With summer on its way in and camping trips on the horizon, you’ll want to have this list of camping games for kids in your back pocket. Family camping trips are the perfect time to unplug and try out these outdoor games, flashlight activities and just plain old-school fun. Which one will be your family’s new favorite?
1. Nature Tic Tac Toe
We love this option as you can gather all the pieces right at your campsite. With four sticks and two sets of markers (think leaves and rocks) you'll be on your way to playing this game that's good for even the youngest campers.
2. Hide and Go Seek
There are tons of great hiding spots when you are camping so this is a natural option for a camping game. Make sure the kids know what boundaries they need to keep and choose a way to call them in like a whistle if you need to end the game early. With little ones, pair up the hiders and make them hide together.
3. Capture the Flag
If you have a slew of kids with you, capture the flag is fun for a group. Divide the kids up into two teams and use two bandanas for flags that you set at opposite ends of the campsite. the winning team is the one that retrieves the opposing team's flag and brings it back to their home base.
4. Nature Bingo
Put the kids to work finding all the cool nature items in your campsite.
5. 20 Questions
This is a fun game to use especially when going on a hike. Kids will have to use their keen observational skills and language to guess the target object. One child chooses a specific object they see along the way and the guessers get to question things like size, color and shape with yes or no questions. The winner gets to be the next one to choose an object.
6. Camping Trip
We love this game for when everyone's sitting around the fire. The first person starts it off with "I'm going on a camping trip and I'm going to bring" and they say what they're going to bring. The next person repeats the phrase "I'm going on a camping trip and I'm going to bring" and they have to choose an item to bring that starts with the next letter in the alphabet. So if the first person is bringing a tent, then the second person has to bring something that starts with the letter "u" like a ukulele.
7. Glow Bracelet Ring Toss
Find a stick and bury it in the dirt so that it is sticking up straight. Pass out equal numbers of glow bracelets to each person. Try your luck at throwing the glow bracelet onto the stick!
8. Squirt Gun Races
Line up a row of plastic cups on the edge of a log or picnic table. With two teams, race to see which team can squirt the cups off the table first.
9. Orange Chin Relay Race
With two teams, line up and pass an orange under your chin down the line without using your hands. If the orange drops you need to start over. First team to move the orange to the end wins!
10. Night Vision
This is a great game to teach kids about how animals see at night. On a designated path, have a few older kids or parents hide in spots where they will be pretty camouflaged but still visible if people look closely enough. Have the "lookers" walk along the path and silently try to find the hiders. The next morning you can have the hiders go back to their spots to show the lookers where they were hiding in plain sight.
11. A Killer Wink
This is a perfect campfire game with a group. One person is designated "it" and leaves the circle to go off where they cannot hear. The remaining group chooses a killer. The person who is "it" returns to the circle and tries to figure out who the killer is. The players look around the circle making eye contact with each other. If the killer winks at you, you have to make dramatic noises and fall over like you've died. When the person who is "it" guesses who the killer is, they get to become the next killer and a new "it" is chosen.
12. Flashlight Charades
This is just like your traditional charades but by the light of the flashlight. Put a bunch of animal names on pieces of paper into a bucket. When it's your turn you select a paper and have to act out that animal using the light of a flashlight. Find more ideas for flashlight games here.
13. Nature Alphabet Hunt
A great way to help kids who are learning their letters is to go on a campground alphabet hunt where you look for items that start with each letter of the alphabet.
14. Mosquito Bites
At the beginning of the camping trip give each kid a certain number of red stickers. If they are caught saying designated words like "campfire" or "tent" then they have to turn over one of their red dots to the person who calls them out. The one left with the most mosquito bites at the end is the winner!
15. Rock Tower Challenge
Pair up and see which team can make the tallest stacked rock tower using rocks found in the campsite.