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Crafts & Games

9 Cool Camping Activities to Try With Your Kids

Get kids excited about exploring the outdoors and create long-lasting memories with these camping crafts and games.

a group of people around a campfire under the stars

1. Make a Nature Bracelet

Have your kids pick up treasures as they explore the outdoors to create a cool nature bracelet. First, tear off a piece of wide tape and loosely wrap it around your child’s wrist. The tape should be sticky-side out. Then go explore, attaching all the trinkets you find to the bracelet. Create cool patterns or decorate with wild abandon.

2. Camp Like an Animal Game

In this version of charades, imitate the movement of any animal and have people guess what you are. It’s great for breaks during hikes, campfire skits, or long car rides. Need some ideas to start the amusement? Try an alligator, chimpanzee, owl, shark, monkey, or giraffe.

3. Art with Rocks

Everyone loves a good rock. Why not paint them to create a mystical critter garden around your tent? Hot glue rocks to one another to create items like eyes for frogs, or build a snowman! If you make matching wildlife rocks, you can even use them as markers to play a nature version of tic-tac-toe.

4. Group Storytelling

Turn storytelling into a group activity by taking turns adding a few lines to the plot. One person begins the story with one line to set the scene. Then, the next person adds a line, and so on.

5. Create Leaf Rubbings

This is a wonderful way to spend family time together and teach kids about the changing of the seasons. Place leaves found from hiking vein-side up on a flat surface. Then lay paper on top of the leaves and rub them with a crayon to create beautiful impressions.

girl holding mushroom

6. Alphabet Game

For a fun way to get your little detectives up and running around, have them search the campground or trail for things that start with each letter of the alphabet, in order. When the game is over, treat yourself to some s’mores and a bonfire.

7. Squirt Gun Tie-Dye

Super-soak up the sun by creating vibrant tie-dye T-shirts. Purchase a tie-dye kit and fill each squirt gun with a different color according the manufacturer’s directions. Before passing out the squirt guns, spread a tarp out on the grass. Either lay the T-shirt on the ground or make it vertical by attaching it to cardboard or a hanger. Pass out the squirt guns and fire away!

When everyone is done, wrap up the shirts in individual plastic bags and let them sit overnight before washing. For an alternative approach, fill the squirt guns with Kool-Aid and have a good old-fashioned squirt gun fight. Don’t forget to wear clothing that you won’t mind getting dyed.

8. Blow Bubble Snakes

To make this soapy serpent, you’ll first want to create a sudsy solution. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of dish soap into a bowl, add 9 ounces of water, and stir. Cut off the bottom of a clean, empty bottle (any size bottle will do, but a 16-ounce bottles works best). Cover the freshly cut hole with a sock or washcloth and use a rubber band to keep the fabric in place. Dip the fabric end into the sudsy solution and blow! To add a colorful twist, apply food coloring to the dish soap.

9. Have a Glow-in-the-Dark Party

Brighten up your night by adding glow sticks to games. You can also create a homemade glow stick ring toss. For a fun glow-in-the-dark party, grab a badminton net and hit LED balloons instead of a birdie!

Adapted from "Camping Games for Kids" by Courtney Ferrarese