Activities to Get You Closer to Nature during Family Holidays

As a working mum, I’m usually much busier than I’d like to be and often spending quality time with my kids is limited to the weekends. During our family holidays we usually choose camping trips in Europe.

Last week I was talking to some of the other parents as we waited for the kids outside the school gates, and given that it was a grey, rainy day, we got onto the subject of holidays. When I mentioned that camping is our top choice for family holidays, everyone wanted to learn more. One of the big questions was “How do you keep the kids entertained?”.

Family Holidays

Actually, we’ve found that bored kids are the last thing we have to worry about on our family holidays. We always choose campsites which have plenty of interesting activities to try out and a good variety of facilities (a swimming pool is always essential!), as well as supervised kids clubs, so there is plenty to keep us all occupied. Not only that, but we make time to take do some family activities which get us closer to nature, as we feel it is important to teach our kids to respect the environment that they are enjoying.

One of our favourite activities during family holidays is birdwatching. Now, you might wonder how you’d ever get a usually high-energy child to sit quietly for long enough to spot any of our feathered friends but you’d be surprised. Our son, who is very sporty and always likes to be on the go was spellbound when he first watched Red Kites during a holiday in France, and it was there that he really caught the birdwatching “bug”.

Getting kids interested in nature can be a hobby that lasts a lifetime, and though you might have to wait very patiently there will be moments that are truly, naturally, magic. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to try birdwatching – we started out with a pamphlet about native species from the tourist information centre, and a cheap pair of binoculars, and it is very rewarding as you learn to identify different birds, or spot something rare!

Family Holidays

Another activity which our kids love is our annual treasure hunt. This takes my husband and I several hours (and a few glasses of local wine) to plan one night when the kids go to bed. The basic premise is that we hide clues around the vicinity of our tent or chalet, and the kids have to use them to figure out how to get the prize.

We’ve also recently discovered Geocaching, an international treasure hunting game with countless players. In this, you use GPS co-ordinates listed by other players to locate “caches” all over the world. We’ve found that these are often in scenic locations, giving us the chance to see some of the best bits of the countries we are visiting.

Do we get ever get bored during our family holidays? Most definitely not, in fact we always find ourselves saying that we wish we could stay for longer! In fact, I’d recommend camping in Europe for any family looking for a fun holiday in a peaceful natural setting.

Cassy Johnson is a mum, a wannabe travel writer who works within the travel industry and occasionally writes her publication for Keycamp and Eurocamp.

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