Ever struggled to keep your kids entertained while on a camping trip? Even with the new environment and new things to see and explore, kids can be hard to entertain. When it’s raining, late at night, or when you just don’t want your kids running around outside, you need to have camping games that will keep them entertained and happy. And we’re here to help out.
Next time you’re on a trip, why not plan to include some of these camping activities for kids and see how much fun you can all have together.
1. Scavenger Hunt
This is one of the oldest camping activities for kids, but it’s still around for a reason. It’s easy to set up and is suitable for everyone but the smallest member of your family. You won’t need much to play, just a good imagination and some observation skills.
To play the game, decide what your children have to find and give them a list or verbal instructions. Obviously, make sure that all the items on the list can be found around your campsite.
Your family can play individually or in pairs to make it even more fun. You can pair an adult with each child or an older child with a younger one for some extra supervision. Just make sure that you make it difficult enough to be challenging for everyone!
2. Duck, Duck, Goose
This game is great for kids of all ages. Sit your kids in a circle and appoint one of them as ‘it’. They walk around the circle tapping the other children on the head and saying “Duck, Duck, Duck…” When the ‘it’ person says “Goose” they have to run around the circle while the person they designated the ‘Goose’ has to get up and catch them. If the ‘it’ child drops into the open space into the circle after completing a circuit without getting caught, the person still standing is still ‘it’.
This is one of those camping games for kids that’s probably better with older kids who are all around the same age. Any big differences in age will make the game too unfair and too hard for the younger children to win.
3. Noah’s Ark
If you’re looking for games to play in a caravan on a rainy day or on a long car trip, then try Noah’s Ark. It’s basically a memory game.
To play, the first person says, “I’m going on Noah’s Ark and I’m taking….”. The goal is to start with animals starting with A. The second person repeats the chant and what the first player says and adds a B animal. Then you keep going around the circle until someone can’t remember what the other players said. That person is then out, and the game continues until there’s only one person left.
This game can be played in lots of varieties and it’s great for exercising your memory and your alphabet skills.
4. Obstacle Course
This is a really active game and can be adapted to whatever age your children are. It also burns lots of energy, so will encourage your kids to sleep well at the end of the day. All you have to do is set up an obstacle course with objects that you find around your campsite!
Here are some of the obstacles you could set for your course:
- Do 10 push ups
- Crawl under a picnic table
- Do 5 jumping jacks
- Jump over a bucket
- Hop on one foot between two objects
Get your children to race over the course or do it one at a time and record how long they take. If you have competitive kids, they’ll love the challenge of beating their siblings and maybe even you.
5. Ring Toss
This is one of the oldest camping games around and all you’ll need is some rings and a stick or bottle to use as a target. You could even buy glow in the dark rings and play at night for a pretty display that kids and adults will love.
If you’re looking for camping activities for kids who are really young, then change the rings to rocks and give them a bucket to aim for. It will keep even the most restless toddler occupied for a long time!
6. Squirt Gun Races
This game is best played on hot summer days, but if you’re camping in Australia that shouldn’t be a problem. And your kids will love the chance to use their squirt guns and get a little damp in the process.
Set up some plastic drinking cups on the edge of a picnic table and fill your squirt guns with water. When someone shouts go, everyone squirts the cups and tries to make them fall off the table. The winner is the person who knocks off the most cups. Or you could play one person at a time and see who can knock off all the cups the fastest.
7. Flashlight Tag
Tag is an age-old game that kids never get sick of. Make it even more fun by encouraging them to play at night, with flashlights. This form of tag is more like hide and seek, just make sure that they don’t go far from your campsite.
8. Sleeping Bag Races
Your kids will love having sleeping bag races. This is one of the camping games that’s best played with slightly older children who are a bit taller and stronger. Just line them up in their sleeping bags and let them jump their way to the finish line.
9. Board or Card Games
This is a rather obvious one, but it has to be said. If your family has a favourite board or card game, then bring it along and let them play while you’re camping. These are great games to play in a caravan and mean you don’t have to try to think up any imaginative activity ideas, just pull the game out and play.
10. Glow in the Dark Bowling
All you need for this game is 12 water bottles with glow sticks inside them and a ball of some kind. Set them up and watch your kids try to knock them down. This game is great for kids of all ages because you can adjust the length of the ‘bowling lane’ to suit your children’s strength.
This is a game that’s fun for adults as well as kids and has recently taken the world by storm. Hide a treasure somewhere near your campsite and register the position on a site like GeoCashing.com. Then give them a device to find the coordinates, a map, and some clues.
This game is even better if it’s played in teams that have to race to find the treasure. So, if you don’t have enough children of your own to make at least two teams, then why not ask around your campsite to see if there are any other bored families who want to play?
Actually, you can pretty much play any ball game when you’re camping. Play one on one with your child for a little extra bonding time or separate into teams if you have older children and watch everyone’s competitive spirit go!
13. Camping Olympics
Why not make a day of your camping games? Setting up a schedule of games and events can fill an entire day and you can customise it to your children’s age and preferences. Make sure that you plan ahead for your family Olympic Games, as you’ll probably need different equipment depending on what events are included.
Some event suggestions are:
- Tug of war
- Potato sack race
- Running races
- Paper plane making and throwing
- Obstacle courses
14. Scavenger Bingo
This is a combination of two very old games. Give your kids a printed bingo card with items they can find around your campsite. They have to find them, mark them off, and then shout bingo when their card is completed.
This game is usually better for older children, but the younger members of your family can play too if someone is willing to help them out.
15. Capture the Flag
This camping game for kids can be incredibly fun, but it’s also a little rough, so it’s usually better played with older kids and teenagers. You’ll need to supervise them closely to make sure that no one gets lost, but nothing beats the fun of trying to outwit another team and capture their flag.
16. I Spy
A lot of camping activities for kids require some equipment, but this is a very basic game and all you’ll need is your eyes. It can also keep your kids occupied for hours, which is why it’s a classic on long trips.
To play I Spy, the player who is it chooses an item they can see and gives a clue, “I spy with my little eyes, something….” They then offer a clue like the colour of the item or the starting letter. The other players have to guess what they’re looking at, and whoever gets it right has to choose the next item.
17. Balloon Ping Pong
To play this game, set up your ping pong table across a picnic table and give your children bats or even paper plates to hit the balloon with. Don’t worry too much about the rules with this game, as balloons tend to go where they want. This is half the fun, after all. Instead, just sit back and enjoy the hilarity!
18. 20 Questions
This is another game that can be played indoors or outdoors and it’s a lot of fun! To make it a little harder, you can always put rules in place to keep the answers themed, stretching their minds and their imaginations. Making the game camping-themed is a great place to start!
If you’re travelling with your family, then your caravan will feel cramped sometimes no matter how big and luxurious it is. That’s why you need to know some good camping games. They’ll help to keep your kids occupied and happy no matter the weather or time of day and make for a much more pleasant trip for you as well.