Camping as a family is an excellent bonding experience. It’s easy to get bored out of your mind sitting in the wilderness all day, so coming prepared with some games and activities can really help make camping even better.
It’s essential to fill the hours with a variety of activities when you’re camping. These include those on your smartphone, but it’s also important to remember that old-fashioned analog games and activities can still be just as much fun. You can spend your days outdoors doing lawn games or find other ways to explore the wilderness through scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, and orienteering activities. Even once the sun goes down, you’ll still want to stay close to the campfire. Bring plenty of outdoor-appropriate card and family board games, as well as things for nighttime entertainment like camping charades before storytelling activities. Significant light-up objects for nighttime competitions include glow sticks, flashlights, and laser pointers. When you’re done messing with these things, they won’t miss the wifi!
Letterboxing is a fun game to play on camping trips. You’ll need things like paper, pens, and pencils for this one, so you’re best to pick them before leaving the house. Each person writes down their name vertically at the top of a piece of paper which will be used as what’s called an “entry”. Players then draw individual horizontal lines across that page, stopping when they reach each other’s names without crossing over any letters or removing outside the boundaries of the entry. The goal here is to create words horizontally with only one letter in each word touching another player’s line (careful not to write too much!). When everyone has finished writing out their entries, players take turns guessing words until someone thinks correctly!
You can easily do a social activity just by placing it in the middle of everyone and letting people grab their own board whenever they want to play. By keeping score during your trip, you will find out who is truly the champion among friends at corn hole.
Capture the Flag
One classic outdoor game for camping that is great for kids is Capture the Flag. This one needs two teams with at least four members each and should be played on an even field of ground, so no team has an unfair advantage over another. To win, your team must capture the other team’s flag while preventing them from capturing yours!
It’s nice to have things like board games and cards for when you’re hanging around the campfire in the evening. If you want a little more of a challenge, try playing late-night cards where there are no winners or losers; it’s just about doing your best!
Pass the Pigs
Pass the Pigs is the best game for toddlers and preschoolers when it comes to family camping trips. You will need two pigs (or things that look like them) and something to throw or roll one pig away from the other while protecting it with your arm. The player who’s left holding both of their pigs at the end wins!
Word games can bring in much-needed entertainment on rainy days, and the few pieces usually take up little space in your bag. Bring a pack of word games like Bananagrams while camping for that delicious Scrabble alternative.
Treasure Hunts are a great way to getting campers thinking outside the box and exploring new things. You can make one of these in advance before you even head out on your trip by laying out objects for people to find, or create it as you go along using things that will be available in nature, like leaves and rocks!
Flashlight Tag is an outdoor game for one person to be the “It” while everyone else has a flashlight. The goal of this game is to duck being tagged by chasing players with their flashlights turned on until It can’t find any other player.
Ring Toss is a game that doesn’t require any equipment! All you should do is get some things together like cans, bottles or anything else with a circular shape and string. You can then take turns tossing things up in the air as high as possible before they come down again so players can try catching them on their strings for points.
Charades is a fun game for when you’re not in the mood to do anything too active. The goal of this one is to act out things without saying any words so your team can guess what it is!
Glow Tag is a game for when you have kids. To win, players will need things like markers and glow-in-the-dark paint to create something that can be easily seen in the dark!
Murder in the Dark
Murder in the Dark is a team game that can be played before going camping. The goal of this one is to hide things around camp and then call out something like an item or number, so players have to go find it without running into anyone else!
Scavenger Hunts are a great way to getting people exploring things they wouldn’t usually think of looking at. For this one, you can either make it in advance or create as you go by laying out an object and telling everyone where the following item is that they have to find!
Best of Mad Libs
Mad Libs are a fun game for small groups of people. The goal is to fill in the blanks with things like nouns, verbs and adjectives before passing it on!
Map Mazes are a fun way to explore things! To play, you will need something like paper and pens for each person before mapping out sections of the maze. The purpose is to see who can get through it without getting lost first!
Constellation Spotting is an entertaining activity for when you have small children. To play, all you need to do is find things that look like stars in the sky and then name them!
Geocaching is an enjoyable hobby that’s perfect for when you have small children. It uses things like GPS to find something with coordinates, and it can be done anywhere – not just in the forest!
Kubb is a game that’s perfect for when you have older children. The goal of this one is to knock down things like wooden blocks with balls on end in order to get your own stuff onto the mat and off!
Toasted or Roasted Marshmallows
Roasting marshmallows is a fun thing to do as a group! To roast them, you will need things like skewers or sticks with marshmallows on end and then things that are high enough for the marshmallow to get close to. Make sure there’s something underneath, so they don’t fall through – things like grass work great!
Camp Talk is a great icebreaker game that’s perfect for when you have small children. The goal of this one is to come up with things like things they do at camp, things kids might want from home and things people miss in the city!
Camping Bingo is an excellent game for when you have older children. The goal of this one is to get five things in a row by calling out things like things found around camp or items from home!
An Exquisite Corpse Story
An Exquisite Corpse Story is a game that’s perfect for when you want to light things up! To play, you will need an index card or piece of paper and two people. One person writes the first sentence on their own while the other draws what they think it looks like so the next player can continue writing from where they left off.
Obstacle courses are perfect for things like summer camps or vacation Bible school! The goal of this one is to go from start to finish in the fastest time possible while getting on things like balance beams, tunnels and something that you can only move forward – not back.
Obstacle courses and team relay races can be designed with whatever you have on hand. Jump ropes, hula hoops and water balloons are all great options for creating these mini-challenges that can be tailored to your kids’ abilities.
If you are looking for things that will make things more exciting, Wink Murder is a perfect game to bring out. The goal of this one is to get the person who’s it (or winked) by going around and winking at everyone else – if not; they’re dead!
Morse Code Messages
Morse Code Messages are a great way to explore things! To play, you will need something like a pen and paper. The goal of this one is to have everyone sitting in a circle with their knees touching the person next to them – when someone says go, they’ll start writing down things that can be spelled out using Morse code while not making any noises or talking!
The game continues for as long as people want it to before collecting all the papers from each player. Once there’s enough on the table, players will take turns reading what was written aloud without saying anything else until they find something that doesn’t match up – then whoever reported it has to drink once for every letter missed! If no mistakes were made, whoever wrote it has to drink twice.
The goal of this one is for everyone to try and guess things using Morse Code – the person who’s it will start by saying “I am thinking about” while continuing with something that can be spelled out in code. If someone guesses correctly, they’ll get the point; if not, whoever guessed gets their turn instead!
Sleeping Bag Race
Sleeping Bags Races are a great way to explore things! To play, you will need something like sleeping bags and then have everyone put their feet on the starting line. When you say go, they’ll all run until someone crosses the finish line first! The goal of this one is for people to make it back before that person counts down from ten – if not, they’re out of the game!
Chubby Bunny is a game that’s perfect for when you want to light things up! To play, everyone will need something like their own cup of water and then someone who can’t see what they’re drawing. The goal of this one is to try and guess as many things as possible using the letters in “chubby bunny” – if not, take a sip from your drink every time you get it wrong!
Glow-in-the-Dark Jenga is an excellent game for things like camping! The goal of this one is to take turns removing items from the tower and then to try not to break it.
Forgo Risky Business
Forgo Risky Business – things can get pretty messy with these games, so you’ll need something like towels to clean up afterwards! The goal of this one is to do as many things without breaking any rules; if someone dies or spills anything, they have to drink two sips of their beverage before continuing on. Laws are changed depending on what type of risky business people want to play.
S’mores are a camping staple! The goal of this competition is to see who can make the best s’more. You will need things like graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars for each person before competing in teams or as individuals.
FindCampingGear.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We also participate in other affiliate programs which compensate us for referring traffic.