Camping helps kids improve their reading skills, gets them in touch with nature, teaches them teamwork, and fosters their creativity.
Camping can be great fun for kids and adults alike. Whether your kids are going on a camping trip with you or to a summer camp, they will want to stay busy with many fun camping activities.
When you take your kids camping, they will want to stay busy or they will drive you crazy if you do not keep them busy with activities. You also will probably want your kids to have less screen time on their phones or tablets since kids do enough of that throughout the school year so planning camping activities ahead of time is a great idea so the kids can learn while having fun while being outdoors and away from their electronic devices and the television set.
You can even purchase them a fun camping gift ahead of time and plan a camping game or two for them to try out. If you are struggling to come up with ideas for a camping activity or two, we have you covered with this list of 50 camping activities for kids that you can utilize to ensure your kids are kept busy with fun, interesting, and educational camping activities throughout the duration of your camping trip.
1. Scavenger Hunt
It is exciting and interesting for kids to look for things then find them in the woods so a scavenger hunt is a great way for your kids to have something to do while getting some exercise and using their brainpower.
2. Hiking in the Woods
A hike in the woods, while you point out different types of trees, plants, insects, and animals, is a very educational yet fun activity for your kids. They will also get more in touch with nature and have something to tell their classmates after summer break during sharing time.
3. Stick Fort
Your kids will have a blast building a fort out of sticks they collect while on a hike in the woods. Have each child place their sleeping bag in the fort so they can relax on a soft place while they enjoy their fort. This also leads us to our next activity.
4. Read a Good Book
Have your kids grab a book they want to read and head to their stick fort to relax and read it. If your kid is too young to read on his or her own, go with them into the fort and read them a book. It is a great opportunity to bond with your kids, admire the work they did on their fort, and promote reading.
Geocaching is similar to hiking and a scavenger hunt but involves finding geocaches throughout the woods that are placed their ahead of time. The use of a GPS helps kids decipher the location of each of them so it is a fun summer camping idea for older kids.
6. Plant a Garden
If you have a camping spot at a campground or RV park that you stay at all summer, your kids can plant a small garden. Help them figure out which fruits and vegetables they want to grow then harvest and eat so they will stay interested throughout the growing season. They can then water the garden each day and watch their vegetables and fruits grow and mature.
7. Have a Picnic
Give the kids a blanket and some lunch items and snacks to take outside so they can have a picnic. It makes eating lunch much more fun and they can help you pack everything up to take to their picnic.
8. Catch Lightning Bugs
Give the kids a jar with some holes punched in the lid and in the evening, let them stay up a little later to run and play outside while chasing down lightning bugs, also known as fireflies. They are fun to observe in the jar as they light up and you can even lookup information on them to teach the kids about them.
9. Collect Frogs and Insects
Go for a hike near a pond or lake and let your kids collect a variety of insects as well as frogs and toads while they are getting some exercise. Like in the above activity, you and the kids can research information to determine the different types of insects and frogs you collect on your little camping adventure.
10. Bird Watch
Go for a walk or a hike in the woods and look for different kinds of birds. You can take a book with you or your phone so you can look up a different types of birds to be able to identify them as you come across them on your journey.
11. Go For a Swim
Go to a nearby lake, swimming pool, or pond and let the kids go for a swim. It’s great fun for them and also great exercise well they can spend time in the outdoors but do not forget your waterproof sunscreen to protect their skin from the damaging rays.
12. Water Balloon Fight
Grab a package of eco-friendly balloons to take with you on your camping trip then fill them up with water and let your kids have a ball. They’ll have fun with their water balloon fight with each other and friends they have made at the campground.
Go to a nearby lake or pond so your kids can fish. You can try to help them identify different fish and see how many they can catch in a few hours. It’s a relaxing yet fun activity that reconnects them with nature.
14. Sprinklers or Slip and Slide
If you are backyard camping at your home, set up your sprinklers and let the kids run through for a bit to cool off and have some fun. If you’re camping at a campground be sure to take a slip and slide with you that the kids can hook up to a hose and invite other campers’ children to join them in sliding across the nice cool water and plastic.
15. Climb a Tree
Tell your kids to go climb a tree. It’s fun for kids but be cautious that they don’t go up too high and that the tree is steady so they do not fall. They will get exercise and work their muscles while having a good time.
16. Play an Outdoor Sport
Get a game of soccer, football, baseball, or kickball together with some other children at the campground. This teaches kids teamwork and about winning and losing gracefully.
17. Ride Bikes
If you brought your kids’ bikes with you to the campground, you can check out local bike trails and bike paths to ride on while checking out the local scenery. This activity is great exercise and a lot of fun. If you didn’t bring your children’s bicycles with you, many places will rent bikes out so you can still enjoy a bike ride.
18. Canoeing or Kayaking
Take your kids for a romp on a nearby river or lake in a kayak or canoe. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors and get some exercise at the same time. This is one of the best and most fun summer activities for kids that most will absolutely love doing.
Kids love to play hide and seek and there are plenty of spaces to play this fun game at a campground and in nearby woods. It allows kids to play together in a constructive and fun way. This is a great outdoor activity that most children enjoy.
20. Berry or Fruit Picking
Check out where local berry and fruit farms or orchards are located near the campground you are staying at so you can take the kids for a visit. They will love picking their own fruit, can learn about the different types of trees and plants, and will enjoy eating the fruit or berries as a healthy snack.
21. Bake a Pie
For a rainy day activity, you can bake a pie with the fruit or berries you picked by visiting a local farm in the activity above.
22. Camping Bingo
Another great rainy day activity is to play camping bingo or you can play it as a campfire game most sitting around the fire in the evening. You can create your own bingo board and you can use pictures of flowers and other things that you encounter on your trip including trees flowers or fish.
After you create the game and the sun is out again and the rain has stopped, you can go around in see who spots these things first to mark them so they can try to spell bingo first.
23. Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars
Toilet paper roll binoculars are a fun camping craft to make with your children. All you need are two toilet paper rolls per kid, some twine or small rope, a hot glue gun, and some markers. Just decorate the toilet paper rolls first with the markers then hot glue them together with the glue gun and for extra security, you can punch a hole on the outside of each roll and thread that wine through to create a neck strap so your children will not lose their binoculars when you go on your next hike.
24. Visit a National or State Park
Go for a hike or walk at a nearby state or national park. There will be plenty of statues and other things to check out while taking in the beautiful scenery and getting some exercise. Many state parks have a lake and a beach so you can relax there and get some swimming time in after your hike.
25. Chalk It Up
Use some sidewalk chalk so your kids can create an amazing drawing on a sidewalk or cement area at the campground. This allows them to be creative in a fun way. Experts and doctors recommend that kids get at least three hours of time outdoors each and every day so even an activity like using sidewalk chalk to create amazing drawings on a sidewalk or concrete patio is a great activity for kids to enjoy.
26. Make a Fairy House
Creating a fairy house is a great way for younger children to use their imagination. Tell them there are little fairies throughout the campground and they will need a home to sleep in for the night. The kids can use materials they find at the campground and in the woods, such as foilage, flowers, rocks, feathers, sticks, pinecones, and other things to craft magical houses for the fairies.
After the kids fall sleep, you can place an item such as a little trinket that the fairies left as a gesture to say thank you for providing them with a little house to sleep in for the night. This is a great option when it comes to camping ideas for the kids.
27. Nighttime Camping Games
After sunset, the fun does not have to stop since there are some games and fun activities you can do after dark. You can sing campfire songs and dance, play a game of “I spy” or simply tell ghost stories if none of your little ones will become too frightened.
28. Morse Code Treasure Hunt
For older children and teenagers who enjoy puzzles, you can try a campfire game of Morse Code Treasure Hunt. To play this game, you just need a flashlight, a headlamp, or a lantern and some printable Morse Code charts. One person is assigned to be a messenger across the campsite as far away as possible with the light source.
That person will use the light to flash a Morse Code clue to the spies across the way. The spies can then use the clues to figure out we are a prize or another object is hidden. Whoever finds the object gets to keep it. This is one of many campfire games that is fun for all ages.
29. Campfire CharadesK
Campfire charades takes the classic family game of charades and make it more challenging since you are playing it by only the light of the campfire. It is a simple game to learn so it can be a fun idea for all ages. Just fill a jar or hat with slips of paper containing phrases that players can act out then select someone to pick the first phrase.
Use the stopwatch feature on your cell phone to time each person as they act out phrases that are have a camping theme. You can play this game to a certain score or when you are just tired of playing.
30. Library Tour
Take a tour of neighboring libraries near your campground. Check out a few books to read in the stick fort the kids build themselves.
31. Little Libraries Search
Go on a walking tour of the area you are in to locate all of the little libraries along your trek. Have your kids put books in they have read and take out some new ones to read during their camping trip.
32. Museum Tour
Visit an art museum or a science museum that is nearby then have the kids draw a picture of their favorite thing that they saw at the museum.
33. Camping Toys
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There are tons of camping toys your children can play with while they are set up in a backyard camp or camping at an RV park or campground like this play tent and accessories.
34. Obstacle Course
Create an obstacle course for family and friends to do.
Catch butterflies, note their beautiful markings, and then have the kids release them.
Help the kids organize a 3-legged race. It is a great outdoor activity and good exercise.
37. Ice Cream
Have the kids help you make homemade ice cream in a mason jar or with an ice cream maker.
Get the kids some bubbles to blow or make a homemade concoction that works the same way.
39. Jump Rope
The kids can play a game with a jump rope while playing outside the camper for the day.
40. Play Freeze Tag
If the person that is it takes you then you have to freeze in place until everyone is frozen but one person which is the winner of that round.
41. Capture the Flag
Capture the flag is similar to freeze tag, although the object of the game is to capture the flag without being caught first.
42. Play Red Light, Green Light
Red light, green light is a fun game for children of all ages to play and the fun part is that you can do it anywhere so it’s definitely a doable game at a campground.
Buy the kids some slime they can play with outside the camper or create your own with a homemade recipe.
44. Play Truth or Dare
Truth or dare is a fun game for older kids to play with their parents so that it doesn’t get out of hand.
45. Play Simon Says
Simon Says is an oldie but goodie when it comes to kids’ games. One person is in charge of telling the others what to do because Simon Says or he doesn’t and if they do the deed then they’re out.
46. Ride Scooters
My grandchildren love their scooters and have taken them camping with them because they can stroll through the campground area and talk to other people. It’s a great way for them to meet other kids while getting some exercise.
47. Ride Skateboards
Kids love to skateboard and there’s plenty of hills and valleys at most campgrounds to ensure they have loads of fun.
48. Roller Skate or Rollerblade
Kids love to roller skate and rollerblade so why not take those with you to the campgrounds so they can roller skate or rollerblade through the pathes at the campgrounds.
Your kids can get a game of frisbee going and you can join in the fun too. They can play frisbee with each other or other campers kids that are in the area for a game that is filled with fun and excitement.
50. Dandelion Chain
My 8 year old granddaughter loves to make dandelion chain necklaces for herself, from me, and for all her friends. This is a great activity for kids of most ages and it gives them something fun to do by hunting the dandelions first to make the necklaces with.
FAQs About Camping Activities for Kids
Why is playing outdoors important for kids?
Playing outdoors helps children improve their motor skills in their overall health.
What are the benefits of playing outdoor games?
Playing outdoor games is good for kids because it improves their flexibility, their attention span, and can teach them how to play well with others.
What benefits do we gain by playing games?
Playing games helps children improve their reading and reasoning skills and fosters their creativity.