Last updated on October 12th, 2023
16 Best Camping Games and Activities
Camping requires a lot of preparation, especially with kids involved, but the benefits are always worth the effort. Not only does camping provide a perfect mental break, but it also allows you to spend quality time with your family.
If you plan to bring your loved ones on your next camping adventure, you may wonder, what are the best games and activities to keep everyone entertained and engaged? But worry no more since we’ve got you covered.
Here, we’ll show you some of our best camping games and activities that suit kids and adults:
1. Play Cards
Playing cards is a fantastic way to spend time outdoors with your family, especially when camping on rainy days. With a pack of your favorite cards, you’ll have good entertainment that suits your entire family.
Cards are available in a wide variety, so whatever your game is, you will always have a fun thing to do while out there. You only need to choose waterproof cards to ensure reliability and durability.
Choosing card games that suit your kids’ stage is essential since not all of them work for all ages. In this case, some of the best family-friendly card games for camping include Wilderness UNO, Cards Against Humanity Family Edition, Go Fish, Speed, Matching, Rummy, and more.
2. Capture the Flag
This is a fascinating outdoor game that provides much fun and encourages teamwork. You can play it with your kids when camping and see how cooperative and clever they can be.
It’s easy to play this game as the rules are simple. You only need to create two teams and set an area for each group.
Once you have the teams and designated areas, each team has to hide its flag and let the other group look for it. The aim is to find the other group’s flag and return it to their area.
During the search, the opponents can tag each other to jail. If this happens, another group member must rescue the jailed individual.
Other old-school games to enjoy when camping include flashlight tag and hide-and-seek. For these games, you’ll want to keep an eye on your young kids so they stay within the campground.
3. Alphabet Game
The Alphabet game is one of the best ways to spend time with young kids since it’s simple yet enjoyable.
This game requires the kids to write or spot things starting with alphabetic letters, from A to Z. The player who writes or spots an object or anything beginning with the letter Z wins the game. It’s that simple!
4. Cornhole Competition
Cornhole is an engaging game that will entertain your entire family during the adventure. What makes it a perfect outdoor match for families is that it’s not complicated, and anyone can start, provided they know the rules.
You also don’t have to determine the winner the first time you play, especially if no one achieves the 21 winning points required. Instead, you can record the points each team or opponent earns and crown the winner the next time you play.
If you are camping as a large group, you could hold a tournament and let the best players challenge each other towards the end.
This game may not be ideal for backpackers, but if you are camping with your car or RV, you’ll have enough room to pack your Cornhole equipment.
5. Ball Sports
If you have enough room to bring a ball and a game outfit, ball sports can be a great way to spend your afternoons while out there. Ball sports will also improve your kid’s coordination skills.
You could play sports like football, cricket, rugby, and volleyball, depending on the accessible equipment and members willing to participate.
6. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger Hunt is a classic camping game that families can enjoy outdoors. The entertaining and educational game allows kids and adults to have fun while learning new things.
What makes it a perfect family game is that you can adapt it to suit different ages and abilities, ensuring that everyone in the crew has something to do.
You can play the scavenger hunt game within the campsite or embark on the forest for an actual quest. If you choose the latter, pair older and younger siblings and send them out to find specific things, like flowers, leaves, bugs, rocks, and more.
7. Board Games
Playing board games with your kids can provide lots of fun. And you don’t need to bring a specific board game table, as you can set everything up on your foldable camping table.
Some of the best camping board games that are sturdy and easy to pack include Hive, Bananagrams, Jenga, Trouble, Sorry, and Connect Four.
8. I Spy
Are you looking for an effective way to hone your children’s social skills? I spy is an excellent way to do that. It’s a turn-taking game that teaches kids patience and improves their ability to cooperate with other people.
If you have younger kids trying to learn the language, this game will enhance their vocabulary and overall communication skills.
In this game, the player chooses something within sight and tells the other players that they spy something beginning with the first letter of the selected object. Then the other players can make guesses until they get the correct answer.
You can also make the game more enjoyable by incorporating other aspects like color, numbers, words, shapes, measurement, etc. For example, you could say, “I spy something yellow,” and let the other players trace something colored yellow.
1. Telling Campfire Stories
Camping activities that don’t require much planning or any special gear are the way to go, especially if they are ideal for any age. Whether you are camping with young kids or teenagers, everyone can enjoy storytelling when camping.
You can have a rule that requires everyone in the crew to tell a story, and it doesn’t have to be restrictive on topic or length. It could be funny, made up, or even true stories, but you’ll want to be careful with scary stories lest your little ones freak out and have sleepless nights in the wild.
To enjoy the activity most, collect enough firewood during the day to keep the fire burning at night as you tell stories and cook your dinner early.
2. Preparing a Meal Together
Cooking can be so enjoyable, especially when your kids want to learn some camping recipes. You can engage the kids by asking them to prepare the ingredients as you start the campfire.
Camping cooking is more enjoyable because the activity alone is satisfying, and you still get to enjoy the product in the end.
Some of the best camping recipes to cook with your kids include a damper on a stick, one-pan Lasagna, roasted corn, campfire pizza, and more. You can make S’mores on the campfire with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate.
3. Teaching the Kids How to Tie Knots
Knots are handy for various outdoor activities, and teaching your kids how to tie them can be a fun experience.
You don’t need to teach your youngsters all the types of knots you know, but essential ones like a square knot, bowline, taut-line hitch, sheet bend, two half hitches, and clove hitch can be lifesaving in different situations.
When you teach your kids how to tie knots, the skills acquired are valuable when camping and will improve how they do their shoelaces. o
Do your kids love eating fish? You don’t have to exhaust your freezer stock or buy from the store since you can catch fish when camping in an area that allows fishing.
If you want to camp in an area where you don’t have access to rental boats, you’ll need waterproof clothes and waders to fish on the shore.
Adding fishing to your camping trip comes with several challenges, but it’s not as daunting as most people think. If you research beforehand and choose the appropriate camping area, you can find a good spot and catch your favorite fish with your kids.
Once you catch enough fish for your trip, let your kids join you in the filleting process and teach them how to do it right.
5. Watching Birds
Bird watching is another fun and educational activity to engage in when camping. It’s an exciting hobby for adventurers of all ages and requires no gear to get started.
You can watch the birds nearby with bare eyes or invest in a good pair of binoculars if this seems like a hobby you’d want to explore. When you spot a lovely bird that excites you, you can take pictures or videos to keep the memories.
This is a simple yet fun activity. All you need to do is find a trail that suits you and your kids, gear up for a hike, and get going. It’s one of the most rewarding camping activities, as it puts your body in motion and allows you to explore nature.
You can take photos and videos when hiking a trail to keep a record of your memories and the beautiful scenery you come across.
But before you leave the campground, it pays to ensure everyone has comfortable shoes with good traction. Otherwise, your little ones will return with hurting feet or slide and fall on slippery ground.
If you want to camp near a water body, pack your tubing gear and float on the water while enjoying beautiful views.
Tubing is a great way to stay cool and spice up your camping trip. However, it may not be possible for backpackers with limited room for their camping gear.
But if you are camping in a resort or near places to rent tubing gear, you can spend a few hours enjoying floating on the water.
Apart from tubing, some campgrounds offer other water recreation activities for campers, including canoeing, rafting, and swimming. So, it helps to research your campground before and choose what suits your family’s needs.
One thing that makes camping fun is spending the nights under the stars, but have you ever considered stargazing intentionally?
Stargazing, especially with your partner or kids, can ignite your imagination and help you appreciate nature.
You don’t have to find dark places or bring a telescope to get a good glance at the stars since any open field is ideal, provided it doesn’t have distracting bright lights.
If you need to learn how to identify different constellations and planets, find an app that will help you name all the heavenly bodies you see in space at night. This will also be a perfect opportunity to teach your kids something new!
While spending time with your family outdoors doesn’t mean providing endless entertainment throughout the trip, it pays to plan your activities.
The good thing is that you can engage in different activities while out there, from playing games to telling campfire stories, without bringing much gear.
I hope this article has inspired you to prepare your favorite games and activities for your next family camping trip.