Camping is a great family activity, particularly for children. They are outdoors in interesting surroundings with loads of places to explore and play. There is always a time, however, when you will hear “I’m bored” so you should have some camping games ready to go. Plus they are fun too – in fact some of the best memories from a family camping trip come from the games that you all play together. Here are some ideas for all occasions.
All children like going on scavenger hunts. They love the competition, and the thrill of finding each item. You can theme it to wherever you are camping, with the children having to collect leaves, shells, rocks, or other items. Team up each group of children with an adult.
The Alphabet Game
This is a simple game to play, but it is great fun. You can do it as a cooperative game, or you can make it more of a competition, plus you can even join in. It involves identifying something in or close to the campsite whose name starts with every letter of the alphabet.
This one is not only fun, but it will also expend some energy. You can set up all sorts of events, from running races to jumping events, to fun events like an egg and spoon race. It is also easy to arrange an obstacle course on a camp site, with the children racing against the clock over rocks, around trees and under fences. Can they beat your time though?
Play this one at the campfire at night. Everyone puts a marshmallow in their mouth and then takes it in turn to say “chubby bunny”. Everyone then puts another marshmallow in their mouth and again says “chubby bunny”. The winner is the person with the most marshmallows in their mouth who can still say “chubby bunny”.
You will have to take some time to set this up, but it is fun and adults can join in as well. If adults are involved you can make the clues harder. You simply have to lay out your trail. The treasure hunters have to figure out the answers to the clues before moving to the next point. At the end the winner will find the treasure.
This is another fun game for around the campfire. Everyone sits in a circle and one person whispers a phrase into the ear of the person sitting beside them. This person then passes the message on by whispering it to the person on the other side. The last person in the circle then says aloud the phrase they heard – usually it is nothing like the original phrase.
Duck, Duck Goose
Everyone sits in a circle except for one person who is “it”. They walk around the outside of the circle tapping each person on the shoulder in turn and saying “duck”. They then pick one person to tap on the shoulder and say “goose”. This player then gets up and chases the person who is “it” around the outside of the circle. If they don’t catch them, they are now “it”. This is best when you have a large group.
Hide and Seek
It is an oldie, but is still a favourite around the world. On a campsite you can keep the children entertained for long periods of time with this game. Plus everyone can get involved, from the youngest in your group to the oldest.
I went to the shop and I bought…
This memory game can be played around the campfire, or on rainy days. It starts off with one player saying “I went to the shop and I bought an apple”. They don’t have to say “apple” – the just name something you can buy in a shop. The next person has to say “I went to the shop and I bought an apple and an orange”. This continues with each player listing everything that has been said previously in order, before adding something else to the list. When a player gets it wrong they are out.
For this game you will need to bring some glue with you. Then get the children to collect twigs and leaves and help them build their own twig castles or forts. You can also vary this in many different ways by getting the children to make other crafts, such as twig-and-leaf boats, fairy traps, and more.
Truth or Dare
This one is a favourite among teenagers, but it is also one that you can play with your children. To play it you simply ask an embarrassing question. If the person doesn’t want to answer it they have to perform a dare.
What games do you play with your children when you go camping?
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