15 of the best camping games to entertain kids
If you’re heading off on family camping holiday this year we’ve got some top tips to keep the whole family entertained. Take note of these tried and tested camping games you can play with the kids whether the sun is shining or you’re hiding from the rain under canvas.
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Camping games to add to your packing list
All you need for this active camping game is some paper, a pen and maybe a bag in which to gather your scavenger goodies. Come up with a list of objects that your children need to seek out around the campsite and send them off on a hunt. If you’re in need of inspiration then you can also find these pre-prepared scavenger hunts* on Amazon:
All the best campsites come with a bit of woodland attached and some will even have a den building area. Check with the owners first before you start a den building competition. Hours of fun!
Before your camping trip fill a bag with lots of different objects. They might be small toys, kitchen utensils or objects from that junk draw you have in your kitchen (don’t worry – we all have one).
Sit your family down around the campfire and take it in turns to pluck an item from the bag and use it to tell a story. Pass the bag on for the next exciting/crazy/hilarious instalment.
Racket and ball games
You don’t need a sports court to enjoy racket and ball games when you are camping. Badminton rackets, footballs and boules are all really easy to transport.
A camping game I remember always coming out on our family camping holidays when I was a kid was swing ball*. The equipment itself is really light and can be broken down into smaller pieces to transport in the back of your car. Just watch out for the most competitive members of your family smashing the ball around like Andy Murray!
This variation on the concept of boules isn’t just for use in gardens. Pack a set of these giant darts* in your camping essentials and have a family tournament once you’ve pitched your tent. Just make sure you’re playing a safe distance from your canvas home and your neighbours – no one wants a hole in their roof!
Mini beast hunt
Make the most of being in the great outdoors and go on a mini beast hunt. The Woodland Trust has mini beast hunt sheets you can download before your camping trip or draw up your own.
You’re guaranteed a giggle with Twister. I love this picnic blanket version* that you can take anywhere with its waterproof backing.
Who am I?
Pack some post-it notes for this fun fire side game where everyone has the name of a celebrity stuck to their head and has to ask their friends questions to work out who they are. Take turns to ask questions and guess your character.
The first to work it out wins. Of course, you can adapt the game with your own rules about what type of celebrities count: dead or alive; real-life or fiction; or human or animals. The choice is yours!
Mini board games
Travel-sized magnetic board games* are easy to slip into your camping gear and come in handy for amusing bored children on a rainy day. Have a board game marathon and see who can tot up the most points until the sun comes out again.
There’s treasurers to be found all around the countryside, hidden by other adventurers just like you. Maybe your find a Geo-Cache on you’ll campsite? Download the app before you leave home and get involved in the world’s largest treasure hunt.
The possibilities for fun are endless with a pack of cards, from Snap for young kids through to Patience and Canasta for teens. We’ve also discovered the brilliant card game Dobble* recently – it’s great fun for kids aged six and up.
A handy box for storing card games and small toys when you are camping is the Teebee box.
Charades around the campfire
This classic family game* is even more fun around a campfire or fire pit.
This is a great game when you have an wide open space. Make some new friends and get them all to hold on to one of the handles.
When night falls take turns with a torch inside your tent and create shadow animals with your hands. You could even put on a shadow play.
Pass the Pigs
This is another of my favourite camping games from my childhood. Much hilarity was had late into the evenings over ‘leaning jowlers’ and ‘double trotters’. All you need is a Pass the Pigs set* and a flat surface on which to roll them. Or why not try an over-sized inflatable set of pigs? Perfect for when you’re camping in an open field.
What are you favourite camping games? I’d love to hear what fun things you get up to on campsites! Looking for camping, caravan or glamping holiday inspiration? I’ve got plenty of ideas for you right here.
You might also be interested in my other camping, caravanning and glamping holiday packing lists and reviews:
- Our full guide to caravanning with kids
- A family guide to glamping with kids
- Our family camping checklist and packing guide
- A no nonsense caravan packing list
- How to organise your caravan
- A guide to caravan insurance
- Camping games for the whole family
- Coleman Event Dome XL review
- PRIMA Classic Canopy Air Awning 390 review
- Bailey Phoenix 650 family caravan review
- What to pack when glamping with kids
- Things you need when caravanning with a baby
- What to pack when caravanning with a toddler
*Disclosure: this post contains Amazon affiliate links which means I may earn some advertising fees if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase. You will not be charged extra for this.
If you’re planning a camping trip with kids why not pin this post about the best camping games for future reference.