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So you’ve arrived at your destination, set up camp and are settling in enjoying the beautiful surroundings. And then come the questions… “what now?”, “what can I do?” or even worse, the dreaded…”I’m bored!”
Here are 25 boredom-beating ideas for fun family camping activities that will appeal to children (and adults) of all ages.
Fun family camping activities
1. Go on a walk or hike
Whether it’s a gentle stroll or a more demanding day-hike there are sure to be trails you can explore on foot near your campsite. Do some research before you arrive so you know what’s in the local area. Be sure to take into account the ages and abilities of all of your family before deciding where to go.
2. Have a photographic scavenger hunt
A photographic scavenger hunt is a great activity to do while you’re on a walk or hike, or even just around your campsite.
3. Make a journey stick
Making a journey stick is an easy and fun activity. All you need is a stick and some twine or wool. Wind a piece of twine or wool around the stick then when you are out on a walk or hike, attach interesting leaves, moss, feathers, flowers and other natural bits and pieces you find along the way. It keeps children engaged with the journey and It makes a great memento of your walk (you may not want to bring it home with you, in which case take a photo of it).
4. Go bird watching
How many different birds you can see and hear? Can you identify them? Take along a bird identification book or chart if you have one.
5. Climb a tree
It doesn’t have to be a big tree. Strong trees of any size are fun to climb.
6. Identify wildflowers and trees
Take along a wildlife identification book or chart, or take photos of the wildflowers or trees for identification when you get home.
7. Make your own tic-tac-toe game
Use sticks, pebbles and other natural items you find to make a tic-tac-toe (noughts and crosses) game.
8. Identify insects
How many different types of insects can you find? Are they same as you see at home or very different? Can you identify them? Take a photo or keep a log of all the different ones you see.
9. Build a den or fort
See what you can find to build a den or a fort. We made this great den when we camped at the wonderful Greenhillock Glamping campsite in Angus, Scotland.
10. Make miniature stick rafts
Use sticks, grass, and foliage to make miniature stick rafts. If there is a stream or pond nearby you can see if they float and try to race them. You can even try out your rafts on puddles if it rains.
11. Create some leaf rubbings or bark rubbings
Bring along some paper and crayons and get creative.
12. Make a small cairn
A cairn (a Scottish Gaelic word) is a man-made pile of stones or rocks. Is there anything more satisfying than finding the perfect rock to balance on top of another? Once you’ve finished your cairn, take a photo and put the rocks back where you found them.
13. Play football, frisbee or catch
Start kicking around a football, or throw a frisbee or ball. If you are camping near other families inevitably various children will join in, so it’s also a great way to make new friends.
14. Read a book
Brings books for everyone to read on their own for some quiet time, as well as a book to read aloud as a family.
15. Go on a bike ride
Hop on your bikes and check out the local trails around your campsite.
16. Watch the clouds
What shapes can you see in the clouds? Do you know your cumulus from your cirrus? See how many different types of clouds you can spot.
17. Gather firewood
Before you start gathering firewood be sure to check whether it is permitted where you are camping. Tip: those massive blue carrier bags from Ikea (FRAKTA) are perfect for collecting and carrying firewood. We always have a couple in the car as they store flat and are handy for so many things.
18. Make a campfire
This is our favourite camping activity. There’s nothing quite like sitting around a campfire for creating cosy feelings of well-being.
19. Roast marshmallows
Use your roasted marshmallows to make s’mores or other yummy treats.
20. Tell ghost stories around the campfire
At an age-appropriate level of scariness of course. Remember this is supposed to be fun family camping. You don’t want to end up with kids too scared to go to sleep!
21. Make hot chocolate
We normally have hot chocolate at breakfast, but really, any time is a good time for hot chocolate!
22. Identify constellations in the night sky
Away from the light pollution of the cities and built-up areas, it’s amazing how many more stars you can see in the night sky. Can you identify any constellations? Use a night sky chart or planisphere to help you.
23. Listen for owls
Can you hear any owls hooting? What kind of owls are they?
24. Play charades
An oldie but a goodie. Charades is traditional but is still a great fun family camping activity. Take along pen and paper and make up your own charades, or bring along a charades game such as Charades for Kids.
25. Play a board game, dice game, or card game
Board games, dice games and card games are perfect for winding down at the end of the day, or for beating boredom when it rains. Take along travel versions of your favourite family games, or try out some new ones. Our favourites for camping are Pass the Pigs and Uno.
So there you have it, 25 fun family camping activities for your next trip into the great outdoors. Lots of great ways to spend time together and make happy memories with your family.