Are you looking for some fun and easy camping activities to keep the little ones entertained in the great outdoors? Luckily, it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to get your kids excited about a family camping getaway. Here are 12 fun and easy camping activities for kids – and grownups, too!
Build a Campfire
A campfire is a staple for many camping experiences. Always double-check to make sure they’re allowed where you’re camping – and build your fire responsibly.
Matches or lighter
If you don’t already know how to make a campfire, learn how here. Always make sure your fire has adult supervision, but it’s never to early to start teaching little ones how to build a proper fire (and the proper safety tips to go with it!)
Handy Tip: Consider bringing along some color-changing sand if you really want the fire to dazzle!
For many people, it just wouldn’t be a camping trip without toasting some marshmallows over a campfire.
Once you’ve got your fire going, all you need to do is skewer a marshmallow and toast it to your liking. Some people like a light golden crust, others prefer to light their marshmallows on fire and gobble up the charred remains. It’s up to you!
Handy Tip: Bring some barbecue skewers or be prepared to clean and sharpen some sticks yourself.
This classic camping activity is fun and delicious. The simple recipe for the “some more” has been around for over a hundred years. Back then, it was popular with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts but today, anyone can enjoy this tasty treat!
Squares of chocolate
Making the S’more itself is a simple process. Place a square of chocolate onto half of a graham cracker. Trap your toasted marshmallow between the chocolate and another graham cracker and voila – a perfect S’more sandwich.
Handy tip: Bring moist cleaning wipes to remove any sticky residue from little hands and faces. Just make sure to bring all your trash with you when you leave!
When the sun goes down, keep the kids entertained in the dark (and wear them out before bedtime).
Flashlights for each person
Make sure everyone knows the boundaries of the gameplay area and is aware of any obstacles. Pair up little ones with a buddy so nobody gets lost! Use your flashlights to “tag” each other and have a ball.
Handy Tip: Bring some extra batteries, just in case.
Scavenger Hunt Bingo
Put a new twist on a good old fashioned scavenger hunt with scavenger hunt bingo.
Crayon, marker, or pencil
The great thing about this game is that you can tailor it to suit your group and destination. Camping on the beach? Make some ocean-themed bingo cards. Headed for the woods? Try a nature scavenger hunt! This game is fun and educational, too.
Handy Tip: Prepare your cards ahead of time so they are ready to go for bingo time.
Tell Some Campfire Stories
Everyone loves a good story by the fire! Bring your ghost stories, folk tales, camp songs, and anything else you can think of! Telling stories around the campfire is a fun tradition that you can repeat every year.
Handy Tip: Fresh out of ideas?Consider bringing a storytelling jar filled with prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
Shadow Puppet Show
Once the sun goes down, the tent is the perfect place to host a shadow puppet show! One of the classic camping activities for kids, this simple idea is also handy for a rainy day outdoors.
Gather spectators inside the tent and distribute flashlights. Play with the angle of the flashlights on your hands to make your shadow puppet show come alive!
Handy Tip: Check out some tutorials for making different animal-shaped puppets with your hands.
Make an Outdoor Board Game
Try building your own board game! Use a stick in the dirt to draw the borders, add obstacles with things you find in nature, and let your imagination run wild. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.
Game pieces. Can be anything – rocks, sticks, bits and bobs from your pocket, whatever!
Dice or coin for taking turns
Handy Tip: Bring along some bean bags for impromptu DIY cornhole, or set up some sticks for a quick game of tic-tac-toe. If your kids are too young for games, consider building a fort or fairy garden instead.
For all of human history, people around the world gaze up at the stars every night. Once the sun sets, head outside the tent on a clear night to appreciate the beauty of the sparkling night sky. Ask your kids what constellations they can see, and what they think they might mean.
The night sky and your imagination
Handy Tip: Consider bringing a star chart to help identify some of the constellations in your area.
Glow in the Dark Bowling
This fun nighttime activity requires a little bit of planning ahead of time, but it’s perfect for a short camping trip – or for nighttime fun in the backyard.
6 – 10 Empty plastic 2-liter bottles
The setup for this game is easy. Simply fill the 2-liter bottles with water, drop in a few glow sticks, and you’re good to go!
Handy Tip: Make sure the ball is heavy enough to knock over your “pins”, but you can always empty some of the water if you need to make them lighter.
This simple game can provide hours of entertainment with only a few supplies.
Balloons (inflate just prior to use)
Use a pair of flyswatters to bounce a balloon back and forth. You can draw a line in the sand for the “net,” or just practice batting it back and forth. Whoever lets the balloon hit the ground is out!
Handy Tip: Try different variations of this game – a relay race, a competition to see who can keep their balloon in the air the longest, etc.
Old-Fashioned Foot Races
There are so many variations of this game that can entertain your kids for hours – and tucker them out for bedtime, too. Here are some basic race variations that you can adapt to suit the needs of your group.
Basic foot race – Sprint to the finish line!
Three-legged race. Grab a partner, tie your legs together with a bandana, and use teamwork to hobble to the finish.
Sack race. Use a potato sack or large pillowcase and hop your way to victory.
Egg and spoon race. Grab an egg, balance it atop your spoon, and shimmy across the finish line without breaking it!
Relay race. Set up a course around the campsite and pass that baton.
Crab or crawl race. Drop to all fours or walk backwards like a crab and see who can cross the finish line first.
No matter what you choose to do on your next family trip, consider giving one of these easy and fun camping activities for kids a try!