Fun Camping Activities for Families
May 28th, 2013 posted by Leah Blomberg
The camping season is upon us and families everywhere will be packing up their cars, tents, travel trailers and RVs and heading out for some good old fashioned family fun. Camping is a great way to “get away from it all”, spend time with the family, and enjoy the outdoors. Here are some fun camping activities that you and your family can do together.
Ready, Set, Go!
Just setting up the camp site is a family affair. Everyone can pitch in to set up and have fun while doing it. Older kids can help pitch the tent, younger kids will enjoy picking up stones and sticks, setting up chairs, and setting out the supplies. There are plenty of products on the market these days to help make your camping trip a success. From lanterns to organizers and everything in between, check out some of these tips before you pack up for the weekend. You might want to try putting together a checklist so you don’t forget anything, or use this free printable checklist instead.
This works great if you are on a hiking trail or just around the camp site. You can write some clues down on index cards or pieces of paper then have your kids search for the items. Another fun alternative is to hunt only for certain colors. Toddler Approved has some great Scavenger Hunt Cards that you can print off and take with you. She also has some great ideas how to play!
Tell Stories Around the Camp Fire
Create a fun story by taking turns; one person starts the story, the next few people thicken the plot, and the last person gives it an ending. Or, if you prefer, you can go around the circle telling short stories to each other. By telling stories, kids can work on cause and effect, logical thinking, problem solving skills, and social skills, all while having fun.
Don’t forget to pack some paint and paint brushes! Rock painting is a fun activity that adults and kids will enjoy, plus they also make for great souvenirs. These decorative rocks will bring your camp site some style and add a personal touch. Bring along some colored paint for decoration, or paint with Glow in the Dark paint to light up the area. The kids over at Twin Dragonfly Designs really enjoyed their rock painting activity!
Take your family down by the water and observe the insects and animals. You can also bring along a bucket and a net to fish around for any small fish or animals in the water. Remember, don’t keep anything you don’t intend to eat! Return animals to their natural habitat after you’ve made your observations. If you have a nature guide, you can identify your findings. You can make your own following our instructions for this travel journal. You can also play “discovery zone” where nature is the main event. Learn how to set up and play along whether you are camping or setting up a backyard discovery zone at home.
Glow in the Dark
Pack up some glow sticks for your camping trip. Glow sticks are an inexpensive and fun way to light up the night! Use the necklaces to make a game of ring toss, use them as a night light, or have a glow party. Poor some water in a jar, add a glow stick, and screw the lid on them to use as lanterns, or pour into a bubble solution for some bubble fun.
Night Walk or Nature Hike
Grab your flashlights or your glow sticks and go for a walk in the night. Have your family listen to what is around them and have them identify what they hear. Please be sure to observe any campground rules and ask about any of the areas wildlife before heading out. Daytime nature walks are always fun, and focusing in on the plant and animal life is a great activity for all family members. Making it a game of “I Spy” adds a fun twist to an otherwise quiet walk. Before heading out, be sure to check out our tips on taking the kids on a hike.
Games to Play
Whether you buy games for your camping trip or make them yourself, some are easier than you might think. A frisbee or a football can provide hours of fun and takes up almost no space in the tent. Other games include croquet, ring toss, horseshoes, and bean bag toss. Not sure what to bring? Try our ideas for 5 outdoor games you can make yourself. Don’t forget about the good old fashioned game of tag! We have 16 different ways to play tag, including night time games.
Camping has become an American pastime that brings families together and gets them unplugged, at least for a little while! Whether it’s a simple camp site with a tent or a fully loaded RV, camping is a great way to get back to nature and enjoy some family togetherness.
Not sure if you’re going camping at all but would love to enjoy some fun in the backyard? Learn how to build your own tent - perfect for a backyard campout!