Going camping is an excellent way to spend quality time with the whole family! But bored kids can be a challenge, so whether you’re planning to stay in your own backyard and sleep under the stars in a sleeping bag or you’re planning a family camping trip, we’ve got 20 fun camping activities for kids that are sure to add a ton of fun to your next family vacation!
These 20 fun activities are a good way for kids of all ages to use their imaginations, enjoy the nature around them and ensure everyone has a great time.
We’ve listed some of our favorite camping activities for kids, which include fun ideas for young kids and older kids alike (and even adults!).
There are examples of educational camping activities, camping crafts for kids, lawn games, and other engaging ideas the entire family will love.
We’ve also included some old-time games too because they’re just so much fun!
Ready to find some great camp games? Here are 20 camping activities for kids you don’t want to miss!
20 Camping Activities For Kids
Get ready, because here are 20 great ideas for your next camping adventure!
Tug Of War
Tug of war is especially entertaining when you have a large group. It’s the perfect game for combining a bit of friendly competition with teamwork as well as using lots of energy to help your kids sleep at night!
All you need is a rope, a line in the dirt or sand, and a flag or bandana to tie around the middle of the rope. Then, split the participants into two groups, grab the rope, and PULL! The first team to pull the rope over the line wins.
If you really want to get messy and have some fun you can find a mud puddle and play tug of war on rainy days or just after the rain has stopped. The losing team will most definitely get wet and muddy, but it’s hilarious and if you wear your bathing suit on a hot day, you can just rinse off afterward 😉
Music Around The Campfire
Playing music or singing around the campfire is one of the best camping activities if you like music.
If you’ve got room to take a few musical instruments with you, then this can be a great activity to try.
It’s also the perfect way to calm things down and begin having quiet time later in the evening. It’s a lovely family activity before everyone settles down to sleep.
Need some song ideas? Here are a few you might want to add to your list!
Nature Scavenger Hunt
A nature scavenger hunt is one of the most fun camping activities for kids!
It can help them be immersed in nature while keeping them active on hikes without getting bored.
All you need is a checklist of things for them to find on or near the nature trail, and they have can check them off as you go along.
A scavenger hunt is a great opportunity to look for new things like animal tracks, different leaves, homes and habitats, and so much more.
This is a great activity to help you avoid the word ‘bored’ word, is fairly very simple to set up, and is sure to keep your kids engaged and asking interesting questions!
And, with some of the items found, they could make a fun craft or art projects later, use them for camping bingo, or come up with something on their own and use it for imaginative play.
That’s the fun thing about being outdoors- a pile of sticks could turn out to be craft supplies or the perfect homemade animal den.
The possibilities are only limited by their imagination!
Camping Bingo is a great camping game to get the kids thinking about what they can find in nature.
They make their own bingo grid and collectively choose what’s on theirs. They then have to go out and see if they can find those items in nature and tick them off. The rules of the same as traditional bingo.
The first to get a line on their board are the winners!
I spy is a traditional game and a good idea for keeping kids busy wherever you are.
To play, each person has a turn choosing an item from around them that people need to guess by only giving them the clue of the letter it starts with or what color it is, then others have to look around and take their best guess.
Whoever guesses correctly gets to choose the next item.
The best part is that you can make rules about being nature-based or camping-based if you want to make it activity-specific.
Board Games & Cards
Everyone in the family can enjoy a good board game or a round of cards.
If you’re sitting at the picnic table, around the campfire, or at your campsite and trying to think of a few camping activities for kids and adults alike, it’s probably the perfect time to break out the card games!
Not sure what to bring? Here are a few great campfire game ideas!
This can be a whole day activity if you have enough people and plenty of space.
You can include fun camping games such as the bean bag toss, bag race, velcro darts, relay races, water balloons, or any other activity you can think of!
Camping Olympics is a great active activity that brings some extra fun, with a bit of competition.
Roasting Marshmallows On The Campfire
If you ask my kids, it isn’t really camping if you don’t roast something over a campfire (especially marshmallows!)
Roasting marshmallows or making S’mores just makes having a campfire a little bit more fun.
Using a stick with marshmallows on the end over a fire makes them all warm and gooey.
It’s a camping favorite you can’t miss out on!
This is a great way to combine nature and camping. The children collect as many materials from nature around them as possible and make them into a piece of nature art.
To keep it eco-friendly, you just take a picture of their creation and then leave the items there.
Another fun idea is to bring a little paint (you can even stop at a dollar store if needed), collect rocks, wash them, then do some rock painting and leave a few around the campground for others to find.
Hide And Seek
Hide and seek is a classic game that never goes out of style!
And, when you’re camping there are so many new places to hide.
It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained and get them looking around their environment.
If you have older kids or a safe place for younger ones, consider bringing a few glow sticks and playing hide and seek in the dark.
It’s a fun spin on an old game, and I guarantee even the teenagers will have fun with this one!
Making A Campfire
Camping isn’t camping unless you’ve got a campfire.
Teaching your children how to make one can be both educational and fun.
It’s an excellent survival skill that not everyone knows how to do, and a great opportunity for you to teach your children how to be safe around fire.
If making a campfire doesn’t sound all that fun, consider making it a competition or adding different substances (safely!) to make colored flames!
After the fire is made you can sit around and tell campfire stories or ghost stories and enjoy one of the best parts of camping.
Need help making a campfire or keeping it going? Check out these campfire tips, tricks, and hacks!
Camping charades is where family members can get creative! You can bust out your acting skills with this game.
All you need is a piece of paper cut or torn into smaller pieces, a pencil to write, and great ideas. Just write those ideas on the pieces of paper, put them in a bowl and act out what’s written the best you can while everyone else on your team tries to guess.
The team with the most correct answers wins!
Want to make it a little more difficult? Act out only camping and outdoor-related themes.
There’s never a better time to get your children to look up at the night time sky and get them interested in the stars.
With less light pollution out in the country, you can get some great visuals of the constellations, and you can try and help your kids to identify them.
This is an easy way to incorporate fun STEM activities for those tweens/teens.
They will think it’s fun but they’re also learning, which is a great bonus!
You can’t go wrong with a traditional game of tag.
The kids can run around for ages chasing each other, and the best part is it’s a great way to tire them out!
This can be played very easily with just a skipping rope and people holding it on either side—a great game for camping that doesn’t require much equipment.
How low can you go?
Yes Or No
The yes or no game can be played anywhere, and is even great for car rides.
To play, one person has to think of something, and the others have to guess what it is by asking questions.
It’s kind of like I Spy, but you don’t have to see it in your immediate area necessarily.
The person who thought of something can only answer yes or no.
Those asking the questions usually only get ten guesses before they lose the game.
Whoever guesses correctly gets to choose the object the next time.
Jump ropes are a great, space-saving piece of equipment to take camping, and it’s always a great activity.
Kids can jump rope as an individual activity or with others. If you have a big enough skipping rope quite a few could get involved!
But jump ropes can also be used to play the limbo, tie legs together for a three-legged race, tie kayaks or tubes together to go floating on the river, or even play snake with little ones.
There are so many things you can do with a jump rope and they’re so lightweight, you might as well just throw one or two in with your camping supplies!
Back To Base
Playing back to base is very similar to hide and seek but with this game, everyone agrees on a safe place like a tree or a big rock, and you split the group into those that will hide and one finder.
The hiders have to hide while the finder counts to 100.
Then the finder has to go out looking for the hiders, and once they’ve found the hiders, they have a chance to get to the safe base before the finder catches them.
This is ‘hide and seek’ in reverse.
There are multiple finders and one hider. The finders go looking for the hider but once found, they hide with them.
The last person to find the group is the loser and has to hide first next time. It’s a great way to switch up a regular game of hide and seek and for kids to work on teamwork!
Your camping trip just won’t be as exciting if you don’t build a shelter. Shelter building is a great way to keep your kids active while getting their brains working to see how they can best do it.
It’s a great activity for their spatial awareness and fun at the same time.
As an added bonus- they’ll be working on another survival skill while finding a practical use for the things they find in nature.
This might not be for everyone, but there will definitely be some kids who love to learn about the nature that is around them.
By taking a couple of identification books, you can start teaching your kids the name of the trees and plants you see around you.
There is no better time to do this than when you’re immersed in nature and camping.
This is an activity that blends nature and educational camping activities perfectly.
Duck Duck Goose
Duck Duck Goose is perfect if you’re camping with younger ones.
All you have to do is sit in a circle with one person patting each person head saying duck duck duck, and then they can choose to say goose at any time.
When they pat the person’s head and say goose, they have to get up, chase, and catch that person before they get around the circle and sit in their place.
This game is so easy even the really little ones will want to join in, but older ones will have just as much fun!
Camping is an excellent way to spend quality time together and enjoy the outdoors. And with these fun camping activities for kids, you will be able to enjoy your trip and create memories that last a lifetime. Whether you play games, tell ghost stories around the campfire, or spend time stargazing, there are plenty of ways to make this summer unforgettable!