Sometimes camping with the kids can feel like a chore having to constantly keep them entertained so you don't hear the dreaded "I'm bored".
We're all for making camping a fun, and budget friendly experience so we've put together a list of 30 FREE fun activities to help your kids reduce time on their devices and be kept entertained at camp.
30 Free, Easy & Fun Activities for Kids While Camping
- Nature walks: Get their little bodies moving and exert some energy. Take a walk through the campsite or nearby trails and encourage kids to look for interesting plants, animals, and insects.
- Scavenger hunts: If the kids are old enough send them out in a group for a fun scavenger hunt. Create a list of items or objects for kids to find in the campsite or surrounding area, such as leaves, rocks, feathers, a certain coloured tent or car and have them look for wildlife local to the area you're staying. Make it extra interesting with the winner gets a chocolate.
- Stargazing: Set up a blanket or some chairs and spend the evening gazing at the stars and identifying constellations. There are some great apps you can download to help identify what's in the night sky.
- Storytelling: Family bonding around the campfire can be such a wholesome experience. Gather around the campfire after dinner and take turns telling stories, either made up on the spot or come pre-prepared.
- Campfire songs: Sing familiar songs around the campfire, or have kids come up with their own tunes using instruments like drums or guitars.
- Tent obstacle course: Set up a fun obstacle course using tents and other camping gear, and challenge kids to complete it in a certain time. You can make it a race, or add how many laps they need to do, or get creative by making a team challenge.
- Tag or frisbee: Play classic games like tag or frisbee in the campsite or nearby open areas. Have the kids reach out to other kids at the campsite to see if they'd like to play as well.
- Board games: Bring along some board games or card games to play in the tent or around the campfire. Just be mindful if your beach camping sand best through everything!
- Card Games: A deck of cards can create hours of fun. Snap, memory or even the adult classics like blackjack are fun and easy to teach.
- Reading books together: Encourage kids to bring their favorite books or borrow some from the campsite's library (if available) and spend some quiet time reading together. You can take it a step further and encourage them to turn their book into a play they can perform for you.
- Sketching: Provide kids with sketch pads and pencils and encourage them to draw the campsite or nearby trees and wildlife.
- Colouring in: Nothing beats an old classic like colouring in. Jump on Google and search your kids favourite cartoon characters or special interests with "colouring in pages" to print off for the trip.
- Animal Watching: A cheap set of binoculars is all you need for the kids to spend time watching wildlife, but they're not required if they aren't in the budget. Encourage them to look up in the tree's, in the ocean to see what they can find. Make it more interesting with a list of animals they need to spot.
- Learning about plants and animals: Use books or online resources to learn about the plants and animals that can be found in the campsite or surrounding area. Make a game out of it and see who can be the first to find 3 interesting facts about the local wildlife they have spotted.
- Rock/Shell collecting: Encourage kids to collect interesting rocks, shells or minerals and bring them home as souvenirs. You can expand on the activity by having them see if they can find out what they're called on Google,
- Rock Painting: Bring along some paints from home and do rock art. It's common practice to leave rock art for others to find and keep, have the kids head out to the local gardens at camp or parks to leave their special rocks for someone to find.
- Cloud watching: Lie on a blanket as a family and spend some quality time together identifying different shapes in the clouds.
- Nature crafts: Use natural materials found in the campsite or nearby to create crafts and art projects. Bring along some glue, and craft paper so they can turn it into artwork to remember their trip.
- Photography: Encourage kids to bring along a camera or smartphone and capture memories of the trip.
- Swimming: We all know kids can spend hours in the water. Take them to explore local beaches, rivers, and waterfalls.
- Fishing: Fishing is a patient man's game. If you love fishing take the kids along, teach them how to set up the rods, and educate them on different bait to use, and what fish you're trying to catch.
- Outdoor games: Play classic outdoor games like catch, tag, or hide and seek. Have them reach out to other kids at camp to see if they would like to play as well.
- Nature journaling: Encourage kids to bring along a journal and record their observations and experiences during the trip. Or at the end of the day, they can sit down and reflect on the day and write about their favourite experience.
- Building with Nature: Use natural materials found in the campsite or nearby to create a birdhouse, feeder or make a cubbyhouse out of large sticks and palm fronds. Let their imaginations run wild.
- Nature bingo: Create a bingo game card and include items or animals found in the local environment. Make it more interesting with prizes at the end.
- Build a Camp Fire: Camping is the perfect time to teach campfire safety, learn a healthy respect for fire, and of course how to build a safe fire pit and get the fire going.
- Campfire cooking: Teach the kids about campfire cooking. Have some simple meals like a sausage sizzle and get them involved with learning how to build a fire and how they can cook on it safely.
- Campsite Yoga: Along with the traditional yoga poses, make a game of it to see if you can make your own from items you see in the camp site. Can they come up with their own "tent pose", "camp chair pose", "campfire pose", perhaps they can make poses of the animals they see around them too!
- Go for a bike ride: This is easier for the little kids as bikes and scooters for their size doesn't take up as much space as the big kids. Make a racetrack at a local park with sticks as markers and let them race each other.
- Play dress ups: Let the kids' imaginations run wild. Make capes from beach towels, and crowns from twigs, vines and leaves. Give them a challenge or let them go at their own pace.
We hope this helps you and the kids have fun on your next camping trip.
Do you have more fun activities to add to the list? Leave a comment below to help parents on their camping adventures with the kids.