Comment: Travelling with Kids 5 - 12 Years

We have just been on a 4 week camping/4WD holiday to Central Australia with our 3 sons aged 6, 8 and 9 years. The only electronic equipment the boys had were their music iPods and they rarely used them as we shared the music in the car. I had an iPhone but only used it for communicating with family & friends or for the weather.
We did 7,350km in the four weeks so there was a fair amount of driving but the boys looked out the window at the amazing wildlife and landscapes. They also had diaries to write and draw in and some puzzle books. Some of the visitor info places had activity books free for children with the theme on that area such as spot an eagle, etc (Coober Pedy was one of these).
I had a few car games we used such as I spy, and memory game: I went camping and took a ….. We had one audio book. I had made them seat organisers so they had their treasures at close hand. Due to limited space they took only a small ‘monster truck’ and 2 small soft toys each as well as drawing/ activity stuff.
We had some fruit, snacks and their water bottles in the car for when they got hungry.
They explored all the sights we visited, learned about the history and did lots of walks. When we arrived at a camping spot, they played with their friends or each other having a race to collect fire wood, creating a ‘shop’ that sold bark and berries etc, climbing and sliding down sand dunes, collecting rocks, playing with their cars in the dirt. I don’t think I ever heard the phrase ‘I am bored’. I have since heard them talking about all the things they saw and learned – they took in a lot more than I thought they would – overall a great experience for them.
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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 10:50

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 10:50
That is just awesome and one of the reasons our two girls started their outback travelling experiences at about 6 months. It is the greatest thing of all to get them out and about. Ours now however do tend to electronicify themselves during some of the driving phases but when the car stops so do the electronics, at least until swag o-clock. Glad you are out and about and getting the kids out there.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!

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AnswerID: 492529

Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 12:32

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 12:32
Gday WM3B
It's the same when I take little Wes out in the bush with me. He likes to play in the dirt with his tonka truck and has his electronic thingys with him except at meal time when you wouldn't want to lean to close to his food for fear of loosing an arm.
I'm glad your kids like to travel .
I'll see if i can put in a picture of Wes and i enjoying ourselves with my little grand son.

Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Reply By: Pebble - Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:16

Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 at 21:16
We have a 9.5yr old Son and 7.5yr old Daughter, I think this age is great because they certainly can do without the electronics. We have never had those video thingys in the car, and we've driven across from NSW to WA twice when they were younger.
Admittedly as they got older, like around the ages of 5 & 7 we did often use the DSes they had brought with their own pocket money saved to get some peace and quiet in the car! But this was generally on shopping trips as it's an hour to the next town to do the big shop.
On the big camping trip last year they got to play the DS once a day in the car when we were travelling, generally for about an hour. It was needed a lot less than we might have expected I guess. Well it probably wasn't needed, it was a bit of a reward.
Look forward to our next trip which will be driving over East and going to Tasmania. I think they're at a really good age where they can enjoy it heaps, take in the surrounds and remember it for a long time to come. And at the campsite they're old enough for card games and the like. We're only down to one DS now anyway, and that doesn't get used very often at home (only allowed on weekends only anyway). Mind you they prefer playing flash games on the computer or the educational ones like Mathletics or Reading Eggs that they do at school, and the not so educational Moshi Monsters.

I guess like most things in life balance is good, expose them to tech but within reasonable limits. We live on a bush block so it's great when they disappear for hours finding new cubby houses and what not.
AnswerID: 492565

Reply By: ao767brad - Thursday, Aug 09, 2012 at 19:30

Thursday, Aug 09, 2012 at 19:30
We took 2 daughters 7 & 9 for 3 months last year with no TV or Dvd players and everyone including their teachers are stilll commenting on how much more they know about Australia than everyone else in the school. Teacher said at parent interviews that he directs all Australian questions at our 9 year old now as the other 28 in the class stare blankly when he talks about explorers, wildlife and stuff we discussed and saw during our 20,000km around the outback. If there was ever a justifcation for removing them from school for a term(or year) that was it.
AnswerID: 492604

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