Camping is a great experience for children! It gives them an opportunity to stay active, connect with nature and have fun too. Looking for some fun games to play to enhance your camping or out trip program? Our guest author, Dennis Owens shares 15 cool games and activities to keep kids busy while camping in the great outdoors!
Cool Games & Activities to keep Kids busy when Camping
Don’t you just love camping? Well, your kids probably love it too, but they still need some games and fun activities to keep them busy. And if you’re here, then you might need some suggestions. Luckily, we have 15 of that for you, so if one doesn’t work out, there’ll always be something else to look forward too.
This is an amazing activity for older children, and you might be into it too. It basically means that you’ll use your GPS so you can find the nearby caches. Your kids can start a competition of who finds the most caches, but you have to research the area first and make sure these are close to your camping spot and that kids won’t get lost.
2. Survival Skills
What better place to do some survival training and learn some useful survival skills than the great outdoors? You can teach children how to set up a tent or improvise a survival shelter, how to make great paracord knots that really hold or how to start a fire with no matches.
There’s nothing better than to sit around a campfire, roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories. Just make sure you keep them pretty PG-13, you don’t want to scare little kids into nightmares. But the older ones will surely love a good thrill before their bedtime.
4. Scavenger Hunt
If there aren’t too many geocaches nearby or if you simply don’t allow your kids to use smartphones yet, there’s always the good old-fashioned scavenger hunt. You can hide the prizes yourself, make the instructions, and the best part is that you can set out the perimeter so that everyone can join the fun.
5. Target Practice
Your kids will love some target practice in the great outdoors. You can either bring a bow and arrow if these are age-appropriate or play a game of “Hit the can”. There’s always the option of creating teams that compete against each other and placing these improvised targets at different distances.
This is another game that most kids will love because it brings out their competitive spirit. For this, you’ll definitely need a reliable paracord, and hopefully, you’ve already taught them how to make those knots. Basically, each team has to pull a different end of the rope, so make sure the kids won’t hurt themselves when falling.
7. Potato Sack Race
Another traditional game, this is when each kid should get into a potato sack them jump all the way to a finish line. This is great for getting rid of that extra energy that would otherwise surely keep them up all night. You should also bring enough prizes for everyone.
8. Make a Collection
This is a great idea for kids who love exploring as well as learning new stuff about nature. So you can either help them collect rocks, bugs, or leaves, but the point is that they should gather as much as they can. You can even tell them a bit about the local landscape and weather patterns, so they can understand how that influences the local flora and fauna.
9. Hide and Seek
This should be played by bigger kids, who understand that the shouldn’t leave the campsite and who are basically allowed to use phones in the off-chance they do get lost. Either way, it’s great because it helps them use different strategies as well as harness the natural resources in their favor. So if you taught them how to make an improvised shelter out of fallen leaves, now’s their first chance to use that skill.
10. Flashlight Tag
This combines the previous game with a game of tag, but this time everyone is using flashlights instead of actively searching for the other players. So you’re obviously going to play after dark, which is especially fun for kids. Just make sure you have plenty of batteries around, you’re going to need them.
11. Guess the Animal
This activity will be great for toddlers who are just learning animal names and sounds. It will be very funny to assign an animal to each kid, who has to describe that animal so the others have to guess what that is. You can even turn it into a game of pantomime, it will give kids a chance to act silly, which they’ll love.
12. I Spy
This is another great game for toddlers, but it can be amusing for older kids as well. You basically have to give the others clues about an object you’ve seen, like its color. For instance, you can say “I spy with my little eyes, something green”, and then the others have to guess what it is. This is also perfect for a rainy day when you’re probably sheltered near your tent.
13. Elves, Giants, and Wizards
This is a really fun game to play in the great outdoors since forests are swarming with elves, giants, and wizards, as your kids definitely know. This game works for larger groups, and each of you will be assigned to a certain guild. From then on, you’ll have to run after the other players and tag them in order to convert them to your own kind.
14. Camping Trip
This is another good game for both improving language and survival skills. You ask kids what they would bring if they were hiking in a specific place, and during a specific season. Each kid has to tell you what sort of gear they would bring, taking turns.
If you’re out of ideas, charades is always fun for both kids and grown-ups. You can set the theme, and even look for a website with printable charade games. That way you’ll be prepared in advance, and make sure everyone’s preferences are met.
With these activities in your arsenal, your camping trip will certainly be filled with guffaws and fun that turn into amazing memories.
Growing up in the great everglades, Dennis Owens considers the wilderness his playground. This helped him nurture his passion on survival and self-reliance. It’s his personal mission to help other people understands and survive the wild. He also writes gear reviews for Wilderness Mastery.com