17 Camping Activities for Kids

Heading out on a camping trip?  Then make sure you take along these 17 camping activities for kids with you! 

To be completely honest, I never really went camping with my family while growing up.  I did attend a few camps that were hosted by the school I attended but it wasn’t true camping.  But now that I have my own kids and my sister who has gone camping quite a bit, I decided to take the plunge and try camping. 

Well, it was fun!  Yes, it was hot, sticky, sweaty, the sun was blazing during the day, the rain came down at night but it definitely left me some good memories and my kids LOVED IT!  My little boy kept saying “no bye-bye!  No night-night!”  He was just having such a great time and didn’t want to leave.  So, in retrospect, I really don’t think I have any choice but to continue to do camping trips for my children’s sake! 

The List of 17 Camping Activities for Kids

1.      Flashlight Hide-and-Seek – give “it” a flashlight and have everyone else run and hide.  When “it” is done counting, make sure you don’t get caught in his flashlight beam or you’ll become the new “it!”

2.      Fishing – I guess if there isn’t a lake nearby you really can’t do this but to be honest, I can’t imagine a more calming camping activities for kids than fishing.  And they really do enjoy it! 

3.      Identify the Sounds of Nature – Sitting in the dark around the campfire, listen to and have the kids try to identify the sounds of crickets, cicadas, owls, night birds and the wind…

4.      Have a Knot Tying Class – Make this a priority in your camping activities for kids list!  Take a rope/string with you on your camping trip for this camping activity for kids and teach them how to tie a good knot.  It’s important to have specific names for the different parts of the rope:  (1) The part you are working with in your hand in tying a knot is called the “end.”  (2) A loop made by bending the rope is called the “bight.”  (3) The long portion of the rope not being used in tying the knowt is called the “standing part.”  A very common and useful knot is the square knot.  Its purpose is to tie together two ends of rope or string of equal thickness so that they will not ever slip or come untied.  To make the square knot take an end in each hand, cross the end in the right hand over the end in the left hand.  Twist it around the rope in the left hand, cross the end in the left hand over the end in the right hand; twist it around the rope in the right hand; pull tight. 

5.      Swimming – some campgrounds are by a lake, others have a swimming pool nearby.  Whatever the case may be, swimming is an awesome camping activity and helps work up a hearty appetite. 

6.      Binocular Watch – invest in a good pair of binoculars!  They make a great camping supply.  It’s fun to watch birds, animals, fish, people out on their boats, the sunset and other items of interest through binoculars. 

7.      Collect interesting Rocks – This is definitely one of the more popular camping activities for kids and one that creates some neat memories.  On your camping trips, each time have the kids collect unique and beautiful rocks.  Then at home put them together to have a rock collection of all the different campgrounds that you’ve been to. 

8.      Campfire Singing – sing popular family songs around the campfire before the kids start to doze off. 

9.      Make S'mores – let’s make this camping activity for kids easy!…  roast your marshmallows, (have the wipes close by for sticky fingers) then stick them on fudge covered graham cracker cookies or fudge striped cookies.  This eliminates the need for having the chocolate bar and the graham crackers and it’s just as good!

10.  Glow Stick Tag – everyone should run around in the dark with 1 glow stick.  However, “it” should have several glow sticks attached together to make a wand.  If “It” catches you by touching his wand to you then you are the new “It!” 

11.  Hobo Hike – give to each “hobo” a bandanna lined with saran wrap and containing bacon or hotdogs, buns, doughnuts, fruit and marshmallows.  Each bundle is tied with opposite corner in knots so that it may be carried on a stick over the shoulder.  After the hike, build a fire and cook the hot dogs and marshmallows. 

12.  I Spy this game is fun to play when everyone is relaxing and enjoying the scenery.  Play it while you’re on a hike, sitting on a dock or sitting at your campsite. 

13.  Go on an Insect Hunt – Download my free printable insect hunt cards and go on an insect hunt while out camping. 

14.  Hot Potato Game – Form a circle with “It” on the inside of the circle.  Using a ball (or an actual potato), pass it around the circle.  It must go from one player to the next player, but can travel either way.  “It” tries to touch the ball.  If he succeeds, the one passing the ball becomes “It”.  The game is more fun if the ball is passed quickly and in different directions, and the players try to fool “It” as to the direction in which they are going to pass the ball.  “It” should not be allowed to push when running. 

15.  Scout’s Nose Game – Using about 10 paper bags, place in each bag an item that has a distinctive smell such as chopped onions, balsam, cheese, etc.  The bags are then placed in a row about two feet apart.  Each player walks down the line and sniffs each bag for about 5 seconds.  At the end of the line, the player has about 2 minutes to quickly write down the names of the items in the bags, in the correct order.  The player with the most correct wins. 

16.  Have a Raft Race – if your campground has a swimming area, then blow up your floating devices for a race!  Choose some designated point in the swimming area and have the kids race there on their rafts.  Whoever makes it there first is the obvious winner! 

17.  Campfire Stories – this is one of my favorite camping activities for kids because it let’s their imaginations run wild!  Sitting around the campfire, have someone start a story then have each subsequent camper add on to the story a little bit at a time. 

So, there you have it!  17 Camping activities for kids to do when you go camping.  And, the nice part is that most of these activities are fun for campers of all ages! 

I wish you lots of fun on your future camping trips!

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