Camping is a blast! You don’t even need any games or activities for the family, that is unless you plan to stay longer than an afternoon. It’s true, people, even kids, are easily bored. With a bit of forethought and some planning, you can provide entertaining fun during the day or night, rain or shine.
Try these wonderfully fun camping games…
#1 Nature scavenger hunt
No matter the age of the children, this game can be adjusted to their interests and abilities. Make a list of likely articles that would lie within your campground. Things like pinecones, ladybugs, a cool rock, or an interesting leaf. Ten objects are enough for most elementary school-age children. First, one that completes the list is the winner.
#2 Tag, the flashlight game!
This is a great game for the entire family after the sun sets. Everyone gets a flashlight and tries to tag other people with a beam of light. Players who get hit must retire to the sidelines. Play goes on until only one player is left, henceforth known as the winner.
#3 Glow-in-the-dark ring toss
Every player is given up to five glow-in-the-dark objects such as necklaces, bracelets, or rings. Each player should have a differing color. Poke a stick in the ground to serve as an artificial ring toss target. The player with the most rings over the stick wins.
#4 Two truths and a lie
Those with writing talent have a huge leg up in this game. Each player tells the group three things about herself. It might be, “On Tuesday, I went to the library. The next day I read the entire book in one sitting. On Wednesday, I told the librarian the book was boring.” If the lie is discovered, the player is then ‘out.’
#5 Camping olympiad
This can be a major morning-to-afternoon event, with a lunch break, of course. Planning is the key to success with this series of games. If you have little ones, one event might be a plain footrace. For older kids, perhaps a sack race would better serve.
#6 Catch or not
Closely related to the Simon Says game, this is fun for older kids and teens. The person who is ‘it’ stands in the middle of a circle with a ball. As he turns around to face the people in the ring, he shouts to each either ‘catch’ or ‘don’t catch.’ Those who choose incorrectly are out.
#7 Obstacle course
This game requires a series of tasks done faster than the other players. Depending on the age and skill level of the players, the challenges might include hopping on one foot to a goal line, crawling under a picnic table, jumping over cups, etc. Kids will love helping plan the activities.
#8 Cloud paintings
Lying in the grass and making imaginary objects from cloud formations is one of childhood’s most treasured memories. Introduce your kids to this dreamy activity that can be enjoyed anywhere there’s no rain. Just lie down in a place where the direct sunlight doesn’t damage tender eyes, under some leaves is great.
Geocaching is a very popular activity. Right now, around the world are more than 3 million geocaches. If you find one using your GPS, you’ll find a prize that was hidden by a geocache participant. This activity is perfect for teens.
#10 Make a fairy house
Younger kids will spend a lovely and enjoyable afternoon building homes for the local fairy population. Of course, the fairies are quite shy but will use the homes at night just the same. Kids can find birds’ wings, leaves, nut shells, or berries. There’s only one rule, no human objects are fair to use.
#11 Would you rather?
This is a great way to get to know each other. The game is made for group camping where not everyone is well acquainted. The campers just take turns asking the persons in the circle which of two activities they would rather do. Gross-outs are common and to be expected. The question, “Would you rather eat a cockroach or a worm?” gives you a hint. The game is great for older children.
#12 Air pong
This game involves two groups of campers, a picnic table, a plastic cup or a ping pong ball. Put the cup and ball in the middle of the table with the teams on each side. When you shout ‘Go!’ both teams begin to blow like crazy. The object is to blow the cup or ball off the opponent’s side of the table.
#13 Shadow puppets by hand
The side of a tent, a flashlight, and a person talented with their hands is all that’s necessary to make a hand shadow theater. The sun goes down long before bedtime, so this is a great game for settling down before lights out.