For a family, camping can be a wonderful experience that helps everybody reconnect with one another. Or, it can end up being a nightmare. When in close quarters for extended periods, togetherness can take on a whole new and uncomfortable meaning. This is why parents need to plan ahead before taking a camping trip. In addition to coming up with ways to keep kids entertained during the time on the road, it’s also important to have games and activities ready once you get to your site. Here are some fun ideas to think about.
1. Scavenger hunt
If your kids were perhaps less than thrilled to rough it out in the woods, they might see little more than trees and dirt when you arrive. But you know there are plenty of interesting things to find, and a scavenger hunt is a great way to do it. Create a list of things to locate and pair up or create teams. And instead of bringing things back to camp, you can take pictures of them with your phones.
2. Alphabet hunt
Similar to the scavenger hunt, this one just entails spotting things in and around the campsite that start with the corresponding letters of the alphabet. Taking turns, one person can start with “A” and say acorn, for example, and then the next person has to find something that starts with “B,” and so on.
3. I Spy
In this game, one person starts by picking an object they can see and saying what letter it starts with. Then everybody gets to ask yes or no questions in an attempt to figure out what it is. The person who guesses it now gets to be the spy. Alternate ways to play include using an item’s shape or color instead of the letter it begins with.
4. Sleeping bag races
If you’ve ever been in a potato sack race, you will have a good idea of what a sleeping bag race involves. Once you have a starting point and finish line, contestants then need to hop their way to glory. It’s best to try to find a field or other grassy spot to avoid bags getting too dirty.
5. Glow ring toss
Glow sticks are an excellent way to light things up at a campsite, and when you bring along some glow necklaces or bracelets, you can create a game out of them. All you need to do is find some sticks, plant them a few inches into the ground, and then try to throw your rings onto them.
6. Flashlight tag
Another fun nighttime activity is flashlight tag. In this game, one person gets a flashlight and then he or she attempts to “tag” everybody else with the light. It can be played a couple of different ways. When someone gets tagged, they can be out – and then the tagger will try to get everyone else – or the tagged person can then take over as the tagger.
7. Group storytelling
Sure, you can bring a bunch of books with you, but it may be more enjoyable for everyone to tell a story together. Someone starts the story with a sentence or two. Even “Once upon a time, there was a family that went camping…” can get the ball rolling. Then everyone takes turns adding to the tale. You may be surprised at the clever and creative things your kids come up with.
Check out our blog for more tips related to camping and other travel topics.