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If world events have taught us anything, it’s that you can’t put a high enough value on family togetherness. One of the safest family excursions you can embark on at the moment is a family camping trip. And there are plenty of fun camping games for families to enjoy while they’re on their trip! Round up your campers and get ready to spend some quality time in the fresh air making memories that will last a lifetime.
These easy games to play while camping are perfect for enjoying family time together (or keeping busy if bad weather arrives) and they are suited to playing just with the family or with larger groups too.
Best of all, they are mostly no prop campfire games, which mean you don’t have to pack any extras to enjoy the fun!
Fun Camping Games For Families
Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and recharge in nature, and while most of your day might be spent doing active activities and exploring, there will be times when you need a little downtime with the family. Especially once the sun has set!
Here are some fun camping games for families for you to enjoy while on your camping trip:
1. Truth or Dare
Truth or Date is one of the easiest campfire games to play. You’ve probably played before, but just in case, the game goes as follows. The first player chooses a person to ask the question, “Truth or Dare?”.
If the person selects the truth, the first player may ask him or her any question, and they must answer truthfully.
If the person selects a dare, he or she must do whatever the first player dares them to do. Dares with your small campers will get increasingly silly, but they can be anything from “prance around the camp as if you were a unicorn” to “balance ten marshmallows on your nose.”
2. Twenty Questions
You can shorten the number of questions for younger kids, but the goal is to ask a number of questions to each player that must be answered truthfully. It’s just like Truth or Dare minus the dares.
This game is a great way to get to know your family and to pass down stories from your childhood. It’s bound to get conversations started.
3. I Spy
For daytime camp games, consider I Spy. The first player says, “I spy with my little eye something…” then fills in the blank with colour, texture, or other description.
The person who guesses the object correctly gets to take the next turn.
This game is excellent for preschool children who are just learning their colours, but you can adjust the descriptions you use for a number of skill strengthening exercises.
For instance, you might use large vocabulary descriptors for older kids who are learning new words, or you might use the beginning or ending sounds of object names for emerging readers.
4. The Band Game
Starting with the first letter of the alphabet, the first player must name a band beginning with that letter. The next person must name a band that begins with the last letter of the first person’s band.
This camping game can be done with collections of almost anything – foods, places, clothing items, movies, etc.
5. The Animal Game
Starting with the letter A, players take turns naming an animal that begins with each letter of the alphabet.
You can swap turns each round with each player naming for just one letter, or to extend the game and make it more challenging, you can have each player name an animal for every letter.
For example, each person in camp would name a different animal for the letter A, then start over with the letter B.
Just like the band game, this game can also be played with different collections of items.
For a really challenging game to play while camping, go around in the circle with each person answering for a new letter and the next person must remember every other letter answer as well as add their own answer for the next letter. For example, if you are E, you must also remember what the other campers said for A through to D before you can answer your own.
6. Fortunately, Unfortunately
There’s an excellent Hee Haw bit from back in the day where a man tells a story. For every good thing that happens, something terrible happens. He jumps from an airplane. His shoot doesn’t open, but there’s a big pile of hay to land in.
The kicker is, there’s a pitchfork in the pile of hay, and so on.
This is a fun story game for multiple players. The first person says something along the lines of “Fortunately, I found a buried treasured chest.” Then the next person continues the story with something like, “Unfortunately, it was full of cursed gold.” They then follow with their own fortunately sentence.
It’s a great exercise for the imagination, but you can also help your kids swap in synonyms and antonyms to vary the language of the game.
7. Treasure Hunt
You can organize a scavenger hunt easily and vary the level of difficulty for different ages. Make a list of things found in nature that your kids can collect, or ask them to find the best of anything. You might say, “Find me the prettiest rock.”
In the spring and summer, you can also find a large leaf, poke small holes in it, and let your kids fill the holes with flowers they pick in the woods.
If you want to make it a little more structured, create your own scavenger hunt lists at home before you head off on your camping trip, with a list of common items you expect your kids will be able to find.
Print them off and bring a pen for each child and send them safely on their way collecting.
8. Fairy Houses
On the beach, you can make sandcastles, but in the enchanted forest, you make fairy and elf houses! Let your kids collect pretty rocks, moss, sticks and twigs, and other small implements from around camp. Then, let them build small houses out of their materials.
Ask them who lives there and see if they can create a small character of their own imagination.
After they fall asleep, you might even leave some small treasure or little footprints around the houses so they’ll know their elves came in the night.
10. Forest School
Whether you homeschool or simply spend a number of weekends and summers camping, you might look into forest school activities that are both fun and educational.
The basis of forest schooling is just using natural activities to let kids learn through their own explorations and interests.
It’s about sustainability and ample time outside in nature. Activities are as simple as climbing rocks or hide and seek or can be more involved and planned, like making mud art.
Kids and adults learn best through play, and playing together creates strong family bonds that last a lifetime. Start making memories today! These fun family camping games are sure to keep the whole family entertained with plenty of laughs… and maybe even teach some of your younger family members some new things!