Keeping kids busy
Digital detox camping can be particularly tough for kids who’ve been raised on easily accessible TV and video everywhere they go. It’s important to make sure evenings and days are filled with exciting activities that will mean they forget their phones and Netflix entirely. Use your location to its fullest advantage: many towns have orienteering or treasure maps for kids and teens to keep them focused throughout the day. Cater to the attention spans of your kids: if a full day at a museum will bore them, have a range of entertainment options or just a good long walk in your plans.
A long-term project across the holiday — who can collect the most fossils on the coast, for instance — will give them goals beyond just the day-to-day. Pack travel cricket sets, laminated playing cards that won’t dissolve when they get wet (Uno is a good addition to your game set), kites, a ball…there are lots of options that will help to tire them out so they sleep well.
If you’re willing to put in the work, campsite games can be an amazing way to bond as a family without the need for screens. Camping Olympics can pit the family against each other, individually or in teams, to do athletic challenges or solve puzzles and problems. Scary stories after dark are a favourite pastime (remember to bring marshmallows and hot chocolate for the perfect ambience), as are games involving glow-in-the-dark pieces so that they can be played at night. Use the natural environment around you, too. Lakes are great for learning how to skim stones, while trees and wooded areas are made for hide-and-seek.
Some campsites – including some of our Experience Freedom sites – offer activities and challenges for children, taking the pressure to provide entertainment off you. The kids can meet others of their age and before you know it, they’re off with their new friends having a whale of a time.