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Young man and women sitting on beach in front of Apollo rental campervan

Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: AU Blog

Games and Activities to Keep Your Kids Entertained on the Road.

We can all agree that the vast Australian landscapes, from the deep blue sea to the rusty-red Outback, are a road trip dream! But if you're a parent planning a family road trip through this mesmerising country in a campervan, you're probably more concerned about keeping the young ones occupied than gawking at the kangaroo skipping alongside your vehicle, right? 

But fret not. In this article, we are taking you beyond a simple family road trip guide. Oh no. Here, we delve deep into the colourful box of tricks to keep those tiny hands and eager minds busy as you make your way around the Land Down Under in a campervan hire. From the best games to play to the ideal ways to organise your family campervan, as well as a list of top family campervan spots in Australia to consider adding to your road trip itinerary planner – we have covered the family vacation essentials. Buckle up as we hit the road on this fun-packed journey! 


First, Set Up for Success

Alright, first things first. Before you head off into the sunset (or sunrise)

and the karaoke (inevitably) begins, let’s talk about setting the stage for your family trip. After all, a well-prepped van travel experience can make all the difference between a joyous sing-along and a relentless chorus of "Are we there yet?"

  • Comfy quarters: Picture this: Your kiddo, nestled amidst cushions and blankets, giggling at the sight of a wandering emu, all while being comfy and snug. Ensure your kids have the luxury of comfort with the right seating arrangements. Pop in a couple of travel pillows, perhaps a fluffy blanket, and you're golden.

  • Block the blaze: As magnificent as the Aussie sun is, it can turn your campervan into an oven on wheels if you're not careful. So, it can be worthwhile packing some sunshades. They not only keep things cool inside but also give your children relief from that relentless sunshine, especially if they're trying to sneak in a nap between destinations.

  • Safety camping supplies for kids: Accidents are called so because they're unpredictable. With an Apollo campervan, you're in safe hands. Each one comes equipped with a fire extinguisher. However, if you're looking to add a cherry on top of your safety pie, you can also throw in a first aid kit to your hire for an additional cost. That way, you’re covered (just in case the excitement leads to a scraped knee or two.)

  • Nap time oasis: We touched on this before, but it's worth reiterating. When exploring Australia in a campervan with kids, it's a good idea to provide travel pillows and blankets for the young ones. This creates an oasis of calm when they need a break from their high-energy antics or just need a power nap to recharge.

  • Organised chaos: Kids come with accessories – toys, snacks, maybe a random rock they found fascinating that simply must come along for the remainder of the family road trip. Keep things tidy with clever storage solutions. Seatback organisers, containers, pouches – use them all. Your future self, driving through a serene coastal route, will thank you as you won’t be distracted by trying to reach for a rogue toy underfoot.

Setting out on a family camping adventure in a campervan is half the fun. The journey is as crucial as the destination. So, before you venture into the wild, Need some more tips? Check out our guide to essential tips for campervan road trips with kids to ensure your travels are smooth sailing, or should we say smooth driving!

Image: Mark Clinton


Games and Activities to Keep Your Kids Entertained on the Road

There is nothing quite like a family road trip – the wind in your hair, the endless horizon ahead, and the promise of adventure. But as anyone who’s ever yelled, “Don’t make me pull this campervan over!” knows, the real challenge lies in keeping those little adventurers in the backseat engaged. Don't worry. For all those planning your family vacation itinerary, we've got a list of classic and new games tailored for the campervan experience that’ll turn potential backseat brawls into bouts of laughter.


1. Classic Road Trip Games to Play with Your Kids

Van travel has been a staple of family vacations for decades, and while some games have been rendered obsolete, some classics have stood the test of time. These tried-and-true activities are more than mere pastimes; they're a rite of passage for any kid on the road! Here are a few of our favourites: 

  • The License Plate Game: Ah, the classic game of spotting and collecting. Instead of Pokémon, this time, it's license plates. Craft a list of regions or countries before your campervan journey and let the competition begin. Who'll be the first to spot a plate from Tasmania or the Northern Territory? Or, if you're feeling globally adventurous, perhaps one from New Zealand? This game is not only fun but also a sneaky geography lesson on the go!

  • I Spy: "I spy with my little eye, something that is... blue." Could it be the endless Australian sky or perhaps that cheeky lorikeet sitting on a nearby tree? This game is as simple as it gets, but oh, the hours of fun it provides! It encourages kids to be observant and appreciate the details of the journey, turning every mile of your family road trip into a mini-adventure.

  • 20 Questions: This one's a cerebral challenge. “Is it bigger than a breadbox?” “Can you eat it?” Dive into the depths of deduction with this game on your upcoming family trip. One player thinks of an object in sight, and the others get 20 chances to figure it out with their probing yes-or-no questions. It's an exercise in patience, logic, and, sometimes, pure wild guessing.

  • Travel Bingo: Here's a twist to the traditional bingo, Aussie family road trip style! Make or purchase bingo cards adorned with sights you're likely to encounter – be it a kangaroo, a campsite, or a particularly interesting rock formation. As you cruise along in your family campervan, little eyes will be eagerly scanning the scenery, ready to shout, "Bingo!" at the drop of a hat.

These classic games are a fantastic way to bond as a family while making your family road trip journey feel like a blink of an eye. If you're itching for more van travel road trip hacks with kiddos, be sure to check out our guide on how to plan a family-friendly campervan trip in Australia


2. Educational Adventures

The term "educational" can sometimes cause young eyes to glaze over. But chuck in an educational adventure with your family campervan trip across Australia’s vast landscapes, and suddenly, learning becomes fun. Here are some educational activities to add to your road trip itinerary planner that'll keep the little ones busy and make this family trip one for the books:

  • Geocaching: Think of it as a modern-day treasure hunt. Using GPS, families search for hidden containers, called geocaches, scattered worldwide. The navigation, the thrill of discovery, and occasionally, even the trinkets you exchange when you find the cache – education wrapped in layers of exploration! This is the perfect van travel activity, especially when you are exploring multiple locations across Australia.

  • Birdwatching: Ever wanted to distinguish between a Galah and a Cockatoo? Arm your kiddos with binoculars and a trusty bird guidebook on your family camping adventure. As they spot, identify, and keep a record of various bird species, they'll develop a genuine appreciation for the feathery wonders that grace the skies and trees of Australia.

  • Storytelling: “Once upon a road trip itinerary planner, in a family campervan far, far away…” Encourage the kiddos to craft their tales inspired by the terrains, animals, and people they encounter. It's a fun exercise in creativity, communication, and imagination.

  • Nature scavenger hunt: Next campervan rest stop or during those memorable family vacation hikes, arm your children with a list of natural items to spot – maybe a Banksia leaf, a unique rock, or emu tracks. The one who finds the most items gets... well, bragging rights!

  • Stargazing: Nothing wraps up a day on the road like a blanket of stars overhead. With Australia’s remote regions creating minimal light pollution, the celestial display is spectacular and the perfect opportunity to introduce your children to Orion, the Southern Cross, or the mysteries of the Milky Way.


3. Get Creative

Long stretches on the road are the perfect canvas for creativity. So, when the usual "Are we there yet?" chorus starts, pull out these arty camping supplies for kids and watch time fly by – the ultimate dream when travelling in a campervan with kids.

  • DIY travel journals: It's one thing to experience an adventure and another to document it so you can re-live it for years to come. A couple of notebooks where they can jot down their thoughts, sketch sceneries, or stick mementos like tickets and postcards are easily in the top camping supplies for kids on a campervan adventure. At the end of the family vacation, they’ll have a memory of their journey through their own lens.

  • Pipe cleaner creations: These malleable wonders can be twisted into shapes, animals, or abstract art. This hands-on fun with a side of dexterity development is perfect for keeping little hands occupied on a long day’s drive on a family road trip. 

  • Origami: Transform this ancient art of paper folding into a learning adventure by adding an Aussie family road trip theme. With just a sheet of paper, kids can create kangaroos, koalas, or even the iconic Sydney Opera House! 

  • Friendship bracelet making: Ah, the timeless art of weaving beads into memories. Pack a kit with vibrant threads and beads, and let your children craft bracelets for hours. These can be swapped with siblings, gifted to new mates at campgrounds, or even saved as souvenirs of their bucket list family adventure.

Remember, the journey is as significant as the destination, especially when travelling in a campervan with kids. With a mix of education and creativity, every mile becomes a memory, and every stop, a story to be documented. 


4. Tech-savvy Solutions for Keeping Your Little Ones Entertained

We all know the challenges of raising kids in the digital age! While we might remember playing 'spot the kangaroo' or counting Holden cars during our family trips, kids today have a universe of tech at their fingertips. While this can be a tricky space to navigate at home, why not harness this digital magic for good to keep them engaged during your van travel adventure? Here are some tech-tastic solutions:

  • Audiobooks and podcasts: Swap out the age-old "I Spy" with fascinating tales of brave knights, faraway galaxies, or Aussie legends. Download some gripping children's audiobooks or educational podcasts. Not only does this entertain, but it also silently promotes literacy and general knowledge. Win-win!

  • Educational apps and games: Learning doesn't need to pause during your family road trip. Dive into the world of apps and games tailored for kids. Whether it's math puzzles, language lessons, or interactive history quizzes, these platforms can be a great additional education tool, all while being an adventurous game.

  • Movie time: Long stretches between the iconic Ayers Rock and Sydney's bustling city? Sometimes, you may just want to make these long campervan drives extra special with movie time. Bring along a portable DVD player, tablet, or laptop loaded with the kids' favourites. 

  • Digital scavenger hunt: Give the traditional scavenger hunt a 21st-century twist. Craft a list of items or landmarks and challenge the kiddos to photograph them with their devices. Not only does this keep them observant, but they also get to practice their budding photography skills.

  • Kid-friendly playlists: Whether it's the latest pop hits or classic children's songs, having a playlist ready can turn your campervan with kids adventure into a full-blown concert. Plus, belting out tunes together? That’s memory-making gold.

With these tips, your camping with kids list of supplies should be overflowing, and your journey promises to be a smooth one. 


How to Prevent Your Kids from Getting Car Sick

Nothing throws a spanner in the works of a smooth family camping adventure than a queasy little one. Motion sickness can be a real damper. But fear not, road warrior parents, here are some tried-and-tested ways to keep the dreaded car sickness at bay:

  • Fresh air: Sounds simple, but a regular stream of fresh air can work wonders. Crack open a window and let the Aussie breeze keep things cool and comfortable.

  • Medication: If your child tends to get motion sick, consider if medication might be an option. Always chat with a healthcare professional before heading down this road.

  • Eyes on the horizon: One age-old trick? Keep their eyes forward. No reading, no looking down, just gazing at the unfolding adventure ahead. It can help reduce that woozy feeling on a family road trip.

  • Watch the food intake: Avoid heavy meals right before you crank up your campervan engine. Stick to light snacks. Hungry? Opt for ginger-based treats, they can help alleviate nausea.

  • Plan regular stops: Part of the joy of van travel is the freedom to stop and explore whenever you fancy. So, if you sense a slight green tinge on one of your backseat adventurers, pull over, let them stretch, and breathe in the great outdoors.


Wondering Where to Stay with Your Kids in Australia?

Ah, Australia, the land where kangaroos hop beside the road, koalas munch on eucalyptus leaves, and every sunset looks like Mother Nature painted it herself. But as any seasoned family campervan traveller will tell you, finding the right spot to park your campervan for the night can be as vital as ensuring you've packed enough Tim Tams for the trip (an Aussie classic for our overseas friends.)

Eager to find a place that's not only scenic but also kiddo-friendly? We've got you covered! Dive into our extensive guide to the best family-friendly caravan parks in Australia. From beachfront beauty spots to serene outback oases, these are the places where campervan memories are forged (and marshmallows get perfectly roasted). 


Ready for a Family Campervan Trip to Remember?

From prepping the perfect travel van nest for your little ones to ensuring they're constantly entertained, educated, and enriched, we've covered all the essentials for families looking to rent a travel van to explore Australia. Now, armed with these golden nuggets of family travel wisdom, you're all set for a fun family road trip for the entire family. 

Keen to roll? Booking is a breeze. Hop over to book your Apollo Campervan online today, select the dreamy ‘campervan with kids’-friendly vehicle that sings to your soul, and voila! All that's left is to swing by any of the 10 Apollo branches in Australia to pick up your campervan home-on-wheels. From there? The open road, filled with wonder, awaits you and your excited crew. Let the adventure begin!


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