. They actually told us they didn't want another “pool”. But, I'm sure if we bought one they'd play in it too.
What ways do you have fun in an RV with your kids?
I'd love to hear how you're having fun with your kids while living in an RV. We like to try different things every now and then. Also, if we can find new things to keep the kids from getting bored that helps too ;).
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