Believe it or not, a lot of people are worried their kids will get bored while camping! Especially if they don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. I’m here to tell you the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim.
BUT just in case you do have some extra downtime, these simple camping games for kids will keep them happily occupied and off of their electronics! You’ll also find camping activities for kids below!
How do I know kids can find something to occupy themselves while camping? We’ve driven over 20,000 MILES camping all the way! YES 20,000! Crazy right!!! My older kids may play on a phone or tablet late at night when it’s dark and my youngest is going to bed, but then we tend to shift over to the campfire unless the weather is bad. Mystical Fire OR s’mores are both loads of fun to do!
*Note – make sure that you use your mystical fire AFTER you’re done eating! You do not want to roast marshmallows over burning chemicals!
Below is a growing list of camping games and activities! Some are games you make while you’re out using the resources around you, some are printable camping games or games you can buy before you guy that won’t take up much room.
Camping Games & Activities for Kids:
Tic Tac Toe
Tic tac toe is the perfect camping game for kids! It’s EASY to set up for any age and you can easily find resources all around you! Gather items like sticks, pine cones, rocks, acorns, pine needles, etc. You can even use chalk if you brought some to draw a tic tac toe outline onto the cement camping pad!
Knock the Cans or Stack the Cups or Bowling
If you’re camping for several days, chances are you’ll end up collecting some empty tin cans from your soup, beans, fruit, vegetables and other food items you’ve used for dinner. Simple wash the cans out so that you can’t attract ants (or bears!) and stack them up on the table or on a log and use it as a target!
You can also use tin cans (or plastic cups!) to have stacking contests. See who can build the tallest tower!
Or simply just set the cans out and set up a bowling game!
Paper Plate Toss or Frisbee
Throw a frisbee in your trunk or strip it down to a true camping game and grab some paper plates to throw! Play paper plate toss with a cheap white paper plate instead of a frisbee in a quick pinch! You can toss them to each other and try to catch them, or toss them and try to hit a target like a tree!
Sticks & Rings
Hide & Seek
Hide and seek doesn’t have to just be people hiding! After all you probably don’t want to lose sight of your kids at the campgrounds or in the woods! You can hide and side a ball, a cup, an empty water bottle, or anything that kids can hide behind trees or bury under pine needles!
Cards are SO incredibly easy to bring with you while camping because they practically take up no space at all! In fact you can bring all your favorites from Uno, Dutch Blitz, Go Fish, Old Maid or simply just play with a regular deck!
Around the Campfire Games
Sitting around the campfire there are plenty of things you can do! From just sitting and talking or roasting s’mores to playing games quietly under the moonlight! Here are some fun idea for you to pass your evening:
- Two Truths and a Lie
- 20 Questions
- Truth or Dare
- Mafia or Werewolf (6+ players)
- Make Me Laugh
Jump Rope, Chalk, & Hopscotch
Bring back the classic playground games that we grew up with! Jump rope can be used in both grassy fields and on cement! Chalk can easily be thrown into a ziploc bag and stuffed under the seats in the car so the kids can decorate pretty much anywhere since it will be washed off in the next rain.
You can even make your own hopscotch game! Instead of using cement blocks, cut small foam mats up and paint numbers on them! Then just bring your little stack of foam pieces with you when you head out to camp next!
Scavenger hunts are by far one of the simplest ways you can re-direct your kid’s attention! Whether you pre-plan and print off various scavenger hunts online, or whether you are searching for very specific things (like flowers, birds, bugs, etc.) – there is no limit to what you can do scavenger hunts for!
Here are some ideas for scavenger hunts while camping:
- Collect items that make the color of the rainbow.
- Look for 5 different types of birds.
- Find 5 different types of bugs.
- Print this nature scavenger hunt.
Create a Nature Journal
This pairs great with the scavenger hunts above! A nature journal is a tangible way to get kids to not only spend hours searching for things, but also getting kids to touch nature and really be engaged in their surroundings. They’ll be able to take these treasures and memories home with them and enjoy them for many years to come.
Here’s a cool example of an Edible Nature Journal that was made.
New to camping? Check out our tent camping with kids or RV camping with kids articles.
Flower pressing is an easy hobby that can allow you to preserve the beautiful plants you encounter during your travels! Remember to always harvest sustainably of course! You can press your flowers between books or actually buy a flower pressing set up. Laminate them to use as bookmarks, place them in a frame, or keep in a smash journal!
Outdoor Games to Buy
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