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We Found the Best Toys to Take Camping With Kids

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I see this question a lot in the camping groups I’m part of: “Do we need toys for camping?”

My opinion is yes, and no. The appeal of camping for us is to get outside and away from screens, rules and structure. So we don’t always pack games that are super involved.

We think the best camping toys are those that encourage pretend play and get kids excited for an outdoor adventure. So for toddlers, that can mean a stick or a rock. For older kids and teens you might have to pack a few things to bring with.

We avoid bringing all the toys and try to stick to just a few camping toys for our son.

Best Toys to Take Camping

When we’re looking for toys to take camping we’re looking for something that will still get us outside and moving or something that is small and packable for a rainy day inside the tent.

Top 3 Outside Toys for Kids

Walkie Talkies

Tiny Critter loves these walkie talkies. We use our set to stay connected while mushroom hunting, or on hikes, and used them to play hide and seek in a cabin.

Walkie Talkies
$49.98
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They can be used as a make-shift baby monitor, or just a nice way to stay in contact with your older kids who you may be allowing a bit of freedom to.

We also tested their range across a lake, and the boat got easily 100 yards away before we lost contact. These are also an awesome toy for running around in the backyard as well!

Foam Airplane

You can get foam airplanes for pretty cheap at most grocery stores, they’re good camping toys for kids of any age.

4 Pack Foam Airplanes
$19.99
  • 2 Flight modes - Glider mode and reversal mode. Switch the tail position to change the mode!
  • Easy assembly - Pieces easily fit together so you'll be flying in no time!
  • All ages - The whole family can enjoy them!


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Foam airplanes are cheap, pack small and can be used in a relatively small area. Momma Critter used one when camping a few times, if you get a bigger one you can even make it do loops!

We also flew ours out over the water and if I didn’t make a perfect loop, the pieces float for easy retrieval! They make great gifts for any occasion!

Play Ball

There are a ton of games you can play with a ball, from actual sports games with rules to just a game of catch with the whole family!

Bouncy Balls
$9.99
  • Made of PVC
  • Sturdy and waterproof
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The last time we went camping Tiny Critter and his older cousin played games with a ball for most of the trip.

Top 3 Toys for Inside a Tent

Occasionally you might need things to do while inside the tent. Whether it’s because it’s snowing out or because it’s naptime, these toys are great for inside the tent.

Story Dice

Story dice are the perfect indoor activity for a rainy day or just before bed time. Instead of reading a story, you roll the dice and make up your own story to go with the pictures.

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Coghlan's Fireside Story Dice
$21.94



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We all love playing this game before bed time, it’s a nice way to wind down the day in a fun way.

Our son is becoming very musical, and he has a lot of fun making up his own camping songs using the story dice as well!

Glow Sticks

Everyone loves glow sticks! If you’re stuck inside the tent or need a small night-light for a young kid who might be a little scared of the dark, this is your answer.

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8″ Glow Sticks 100pk
$19.95 $9.99
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With young kids playing hide and seek with the glow stick is an amazing night game. For older kids wearing them as bracelets and having a dance party is great fun!

Stuffed Animals

Tiny Critter’s favorite toys are stuffed animals and he loves bringing them on every camping trip.

Forest Animals Toy Set
$29.99
  • Includes 4 Talking Soft and Fluffy Plush Forest Animals
  • A Plush Tree Shaped Carrier
  • Great Gift for Baby and Toddler
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He plays all kinds of imaginative games with them and we pretend the animals have their own journey while we’re off hiking or exploring.

He says his favorite part of the camping experience is tucking into his sleeping bag at night with all of his chosen animals.

Outside Toys

Most of the fun of camping comes from being outside! These outdoor camping toys are perfect to bring with.

Bikes/scooters

As long as you’re not backcountry camping, there will be a place for your kids to ride a bike or a scooter. Tiny Critter has ridden his Strider bike on hiking trails and around the campsite loops and had a blast.

Strider Balance Bike
$109.99
  • No-Pedal Balance Bike
  • Ages 18 Months to 3 Years. If they can walk they can ride!


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Child on Strider Bike on hiking trail

Strider Bikes and scooters are great for toddlers and older kids will love riding their bikes around the campsite to burn off some energy.

Explorer Kits

Let’s face it, if you put a kid outside, they’re likely to start exploring nature and catching bugs. We’ve found it’s best to be prepared with some gear that will allow your child to have the most fun and do the least damage to the insects.

Outdoor Explorer Kit
$31.99 $26.99


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Bug net sets are a good way to let your little kids observe nature in a safe way, both for them and the bugs. A magnifying glass is also a good way to get a closer look at tiny bugs without getting too close!

Flashlights

A great camping toy for after dark is a standard flashlight or headlamp. The possibilities are endless on the flashlight games you can play. Flashlight tag is a standard at all campsites.

BLITZU LED Headlamps
$12.79 $9.97
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If you’re going to be playing outdoor games, having a headlamp for each camper is a must. Your kids will be excited to have a piece of their own camping gear to play with each night.

Lawn Games

The nice thing about camping is your campsite gives you a lot of room to play fun lawn games with your family!

Ladder golf

Ladder golf is a great portable game to bring on your next camping trip. Campers of all ages can play, and you can pack it down for easy storage and transport.

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Ladder Golf
$69.99
  • 2 Durable finished wood frames have easy setup for sturdy game play and easy take down.
  • 6 Golf ball bolas with anti-tangling ropes provide the perfect toss every time.
  • Built-in scorekeeper in the wood frames.
  • High strength canvas carrying case for easy storage and transport.


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Set up your targets and take turns throwing the golf balls on strings towards your goal. We play this often while camping, it’s a great activity to keep kids occupied at the campsite.

Beanbags

Beanbags, or cornhole as it’s called in our part of the country is a campground staple. It’s a regular part of the camping gear for many people I know.

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Collapsible Portable Cornhole Game
$33.99 $25.99
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People even have big tournaments during their family camping trips and hand out fun medals to the winners!

This set is a cornhole game specifically made for kids. The boards have 5 holes to make it easier to score. There is also a tic-tac-toe board on the back!

Stomp Rockets

We often bring stomp rockets as a camping toy for Tiny Critter. It’s a fun way to pass some time by seeing who can shoot a rocket the highest, the furthest or land it in a specific spot.

Stomp Air Rockets
$24.99


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We’ve even used the stomp rockets as a winter activity on a frozen lake while ice fishing!

Camping Board Games

It’s nice to have a board game or two along to take a break during the heat of the day or to wind down in the evening.

Counting Campers

This is a super cute game that teaches counting and math to kids. The goal is to get your camper to their campsite the fastest by drawing cards and either going backwards or forwards on your path.

When we played this game I thought it was a perfect game to teach our son to stick with a game even if you draw a card that makes you go backwards.

It was awesome to watch him go from running out of the room if he was losing to now playing to the very end because anyone can win!

Memory

This is a simple enough game for everyone to join in! It’s a classic match the pairs of camping items game and can be played over and over!

Camping Memory Game
$24.95 $15.87
  • Kids matching memory game set.
  • Includes 16 matching card pairs, 3 inches in diameter.
  • Kids will love the fun summer camp theme that features vibrant, colorful and artist-commissioned artwork, highlighted by polished double-sided gloss printing.
  • Made of durable 3mm chipboard, enclosed in a reinforced packaging box to protect the cards when not in use.
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Nut Nut Squirrel

This is such a cute game for anyone 4 years and older to play.

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Nut Nut Squirrel!
$12.99
  • Fun Card Game for Kids & Families.
  • Outsmart Your Opponents and Keep Those Squirrels from Stealing Your Stash
  • 2-6 Players | Ages 4+ | 3 Levels of Play
  • Mom's Choice Award
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Trekking the National Parks

This awesome National Park themes game has won several awards and is very popular with campers.

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Trekking The National Parks
$49.95
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Trekking the National Parks is also a great couple’s game, while you’re playing you can relive prior trips and plan your next adventure!

Water Toys for Camping

When you’re camping in hot weather, it’s a good idea to have some activities planned to help everyone cool off. Water toys are a great way to make camping fun even when it’s getting hot out!

Grab your towels and lifejackets and head down to the beach, or make your own water fun in your own campsite!

Squirt Guns

Squirt guns are an awesome way to cool down on hot days. Tiny Critter loves running around with these water guns squirting everyone and every thing.

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Squirt Guns
$19.99



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Get a squirt gun for everyone in the family and have an awesome time laughing and staying cool on your camping adventure!

Reusable Water Balloons

Reusable water balloons are quickly becoming a cool thing to have. No one wants to spend their camping trip teaching their kids good camping etiquette by picking up hundreds of balloon shreds after a fun water fight.

Reusable Water Balloons
$35.99 $32.99
  • Latest upgraded magnetic technology and extremely durable high-quality silicone will last for years of summer fun enjoyment.
  • NO clean up, no need to pick up tons of tiny balloon pieces.
  • Mesh storage bag
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We love these reusable water balloons because there is no waste left over like with normal water balloons and once you buy them you’ll always have them.

These awesome reusable water balloons stay with our camping gear for a quick way to cool down on a hot day. We love using ours because it’s so easy for Tiny Critter to do, and there is no limit to the water balloon fun or arguments about who got more balloons to start with!

All you need to fill them is a bucket of water. If you’re in a lake or pool you can keep filling and throwing all day!

Camping Toys for Toddlers

Toddlers are a special category all their own, aren’t they? Too old for baby toys, but they lack the fine motor skills that so many games for bigger kids require.

As long as you pack a few camping toys for toddlers, you should be good to go. A lot of toddlers love outdoor play and can be entertained for a long time by the simplest things.

Having a camping toy just for your toddler to play with while you set up the camp site or start the campfire is also a great idea.

Sand Toys

If you’re camping in an area with sand or dirt, then sand toys are a must-have. Our son always found something to scoop up and put in a bucket, dirt, rocks, pinecones, acorns, the list is endless.

Kids Sand Toys
$23.99

Waterproof carrying beach bag net, a sand truck, sand castle bucket, beach shovel, rake, and 6 sand castle molds!

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Good outdoor toys for toddlers don’t have to be super involved and need batteries. They just need to provide them a way to manipulate their environment.

Brink a bucket and shovel set, it will quickly become one of your favorite toddler toys.

Cars/Trucks

Cars and trucks to drive around in the dirt are another awesome camping toy. Toddlers love driving cars around and the added fun of sticks, rocks and dirt to drive in will keep them entertained for hours!

Mini Monster Trucks
$8.29
  • Tiny hands friendly: easy to grab and drive around.
  • Indoor/outdoor fun: drive them around the living room or around the sandbox!
  • Textured wheels: create beautiful designs in the sand as you drive around the mini truck!
  • Storage bag: grab the handle and you're ready to go. Perfect beach toys for your next camping trip!
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Sports Gear for Camping

Some of the best camping toys are the toys that are good for all ages! Bringing a few activities to burn off extra energy is also a great idea to help kids settle down for sleep easier!

Kick ball

We have this ball and it’s not only a great playground or backyard ball, it’s always easy to find when it gets kicked into the underbrush or rolls into the woods.

A kick ball can be used for so many camping games, soccer, 4 square, catch, kick ball, ect. Your kids will find a million and one uses for a ball during the down time on your camping trip.

Frisbees

Playing a game of catch on a sunny day is an awesome way to spend a few hours. We prefer the fabric discs as they’re easier for our son to catch.

Mini Beamo 16" Flying Hoop
$12.99
  • The hoop's soft foam ring and spandex sleeve is both safe to use and durable, designed to stand up under hours of intense play.
  • The Beamo Flying Hoop helps develop hand-eye coordination and keeps kids on the move.


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A lot of campgrounds have frisbee golf courses too, so if you bring a few discs you can go play a round after lunch!

Pretend Camping Sets

Toy camping sets are an inexpensive way to get kids excited about camping trips, while also teaching them about the great outdoors. Kids learn by playing, so playing with toy camping sets is the BEST way to learn!

You can practice fire safety with a pretend fire, learn about the camp stove or what sleeping in a tent is like without leaving your living room. Tiny Critter still loves setting up his tents in the house and creating his own campsite as often as possible.

Kids Camping Tent Set

This set comes with all sorts of accessories, including a tent, lantern, and even a sleeping bag.

Kids Camping Tent Set
$35.99 $28.99

This fun camping set includes everything you need for a pretend adventure!

  • Pop-up play tent, hat and binoculars.
  • Food, silverware, camp stove, and kitchen gear.
  • Survival gear: Whistle, flashlight, compass, lantern, shovel, and watch!
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It’s perfect for letting kids experience the excitement of camping without having to leave the comfort of home.

Little Tikes Forest Friends Tent

This super cute tent comes with a projector that casts fireflies everywhere!

Little Tikes Forest Friends Tent & Firefly Projector

A hoot-tastic time, pretend play is endless with the included exploring map, bug magnifying glass and firefly projector! Pop n play tent, ready in minutes. 

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Your kid will have a great time playing in this tent and pretending to catch fireflies!

KidKraft A-Frame Hideaway & Climber

This awesome outdoor climbing set is perfect for backyard fun!

This wooden a-frame climber has fabric openings in the front and back for ease of access. The sides have rock wall climbers with a bell to ring at the top, just like a real rock wall!

KidKraft Wondervan

KidKraft Wondervan
  • Reusable themed magnets help turn the Wondervan into multiple play themes
  •  The Wondervan transforms into an RV camper van, research center, or an ice cream truck!
  • 100 accessories included: 50 magnets, easel paper roll, 2 paint cups, play food and dinnerware.


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Melissa & Doug Let’s Explore Camp Stove

Melissa & Doug Camp Stove Play Set
  • 24-piece pretend play wooden camp stove with cookware and utensils to prepare and serve play food outdoor meals
  • Wooden camp stove has knobs that turn, reversible grill and griddle, burner with adjustable “flame”; all pieces store inside
  • Includes sliceable wooden fish, double-sided felt food, felt egg in a plastic egg shell, durable kettle, 2 cups with drink inserts, 2 plates, 2 sporks, collectible medallion, reusable activity book
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Fisher – Price S’more Fun Campfire

Tiny Critter has this set and he loves pretend camping with it. We roast pretend smores and set up tents in our house as often as possible.

He loves this soft campfire set and always makes sure to put on the bear gloves before moving the pretend fire.

Fisher-Price S'more Fun Campfire
$32.99 $14.46

Fisher-Price S'more Fun Campfire,

  • 18-Piece Pretend Playset
  • Durable felt and velcro construction
  •  Firepit, felt flames, sticks, axe and S'mores gear!
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You and your kids will love these toy sets!

Happy Camping!

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