You don’t have to have pinterest worthy campground activities planned for your kids to have fun this summer.
From hiking and fishing to roasting marshmallows around the campfire, there’s something for everyone at the campground. Many campgrounds also offer organized activities for kids, such as nature walks, scavenger hunts, and arts and crafts.
These camping activities are a great way for kids to learn about the outdoors and make lasting memories with their families. So why not plan a camping trip this summer and experience all the fun and adventure that the great outdoors has to offer?
Are you looking for some fun and engaging activities to keep your kids entertained during your camping adventure? Here are some ideas that will help keep them busy and having fun!
Active Camping Games
Active games are perfect camping activities for younger kids who have a lot of energy to burn. Camping provides a great opportunity for kids to get outside and get moving. Here are some ideas for active games:
This classic game is always a hit with kids. It’s easy to play and can be adapted to fit any age group.
Just be sure to stay away from the fire pit and tripping hazards like tree roots or tent guy lines.
2. Capture the Flag
This game is a really great fun and way to get kids working together as a team. It’s also a fun way to get some exercise!
You form 2 teams and give each team a “flag” (this object does not have to be a flag). The goal is to get the opposing team’s flag back to your base without being tagged.
Throwing a ball or a frisbee is great fun for kids of all ages.
Just teaching your kids to play catch with a frisbee is usually hours of fun.
Camping Crafts and Creativity
Camping is a great time to get creative! Here are some great ideas for crafts and activities that will keep your kids busy:
If your campground has a paved road or trail, chalk is so much fun! You can draw flowers, animals, make roads for toy cars!
You can bring crayons and paper, or just draw in the dirt! Take turns drawing in the dirt and having everyone else guess what you’re drawing!
6. Build Forts
Tiny Critter loves building tiny houses for insects and any other camping critterz we might see. He can spend an hour stacking up sticks to make a mouse-sized log cabin.
7. Making Bracelets
You can get a friendship bracelet kit or a paracord bracelet kit. Both take up a small amount of room and provide hours of fun for your kids!
Camping provides a great opportunity for kids to learn about nature. Here are some ideas for nature-related camping activities:
8. Nature Rubbings
If you have paper and crayons or a pencil, you can create rubbings of leaves, bark and rocks! It’s a fun was to create memories you can bring home while following the Leave No Trace rules.
9. Scavenger Hunts
Create a list of items for your kids to find around the campsite. Completing a nature scavenger hunt a great way to get them exploring and learning about their surroundings.
10. Treasure Hunt
Bring a few small prizes to hide around the campsite and let your kids go find them. Hiding and finding things is a simple game that toddlers and preschoolers will love.
If you’re camping near a body of water, fishing is a great way to get older kids more interested in nature. Teach them about different types of fish and how to bait a hook.
12. Bug Collecting
Kids love bugs! Encourage them to explore and learn about the insects around the campsite.
Getting your kid a campground explorer kit is a great way to have them stay around the campsite while still having fun!
13. Nature Collection
Keep your kids busy by having them find 5 objects that start with the same letter, or 5 objects that are the same color.
Board and Card Games
We always have a travel board game or two with incase we end up with a rainy day.
14. Counting Campers
Counting Campers is one of our go-to games, it’s easy to play for kids of all ages.
No reading is required to play, and it teaches addition and subtraction!
15. Story Dice
We love story dice while we’re camping.
They’re easy to pack and your kids can play while you’re setting up the tent, cooking dinner, or driving to camp.
16. Card Games
A deck of cards is something we always pack as well, you never know when you’ll need to play a fun card game when camping.
Campfires are a classic camping activity that everyone loves, especially kids. There’s something special about gathering around the fire, roasting marshmallows, and telling stories.
17. Campfire Stories
There are many classic campfire stories that kids love, like “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” or “The Hook.” You can also make up your own stories or ask your kids to tell their own.
18. Sing Campfire Songs
Singing songs around the campfire is a great way to create a fun and memorable experience.
In addition to stories and songs, there are also fun games and skits that you can do around the campfire.
You can make up your own story or use a classic tale like “Little Red Riding Hood.”
Telephone is a hilarious game that you can play around the campfire. One person whispers a short phrase to the person next to them, and that person passes it on from there.
It’s hilarious to see how the phrase “The eagle flaps at midnight” turns into “Eager bats and magpies”.
Night games are one of my favorite camping activities for kids. Get them to burn off some energy before bed time is a great idea.
21. Flashlight Tag
Make sure everyone has a flashlight or headlamp and play flashlight tag. Whoever is “It” has their light on, and everyone else tries to sneak around without getting tagged by the flashlight beam.
You don’t need a specific game to play with glow sticks, they can turn any normal activity into a fun activity.
Play soccer with glow sticks on your shoes and a light up ball!
One of the best things about camping is the opportunity to spend quality time on your family camping trip. There are a lot of fun activities that promote family bonding!
Take a family hike and explore the great outdoors together. You can make it even more exciting by turning it into a scavenger hunt for bugs or creating a nature collage or painting.
We also take turns as a family narrating the hike as if we’re in a nature documentary. It’s fun to see what parts of nature other members of your family think are cool to look at.
At night, stargazing is a great way to bond with your family while enjoying the beauty of the night sky.
We have a telescope that we bring and seeing the moon up close is amazing. I highly recommend it for your next family camping trip.
25. Group Activities
Group activities are a great way to create memories and strengthen family bonds. You can plan a family talent show or do something simple like cook dinner as a team.
Planning Your Next Trip
Planning a camping trip with kids can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Letting your kids help plan the next trip is a great way to teach kids about planning ahead.
26. Picking a Campground
When choosing a campground, consider the age and interests of your children. Some campgrounds offer amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, and organized activities. Others may be more rustic and secluded.
Do some research online or ask for recommendations from friends and family who have camped with kids. Once you have a list of acceptable campgrounds, let your kids pick between them.
If letting your child pick the campground isn’t possible, get them involved with picking the campsite.
27. Gear and Supplies
Make a list of all the gear and supplies you will need for your next adventure. Then involve your kids when you start packing.
My son loves being sent on “secret missions” to find his headlamp or grab his sleeping bag to get packed. Younger kids can be in charge of crossing off items on the list, or have them make their own list on a separate piece of paper.
28. Camping Meals
Let your kids choose as much of the meals as possible. I don’t mean give them 100% control of the menu, but let them choose the 2 dinners you’ll be having from 4 acceptable choices.
Kids love choices, and they’ll be more likely to eat if they helped pick out the food.
It doesn’t seem like chores would make great camping activities, but you need something to keep younger kids busy while you set up the campsite.
29. Collect Firewood
If it’s allowed where you’re camping, have your kids explore within a designated area and collect firewood. It’s nice to have a head start on having some nice tinder and kindling.
Having your kids explore your camp site is a great way to keep them busy for a minute.
30. Set Out Camp Gear
If we need our son to be occupied while we were setting up the tent, we’d have him put a stake at each corner of the tent and all of the stake loops on the sides.
You can also have a young child set the picnic table while you’re cooking or have your kids unpack their sleeping bags and stuffed animals while you’re inflating air mattresses.
31. Wash Dishes
Getting everyone involved in clean up isn’t the most fun, but we try to share chores so one adult isn’t left out of the fun while cleaning up.
Washing dishes is also a good way to get your child part of a bath by at least washing their hands.
Camping with kids can be an amazing experience for the whole family. There are plenty of activities to keep children entertained and engaged with nature. From hiking to fishing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
So pack up your gear, hit the road, and make some unforgettable memories with your family!
I’m Molly Foss, aka Momma Critter. I’ve been camping since I was 9 years old and I always wanted to be Robin Hood and live in the forest when I grew up. I’m excited to share my love of camping with my son as he grows up. My favorite thing to do while camping is roast marshmallows over the fire.