Family Camping Activities

The absolute number one thing I like to do with my family is go camping! We have six children, and the memories I have of our family camping activities are the best. Our youngest son has been going camping since he was only two weeks old. There are 14 years between our oldest and youngest child, so we have plenty of experience with family camping activities across a wide age range. Check out all of these fun games and activities to entertain your family!

Fun Family Camping Games

A family camping trip is a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones while enjoying the great outdoors. One of the best ways to make your next camping trip memorable is to engage in fun family camping games. Here are some great ideas for outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy:

  • Nature Scavenger Hunt: A treasure hunt in the natural surroundings is a great activity for kids of all ages. Prepare a list of things to find, such as different animals, plants, or rocks. The first person or team to find all items on the list wins.
  • Glow Stick Ring Toss: A fun game to play after the sun goes down, place glow sticks around water bottles and have family members take turns trying to toss the glow sticks around the bottles.
  • Flashlight Tag: A classic game that’s perfect for camping, one person is “it” and tries to tag other family members using a flashlight beam.
  • Relay Races: Set up a finish line and have family members form teams to race in different relay races, such as a sleeping bag race or a water bottle relay.
  • Cornhole: Bring along bean bags or hacky sacks and cornhole boards for a fun and easy game that everyone can enjoy.
  • Any Card Game: Cards are a MUST HAVE in our family on any camping trip. Read about my five favorite card games
    • Camping Would You Rather – check out these questions or create your own.

    How Do You Entertain Kids While Camping?

    Entertaining younger kids while camping can be a challenge, but there are plenty of fun activities to keep them engaged and having a great time. Here are some ideas:

    • I Spy: A simple and easy game for little kids, have them take turns saying “I spy with my little eye” and then giving a clue about something they see in their surroundings. The first player to guess correctly gets to be the next person to “spy” something.
    • Alphabet Game: Have the kids find objects in nature that start with each letter of the alphabet. For an extra challenge, set a time limit for completing the game.
    • Storytime: Bring along favorite books or make up stories based on your camping experiences. This is a great activity for winding down before bedtime.
    • Nature Art: Give the kids a piece of paper and have them create artwork using natural materials found around the campsite.
    • Park Ranger: If you’re camping at a national park, attend a park ranger-led program designed for young children. These programs often include interactive activities and educational information about the local wildlife and ecosystems.
    • Take a Camping Quiz

    Family Camping Activities to Make Camping Easy and Fun with the Kids

    To make your family camping trip as easy and enjoyable as possible, consider the following tips:

    • Plan Ahead: Research your destination and create a list of family-friendly activities, such as hikes or guided tours. This will ensure that you have a variety of fun camping activities to choose from.
    • Pack Smart: Make sure to pack age-appropriate games, toys, and activities for your kids. Board games and card games like Go Fish are great for rainy days, while outdoor games like frisbee or soccer are perfect for sunny afternoons.
    • Involve the Kids: Get the kids involved in setting up the campsite, preparing meals, and other tasks. This will help them feel more engaged and teach them valuable outdoor skills.
    • Explore the Area: Take a family hike or bike ride to explore the natural surroundings and discover new things.
    • Keep a Routine: Stick to a daily routine, such as having meals and going to bed at consistent times. This can help younger children feel more comfortable in a new environment.

    Camping Games for Toddlers

    Toddlers can also have fun on a family camping trip with these age-appropriate games and activities:

    • Color Hunt: Give your toddler a specific color and have them search for objects in nature that match the color. This activity helps develop their color recognition and observation skills.
    • Bubble Fun: Bring along some bubbles and let your toddler have fun blowing and chasing them around the campsite.
    • Animal Imitation: Teach your toddler about different animals you might see during your camping trip, then take turns imitating the animals’ sounds and movements.
    • Nature Sensory Bin: Create a sensory bin filled with natural items such as leaves, pine cones, rocks, and sticks. Your toddler will enjoy exploring the different textures and shapes.
    • Picnic Time: Spread out a blanket and have a picnic with your toddler. Bring their favorite snacks and toys for a fun and relaxing outdoor meal.

    Camping Activities for Preschoolers

    Preschoolers are at the perfect age to explore and learn about the great outdoors. Here are some engaging camping activities for this age group:

    • Nature Scavenger Hunt: Adapt the scavenger hunt mentioned earlier by simplifying the list of items to find and offering assistance as needed.
    • Leaf Rubbings: Collect a variety of leaves and show your preschooler how to make leaf rubbings using crayons and paper.
    • Bird Watching: Teach your preschooler about the different bird species you might encounter and bring along binoculars for some bird watching.
    • Nature Bracelets: Create nature bracelets by wrapping a piece of duct tape around your preschooler’s wrist, sticky side out, and have them collect and stick small nature items to the tape.
    • Fishing: If you’re camping near a body of water, take your preschooler fishing. This activity can be a great opportunity to teach them about patience and the importance of respecting nature.

    Camping Games for Older Kids

    Older kids can enjoy more challenging games and activities during a family camping trip:

    • Capture the Flag: A classic outdoor game that’s perfect for larger groups, divide the family into two teams and set boundaries for each team’s territory. Each team hides a flag in their territory, and the objective is to capture the other team’s flag without being tagged.
    • Obstacle Course: Create an obstacle course using natural features and camping gear. Time each family member as they complete the course, and see who can finish with the fastest time.
    • Water Relay: A fun way to cool off on a hot day, set up a water relay race where participants must transfer water from one container to another using a sponge, cup, or water bottle with holes.
    • Two Truths and a Lie: Sit in a circle around the campfire, and have each family member share two true statements and one false statement about themselves. The rest of the group must guess which statement is the lie.
    • Charades: A fun game for the whole family, take turns acting out words or phrases while the others try to guess what you’re portraying.
    • Camping Themed Puzzles for Rainy Days – camping word search or camping coloring pages

    Read more camping games for kids.

    Camping Activities for Teens

    Teens can benefit from outdoor experiences and bonding time with the family during camping trips. Here are some activities they might enjoy:

    • Geocaching: A modern-day treasure hunt using GPS devices or smartphones involves searching for hidden containers, called “geocaches,” in various locations. This activity can be a fun way to explore your camping area. We have been geocaching for years as a family – HIGHLY RECOMMEND this activity for kids of all ages.
    • Photography Challenge: Encourage your teen to capture the beauty of nature through photography. They can create a photo journal or share their best shots on social media.
    • Outdoor Cooking: Involve your teen in meal planning and cooking over the campfire. They can learn valuable survival skills and enjoy the satisfaction of creating a delicious meal outdoors.
    • Kayaking or Canoeing: If you’re camping near a lake or river, rent kayaks or canoes and spend a day on the water. This is a great opportunity for your teen to learn about water safety and develop their paddling skills.
    • Stargazing: Teach your teen about constellations, planets, and other celestial objects, and spend an evening stargazing together. This can be a calming and educational activity that fosters appreciation for the natural world.

    Why Is Camping So Great for Families?

    Camping offers numerous benefits for families, making it a popular choice for quality time together. Here are some reasons why camping is an excellent choice for family bonding:

    1. Unplugging from Technology: Camping provides a break from the constant distractions of screens and devices, allowing families to focus on each other and their surroundings.
    2. Learning New Skills: Camping teaches valuable life skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability. Children and adults alike can learn important lessons in self-reliance and resourcefulness.
    3. Physical Activity: Spending time in the great outdoors encourages physical activity and exercise, which is beneficial for overall health and well-being.
    4. Connecting with Nature: Camping provides an opportunity to develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world and its wonders. This connection to nature can promote environmental stewardship and mindfulness.
    5. Creating Lasting Memories: The shared experiences of a family camping trip create cherished memories that last a lifetime. The stories, laughter, and bonding moments around the campfire are priceless.

    Summary of Camping Activities for Families

    A family camping trip is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, bond with your loved ones, and create unforgettable memories. With various fun camping games and activities tailored to children of all ages, your next camping adventure will surely be a hit with the whole family. So pack your sleeping bags, gather around the picnic table, and embrace the joys of nature on your next family camping excursion.