Grandparents can play such a large part in their grandchildren’s upbringing and the shaping of their character.
Words and Images by: Michelle Hogan
Meeting new friends and uncovering forgotten wonderlands are just some of the amazing experiences that can be had when enjoying the RV lifestyle. Living on the road permanently provides the perfect opportunity for chance encounters and annual visits with family and loved ones spread across the nation. However, perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to living on the road can be the time lost with grandchildren.
Grandparents can play such a large part in their grandchildren’s upbringing and the shaping of their character. Although humans are the slowest growing mammal, the brain and biological development during the first few years of a child’s life is extremely influential. The positive influences grandparents can have on their grandchildren, including teaching manners, respect and showing them love is truly priceless.
The next time you are nearby, why not make the most of your time and introduce your grandchildren to the open road? Travelling with young children can be an amazing yet challenging time, and in years to come they may not remember every place they ventured to , every sight they saw, but they will remember having your undivided and loving attention.
While some grandparents may have a pool in their backyard, chocolates at the ready or an endless supply of fun DVDs and craft activities – those who travel can take their grandkids on an adventure like no other. Where and what you do will depend on the age and number of children that will be travelling with you. But, the following are a few tips that may help make your next family trip a little more successful.
- When planning your trip, why not let your grandchildren have some input? Show them places you would like to go and encourage them to contribute to the selection of locations. By planning travel with your grandchildren, you can share ideas and include activities that everyone will enjoy.
- Children love activities where they can interact and participate, some great options for the young and young at heart are places such as petting farms, ice skating rinks, and other amusements where a café is located on the premises (an adults haven if you will) and the children can continue to play in a safe, fun environment. Many attractions have senior and child discounts, be sure to take advantage of these options to save money.
- Geocaching is becoming a popular pastime for many travellers. Why not join the game and take the children on a real, outdoor, Australia wide treasure hunt. Geocaching is a game using GPS devices; participants navigate to a specific set of coordinates and attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden. Geocaching is a great way to explore new areas and show children the fun and excitement that can exist when travelling. To find out more, please visit www.geocaching.com
- Do keep in mind that some children, unfortunately, may not share your belief that ‘getting there is half the fun’. Unless you want to listen to ‘I’m bored’ or the ever favorite ‘are we there yet?’ be sure to pack the RV full of plenty of entertainment. Stock up on your grandchildren’s favourite books and music, and always keep healthy snacks readily available to avoid hungry outbursts.
- Double check with your grandchildren’s parents that there are no new allergies or regular medication that you should be aware of. Ensure you have your first aid kit sufficiently stocked; for most children, an adequate supply of Betadine and Band-Aids is a must. And, in case of an emergency, be sure to obtain written permission from the children’s parents or a legal guardian that allows you to make medical decisions on behalf of your grandchildren.
- If you are travelling with one grandchild, you may like to suggest they bring a friend with them. The kids will keep each other amused and you will feel less pressure to entertain them. If you are a solo grandparent, you may also want to invite a friend – this will give you company when the kids are busy, and allow you to enjoy some adult conversation.
- Lastly, be sure to take plenty of photos and write down the daily events in a journal of some kind. Next time you are in town and spending time with your grandchildren, perhaps you could make a scrap book of your travels together and reminisce about all the great, and maybe not so great, aspects of the trip. Could a second trip be on the cards?
Time certainly does fly when we are having fun, but don’t let time dwindle away as days turn into weeks and months turn into years; grab every opportunity to spend time with your loved ones, whether it be face-to-face, through Skype, or even regular postcards.
Tags: Travelling Grandchildren senior activities kids children RV motorhome caravan campervan travel holidays GPS games
Written: Mon 01 Apr 2013
Printed: April, 2013