How can the kids help with Set-up and Pack-up?

"How can the kids help with set-up and pack-up?" is a question that is asked often on TAWK and we thought it time to add it to our Frequently Asked Question page.

Travelling every few days is tiring and the setting up and packing down, can get you down.  It's exhausting!  BUT if you get all hands on deck, then maybe things can get a little easier.  So what can the kids do?  Quite a lot as it turns out!  We asked TAWKers for their thoughts and if they get their kids to help and if so, what did they do?

Below are their answers..... (Names omitted to protect privacy)

  • Give them a job to help set up camp. Get different coloured electrical tape and designate one colour per child. Then use the tape to colour code any pole/peg/flooring/stabiliser legs/or tool for a particular job so they know who is responsible.

  •  All hands in deck at our camp. 4, 8 and 10. Have done since they were all little. No one gets to go play till we are done.
  • Our children are 9, 7, 6 and 3 and we travel in a soft floor camper trailer - In order we have hammer boy (hammers in all the pegs and pulls them all out at pack up), Rope girl (unrolls and sorts and rolls up all ropes), Pole girl (gets all the poles and packs them all up), and peg boy (hands the oldest all the pegs he needs and packs them all in the bag.) If they are ahead in their jobs, or we're not quite ready for them yet, they set up and pack up chairs and the table, get out/clean up activity bag etc. The sooner we're all set up the sooner they can go and play :) They all love helping out, and don't complain about it. On pack up day, we let them know where we are going, so that they are excited to get on the road, and at set up, they can't explore until its set up!

  • We watched one family; they pulled up with 5 kids, the camp was set up in just under 10 minutes with a camper trailer! Turns out the dads rule was no one goes to the loo till its done. Hahaha, it worked!
  • Our kids are 11, 9, 5 & 3. They set up chairs, tables, put down mats etc. The older 2 are taking turns to help us unhitch, use the drill to lower stabilizer legs etc. When they're doing this, the younger 2 stay in the car for safety. Once the car moves forward and is unhitched, they can get out.
  • Our three girls (ages 9, 11 and 12) have always helped. From the start, as soon as they could walk they would be bringing pegs and stuff from the car and setting up their beds. Now we are in a caravan they can do more!! As soon as we are set up my hubby takes them somewhere so I can organise dinner and have some quiet time before the night rush begins.

  • Yep, ours help and when they're done with their jobs they can either play nearby or in the caravan park playground if there is one.
  • We have a rule the only question our kids are allowed to ask when we set up is "what can I do next to help?" We have been doing this for 4 years. In the beginning they were twin 7, 9 & 13. Everyone has a job, no matter how small. Little ones set up camp chairs & fold Velcro straps, big kids set up awnings. No one sits in the car! Then when we are set up they go & play. Then we do it all again when we pack up.
  • We have a soft floor camper and helping is optional, but if they choose to there is a monetary reward. Jobs they can do are; place tarp on ground - Lengthen poles once we have got first section in place - Put out jigsaw outdoor mats - If doing verandah holding poles while we get it tied down - Set up the beds.  Our kids are 9, 7, 4. Their permanent jobs are keeping their clothes bag and their beds tidy.

  • Our three girls love to help with setting up or packing away! They all have their little jobs whether we are in our campervan or swagging it! They are now 6 8 and 10 and when we take tents and swags they set up their own tents and everything inside. I would much rather them learn these skills now and to be more independent.
  • Definitely give them each a job. We found it's easier giving them set jobs and make them responsible for it and then it makes them proud and part of the trip more.
  • Our kids are 1, 8 & 10, the older two definitely help with setup & pack up. We have a soft floor camper and they are required to have poles at the ready for us, knocking in pegs and helping attached extra room walls if required, they also take in turns to lower stabilizer legs and ensuring they are level they also help entertain the 1year old. Pack up is similar with them having to ensure their beds, books, toys etc are packed up, poles are put away and any other general tidying up duties. They don't always face these duties with enthusiasm but they understand its part and parcel of our trips.

  • Make the kids help and make it exciting . Give them all there own job. This is what travelling is all about your all a team working together to make it enjoyable . kids will love being involved and feel special having there own jo
  • We make our 2 year old 'help'! He can put poles in & out of the bag, get pegs out, hand us stuff, even use the winch to wind the camper out. Hopefully he'll never know any different so will be proper helping when he's older.
  • We give them little jobs like carrying bags, help bang in pegs, put things away. Carry pillows in drink bottles etc. As they get older it will be easier. Last 'over night' camp my son took a peg and mallet and that kept him amused while we did heavy stuff our daughter older passed us pegs.

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  • Mine started unhitching and hitching at 8 and 7. Also putting legs down, level van. Reverse/guide me in....pretty much what a husband does my kids do. My 3 year old even gets in and does his bit (the jockey and wheel chocks)
  • Our 7 & 9 yr old's always helped. We had a camper trailer. Set up - they would unlock locks, get hammer & pegs out, hold things, set up chairs, table, put down floor mat, make their beds etc. Pack up similar stuff. Once we got to a certain part of pack up, they would get in the car & start their school work.

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