This epic list of kids camping games and activities will keep them happy and fully entertained while at the campsite. Banish boredom with free printables, scavenger hunts, crafts, songs, nature play and more!
Family camping trips are a great way to create memories with your children. Camping gives you the opportunity to spend time enjoying the great outdoors without the busy distractions that can so easily sneak into day-to-day life.
And while there is a lot of planning that needs to be done to cover the logistics of a family camping trip, it is also important to think ahead about some fun, kid-friendly games and activities that your kids can enjoy while at the campsite.
You certainly do not need to fill your whole camping trip with meticulously planned activities, but having some ideas in your back pocket will go a long way to making your adventure at the campgrounds a success.
To help with that, we have rounded up some of the very best camping games and activities for kids – although most can be enjoyed by the whole family.
From easy printable activities, fun nature crafts, family games, and simple nature play, we guarantee you’ll find plenty here to keep your kids entertained.
PIN to keep handy for your next camping trip!
PRINTABLE CAMPING GAMES & ACTIVITIES
Fun games at the campsite don’t need to take up a lot of space in your backpack. All of these camping games and activities are as easy to put together as grabbing them off the printer!
(1) Got any budding actors or artists in your group? This Camping Charades and Pictionary game is a fun, camping-themed spin on these two classic group games (via Play Party Plan).
(2) BINGO is a classic that even your younger children can enjoy. Just grab some small rocks or sticks to use as markers, and this free printable camping themed BINGO game, and you’ll be all set! (via Gluesticks & Gumdrops)
(3) This origami Camping fortune teller/cootie catcher takes us back! Who doesn’t remember making these in middle school?! Your kids will love all the different, silly scenarios they will come up with playing with this one. (via The Crazy Outdoor Mama)
(4) Take some time to really observe your surroundings and document your trip with this printable nature journal from the Printables Fairy.
(5) For a memory journal that is more specific to your camping trip, we love this printable Camping Journal for Kids from Passports and Adventures!
(6) This Roll a S’more Game is fun for all kids, even toddlers. You just need the game sheets and a dice and you’ll be on your way to building your s’more. (via The Crazy Outdoor Mama)
(7) Is there anything more relaxing than being able to slow down and watch the clouds pass by? This printable cloud inspector viewfinder is a fun way to not only watch the clouds, but to learn more about the different types of clouds, too. (via the Techy Teacher)
(8) We can’t forget s’mores! You’ll want to be sure to grab these fill-in-the blank silly story templates for extra laughs. They are fun for the whole family! (via Classy Clutter)
(9) These printable nature collage critters are perfect for jump starting your kids’ imagination as they search for things in nature to complete the critter’s picture. (via Tommy John)
(10) While you’re intentionally searching for the beauty in nature, take a minute to see how many different colors you can find around your campsite with this Nature Color Wheel. (via Mother Natured)
CAMPING SCAVENGER HUNTS
Is it even a camping trip with kids without a fun scavenger hunt (or three)?! Here are some of the BEST scavenger hunts your kids can complete on your next camping trip.
(1) This Paper Bag Scavenger Hunt can be printed right onto a paper bag, which makes it perfect for collecting all of nature’s treasures. (via Clean and Scentsible)
(2) Engage all five senses with this 5 Senses Nature Scavenger Hunt. (via Childhood 101)
(3 & 4) How about an “Experience Scavenger Hunt”? You can grab this, plus more Unique Camping Scavenger Hunts from The Crazy Outdoor Mama.
(5) If you’ve got an iSpy fan, this fun iSpy Outdoor Scavenger Hunt will be a huge hit! (via Growing up Gabel)
(6) Everyone is sure to love this Adventure Scavenger Hunt, full of things to find in and around your campsite. (via Mot Dot)
(7) And if your little ones like creepy crawly things, they will LOVE this Bug Scavenger Hunt! (via Messy Little Monster)
NIGHTTIME CAMPING GAMES & ACTIVITIES
The light switch may not be quite as accessible in the great outdoors, but that doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop when the sun goes down! These play-in-the-dark games and activities will be nighttime fun for kids of all ages!
(1) You just need glow sticks and water bottles to create your own nighttime bowling alley to play Glow in the Dark Bowling. (via Crafts by Amanda)
(2) Keep the glow sticks handy to play another fun nighttime game: Glow Stick Ring Toss. (via The Krazy Coupon Lady)
(3) These 10 Outdoor Flashlight Games for Kids only need a flashlight to create lasting night time memories on your next family camping trip. Just don’t forget the extra batteries! (via The Tiptoe Fairy)
(4) Take advantage of your time with the dark night sky to have a constellation hunt in the stars. See how many of these constellations you can find with these beautiful free printable cards via Super Busy Mum.
(5) Print out 2 or more of these Morse Code sheets from Discovery World, and then use a flashlight to “send” a message through the woods (or on the other side of your tent!).
Whether you enjoy silly stories, or spooky ones around the fire, this collection of campfire stories is a perfect before-bed activity. (via Ultimate Camp Resource)
(6) If you’ve got a dice on hand, this printable Campfire Storytime Activity is another fun way to create your very own stories! (via Tommy John)
Nighttime Telephone: sitting around the campfire is the perfect time to play a game of Telephone. Have one person start by whispering a message to the person on their right. They will then pass on what they think they heard to the person on their right, and so on. Once it goes all the way around, the last person will repeat the sentence out loud. The person who started it, then says what they really said. It’s usually very different, and quite funny!
Finally, get everyone involved in story time around the campfire by telling a Round-Robin Story where each person takes turns adding onto the story. Decide on the rules before you start – you can be more structured and instruct everyone to say just one sentence, or allow them to add as much (or little!) as they want. Keep taking turns until the story is complete, or decide on a certain amount of turns so people know when to wrap it up!
DOWN & DIRTY CAMPING ACTIVITIES
You can’t expect to go camping without getting your hands dirty. But let’s be real, what kids don’t enjoy the green light to get extra messy? We’ve rounded up some of the very best messy ideas for your little ones to get down in the mud making memories during your camping trip.
(1) Grab a bowl and some water and let them get started making their own Sensory Soup. Use these printable nature soup recipe cards, or let them create their own delicacies! (via The Crazy Outdoor Mama)
(2) For a spin on the classic mud pies, why not roll up your sleeves and give these Mud Meatballs a try? (via Teaching Ideas)
(3) But what is dinner without dessert? Everyone will love creating these Mud Cupcakes! (via Sharin’ with Sharron)
(4) And if it’s hot outside, there are always these Mud Ice Cream Cones. Be sure to take a look around the campsite for some creative toppings! (via Mother Natured)
(5) Of course mud kitchen ideas aren’t the only things to do in the mud while you’re camping – freestyle with your own Muddy Sculptures. (via Casa Maria’s Creative Learning Zone)
(6) Get to building with these Mini Mud Bricks (via Play Teach Repeat)
(7) Or just add water and let your inner artist shine with Mud Paint. (via Play Based Parenting)
(8) While you’re busy getting your hands dirty, take some time to dig in (literally) and take a closer look at the mud. Grab a blanket and a magnifying glass and find out What Lives in Dirt. (via Go Science Kids)
(9) Take turns throwing mud, laughing, and bringing out everyone’s inner child with Muddy Target Practice (via Hands on as We Grow)
Or grab some cups for scooping and measuring with Mud Math (via Confidence Meets Parenting)
At the end of the day though, almost nothing beats a good old jump in muddy puddles!
CAMPING SONGS & GAMES
Is it even a camping trip without some good old campfire songs and games? To make it easy for you, we’ve compiled a list of fun, silly, and classic camping songs and games that your kids will love, and will have your whole family singing and playing along.
(1) We’ll start things off with this great list of Family Camp Songs, sung to the tune of some of your favorite children’s songs – complete with printable lyric sheets to keep everyone on the same page. (via the Crazy Outdoor Mama)
Take a trip back to your own summer camp days and share these classic Easy Camp Songs with your kids this year. (via Fatherly)
Once everyone’s vocal chords are nice and warmed up, you’ll want to play Name That Tune. Hum a popular song or nursery rhyme and see if anyone can guess. Whoever answers correctly, wins a point. Most points at the end of the game wins an extra s’more!
While everyone is sitting around the fire, why not play Camping Trip? This game starts with the first person saying, “I’m going on a camping trip and I’m bringing…”, and then they’ll name something that starts with the letter “A”. The next person must repeat what the previous person is bringing, plus add on the next letter, in this case, “B”. For example, “I’m going on a camping trip and I’m bringing an Alligator”, the next person would say “I’m going on a camping trip and I’m bringing an Alligator and a Balloon”. You not only have to remember the list of items (in the right order!), but also what letter is next. If you mess up, you’re out. The last person wins.
(2) Here are 12 fun and simple Family Camping Games that are great for kids of all ages. (via Play Party Plan)
(3) Test your directional sense (or luck) with Finding North – a simple game to start off your family hike. (via Go Science Kids)
(4) Think you have an accurate aim? Grab some frisbees and try your hand at this Frisbee Tic Tac Toss game (via Backyard Games).
(5) For a simpler version, pick up some sticks and stones and play this nature version of Camping Tic Tac Toe (via Pinterest Summer).
(6) You can easily adapt this Bean Bag Toss game using paper plates and pine cones or small rocks for a fun camp game. (via Chic and Jo)
Or grab a bucket and some pine cones or rocks and play Bucket Toss. See how many you can land in the bucket!
(7) That said, if you’ve got your heart set on bean bag toss, grab a tarp and create your own tossing challenge with this oversized Tarp Game (via The Red Headed Hostess).
(9) Got a competitive crew? With a few simple and easy to pack supplies, these Family Friendly Minute to Win It Games might just be the perfect thing for your group! (via The Chaos and The Clutter)
(10) We already know that nature is full of treasures and this Pillbox Scavenger Hunt is a fun way for kids to find and collect some of their very own (via The Crafty Blog Stalker).
(11) Pack a few paint swatches and see what colorful things you can find around your campsite to match with this Paint Swatch Scavenger Hunt. (via Skip to My Lou)
Depending on the ages of your little ones, you can create an Obstacle Course for the family to complete. Do it as a group, or challenge one another to see who can complete it the quickest!
Or why not play embrace the animals that might be found around your campsite and play the Animal Game: one person thinks of an animal and everyone else takes turns asking yes or no questions. For example, “does it have four legs?”, “can it climb a tree?”, etc. The person who guesses the animal correctly gets a point and can choose the animal for the next round.
Take turns being Park Rangers and animals in this camp themed twist on freeze tag. If the park ranger calls one of your animal’s characteristics, you’ll have to run and make it across the playing area without being tagged by the park ranger and turned into a tree. The last camper (or animal) is the winner! (via Ultimate Camp Resource)
And if you like running around, Red Light, Green Light is always a big hit. (via Childhood 101)
Or you could try What Time is it Mr. Wolf, a fun game where players take turns taking steps towards a designated person (the Wolf) until the Wolf calls “dinnertime”. Then the race is on to make it back safely without getting eaten (tagged) by the wolf! (via Childhood 101)
If your little ones enjoy collecting a good pile of leaves, they will love this Find That Tree game which will put their matching and observation skills to the test. (via Confidence Meets Parenting)
If you really want to get back to the basics, grab a kid-safe bucket and let the kids play a game of “Kick the Can” (via Coffee Cups and Crayons)
Grab a long stick and put your flexibility to the test with Hiking Stick Limbo.
If you have any extra trash bags lying around, see how fast you can go by playing Trash Bag Races. It’s like a potato sack race, just with trash bags! Of course, you could also use your sleeping bags, but they will get dirty!
Who doesn’t love a game of hide-and-seek? Manhunt is a similar game that takes hide-and-seek and reverses it! (via Instructables)
Make a camping trip hike more exciting by playing the Nature Walk Game from Pink Fortitude – simply write down as many things you see from A to Z.
And we can’t forget some good ol’ classic card games! We have an amazing list of 20 Easy Card Games for Kids that are perfect for siblings, cousins and the whole family to play together. Games appropriate for those as young as 3-years old, to tweens and teens too. You can’t miss this round-up!
CAMPING CRAFTS & ACTIVITIES
With a little forethought and some simple supplies from home, these fun camping crafts for kids will not only foster creativity, but will create a special camp souvenir to take home.
(1) Hopefully the rain will hold off during your trip, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the relaxing sound of the rain with you. These rain sticks will be great to make on site, or even ahead of time to take with you! (via Happy Hooligans) Bonus – they’ll make fun music for your campfire songs!
(2) You just need a few permanent markers and scissors to decorate your campsite with these water bottle wind spirals (via Diana Rambles).
(3) Or keep the supplies minimal and search for treasures in nature and make a nature wind catcher (via Inspiration Laboratories).
(4) If a family hike is on the agenda, why not take colorful yarn and have everyone make their own DIY yarn wrapped walking sticks to take along. (via Imaginative Homeschool)
(5) If you pack some colorful paint, take some time to create smaller versions of your walking sticks with these DIY Painted Sticks. (via To Swoon For)
(6) Be sure to collect any mementos you find on your nature walk and have fun adding them to a journey stick to help remember your adventure (via Growing Family).
(7) You can also use jumbo chalk and water to create these chalk nature paintings. (via Meri Cherry)
(8) We love these easy twig string art ornaments that you can use over the holidays or keep as memory of your camping trip. (via Pink Stripey Socks)
And while you’re busy collecting sticks, why not try your hand at building your very own fort?
(9) Back at the campsite, have fun playing dress up and make believe with a little help from Mother Nature. Grab a paper plate and make a beautiful Nature Mask (via Rhythms of Play)…
(10) or if you can find extra large leaves, these Leaf Masks are super cute for photos! (via Babbyccino Kids)
(11) Of course no dress up outfit is complete without the accessories. All you need is tape and nature, and you’ll have a gorgeous nature bracelet on your arm (via Kid World Citizen).
(13) If there is anything in abundance in the woods, it’s likely fallen leaves. Grab a few of our favorites, and some sheets of paper, for a good old fashioned leaf rubbing collage (via Mama Papa Bubba).
(14) Search out the prettiest leaves you can find and create a beautiful leaf garland with this leaf threading activity that is perfect for getting a little bit of fine motor practice for little hands, too! (via Kids Craft Room)
(15) Take any leftover leaves and other nature gems and create a rainbow nature art collage (via No Time for Flashcards)…
(16) or have fun crafting them into letters to make nature name prints (via Little Family Fun).
(17) If you’ve got evergreen trees around your campsite and some twigs, see what kind of art you can create with your own natural paint brushes. (via Learn Create Love)
(18) Create an invitation to play with nature by gathering some nature supplies, paper, and a glue stick or two and “invite” your children to create. They will love it, and you will enjoy getting to see what they come up with! (via Mother Natured)
(19) If you’ve got paper bags and a hole puncher, these paper bag lanterns are a perfect way to decorate the campsite. The kids will LOVE getting to see them come to life when the sun goes down! (via Family Days Tried and Tested)
(20) If you get a nice sunny day and a bring along some Sun Art Paper, you can create these DIY sun prints while exploring a little bit of nature’s chemistry (via The Light Garden). For more sun print ideas, be sure to check out these Botanical Prints (via Inner Child Fun).
This DIY Bubble Station (via La Las Home Daycare) is perfect to get your kids smiling during your camping trip.
(21) And while you’re at it, cut off the end of a few empty water bottles and let everyone have their very own Water Bottle Bubbles! Have some fun seeing who can make the biggest bubbles! (via Projects for Preschoolers)
(22) Use stones to create outlines of one another and fill them with whatever decorations you can find near your site – a perfect photo opp for a fun family shoot. (via Lustik)
(23) If you’ve got some string with you and you’re up for a challenge, this Woodland TripWire Course will be fun for the whole family. (via Family Days Tried and Tested)
No matter where your creativity takes you, make sure to have a camera nearby. You’ll want to take lots of pictures of your adventures. You don’t have to take our word for it, but we hear that a silly family photo shoot is a perfect way to remember your trip!
CAMPING NATURE PLAY IDEAS
It’s true what they say: nature really does make the best playground – especially when camping. Keep playtime simple and encourage creativity with these fun nature play ideas.
(1) Make music around the campfire with these fun tips for Making Music with Nature (via Red Ted Art)
(2) Bring a few small matchbox cars and Draw a Roadmap on some larger rocks for your little ones to play with. (via Family Days Tried and Tested)
(3) For a bit of a challenge, see how many branches and sticks you can collect and Build a Stick Maze. For an extra challenge, see just how fast you can complete it! (via Mother Natured)
(4) If mazes aren’t your thing – or if your kids are a bit younger, a Pinecone Trail is another fun activity that everyone will enjoy. (via Preschool Toolkit)
(5) Once you finish the pinecone trail, collect all those pinecones for a fun game of Pinecone Bowling! (via Red Ted Art)
(6) Test out your engineering skills and learn what sinks and what floats by making a Nature Boat. (via Thimble and Twig)
(9) While you’re at, you’ll want to give these Nature Portraits a try, too! (via Adventure in a Box)
(10) This Stone Stacking Activity is sure to test your focus and balancing skills. (via Rhythms of Play)
(11) And this Sand Sensory Bin is the perfect quiet activity to wind down after a full day of fun at the campground. (via Mother Natured)
(12) To add some whimsy to your family campsite, why not build these Nature Fairy Houses? Get the whole family involved, and you can build your very own fairy neighborhood! (via Red Ted Art)
Just like snowflakes, we know that you would be hard pressed to find two leaves that are TRULY identical, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. This leaf matching activity is a fun way to identify leaves and find a match for each one. (via School Time Snippets)
Hopefully this list has given you lots of great ideas for some fun camping games and activities that your kids will love. No matter which ones you decide to do, we’re sure it’s going to be a blast!
The fact of the matter is, it really is the togetherness that counts. So, get out there and make some fun memories! Laugh, sing, run, jump and play together. And of course, don’t forget to eat a s’more! Happy camping!
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Mary Leigh is a stay-at-home mom to 3 fun and active boys. She started her blog, Live Well Play Together, as a creative way to encourage moms to celebrate the simple, everyday moments in motherhood. You can most often find her writing about kids’ activities, thoughts on motherhood, and simple ideas for family fun. Follow her on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for fun ideas to bring a little fun to your everyday!