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If your kids spend all their time staring at screens during camping trips, something needs to change.
Keeping your kids off their devices will require a few tricks up your sleeve.
A bag of goodies with everything you need is a step in the right direction.
To help you out, we’ve listed some of our favorite camping activities for kids. Your children will love them, and you’ll love that they aren’t on electronics!
Let’s get started!
What Is a Good Age to Take a Child Camping?
If you wait until the right time to take children camping, you’ll never camp.
There’s always an excuse not to camp when you have children.
No matter how old your children are, you must bring many supplies.
However, while it’s not ideal, that doesn’t mean you should avoid camping with children.
The memories and experiences you make while camping are priceless gifts to your children.
No matter how frustrating or difficult a camping trip will be, you’ll see them as priceless memories.
Take your family camping as soon as possible, even if it means shorter trips.
How Do You Entertain Kids When Camping?
One of the best ways to keep your kids entertained when camping is to do activities with them.
Giving them the materials and instructions to do an activity is not enough.
Put your phone or other screens down and join them in an activity.
These games can be excellent opportunities to chat and bond.
It would be best if you focused on keeping the activities fun and engaging for everyone.
If someone isn’t enjoying themselves, it’s only a matter of time before they start complaining.
A complainer can quickly derail an experience and bring down the mood.
Do your best to plan activities that you know will be enjoyable for everyone in your group.
You should also not move on from a game so quickly that you burn through all your plans in the first 10 minutes of your trip.
Help your children to slow down and enjoy themselves.
Look for different ways to get the most life out of each camping activity.
Camping Activities for Kids That Don’t Involve Screens
We’ve gathered some of our favorite camping activities for kids of all ages.
These tasks will have everyone putting down their devices and engaging with each other.
Let’s see which activities you might want to consider for your next trip!
1. Rock Painting
Rock painting has become a very trendy camping activity for kids in recent years.
It provides an excellent opportunity for kids to use their imagination and creativity.
Gather several rocks, paint, and paint brushes to decorate the stones.
Ensure your paints are washable to avoid leaving any messes at the campsite.
Paint pens are a terrific option for little ones and create less mess than paint brushes.
However, paint brushes are best for older children and those who can avoid making a mess.
Paint the rocks and have fun hiding them around the campsite for future campers to find.
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2. Nature Art
Using nature to create art can be another fun activity. Gather sticks, leaves, flowers, and other items from the area to create a piece of art.
You can even glue or fasten them to a piece of paper.
Watch your kids’ creativity come alive as they begin to look at nature in a new way.
We recommend avoiding ripping plants or killing vegetation out of respect for nature.
Encourage your young artists to use downed trees and other vegetation long past its prime.
3. Stick Mazes
Mazes are an entertaining way to challenge everyone’s problem-solving skills.
Use downed limbs and branches to create a walkable stick maze around your campsite.
Include plenty of dead-ends and confusing loops.
This is a fun and easy way to entertain your kids when looking for activities while camping.
The possibilities are endless, and you can invite your campsite neighbors to try out your stick maze.
Hiking can help young campers connect with and appreciate nature.
Seeing animals in the wild, smelling the flowers, and listening to the birds singing in the woods are advantages of hiking.
Your kids can use all of their senses and burn off some energy.
It would be best to use apps like AllTrails to plan your hikes. You don’t want to bite off more than your kids can chew.
Stick with easy hikes at first and work your way up to longer or more challenging hikes.
If you are camping at a higher elevation, factor in how increases in height can make physical activity more difficult.
5. Coloring Books
Grab a few inexpensive coloring books and a box of crayons.
What you can talk about with your children while they’re busy coloring might surprise you.
Coloring books aren’t just for kids; there are adult coloring books that can be an excellent chance for everyone to join in on the fun.
Coloring a page to give to the camp host or a ranger is a sweet way to say thank you.
Your kids can show off their creativity and learn how to be polite and show appreciation.
Simple lessons like this can set them up to be respectful young adults.
6. Scavenger Hunt
A good ole scavenger hunt can make any hike more exciting.
You can find pre-made camping scavenger hunt lists online, or you can buy reusable Bingo-style games.
There are many scavenger hunts available for kids who need more activities while camping.
Create your own scavenger hunt if you want to up the ante.
Creating your scavenger hunt will take more time and effort but can help you ensure everyone has a great time.
You can adapt the scavenger hunt to fit your campsite, campground, or hiking trail.
- Play individually, or as a group.
- Mark off each item once it is found.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to create your own scavenger hunt, these are some of the best Scavenger Hunt Games For Kids of All Ages!
7. Bean Bag Toss
The classic game of bean bag toss is easily adaptable for all ages.
You can play one-on-one or in teams to ensure everyone gets a chance to play.
Young children can scoot closer to the target to even the playing field.
While a set of wooden boards can be cumbersome and difficult to pack up, you can find collapsible versions that are lightweight and less challenging to store.
You don’t have to take up storage space or carry heavy boards to enjoy a bean bag toss game with your kids.
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If you’re not familiar with slacklining, it’s a sport and art that requires a tremendous amount of balance.
It’s like tightrope walking, but on a 1” to 2” wide piece of nylon or polyester.
Slacklining can be very challenging, especially at first.
However, once you get it, you can start incorporating jumps and even spins.
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Fishing is an excellent camping activity that kids and adults can enjoy together.
Getting kids hooked on fishing at a young age can create a hobby they’ll enjoy their entire lives.
Remember that young kids don’t care how big of a fish they catch.
Find a pond with plenty of small, hungry fish and take lots of pictures!
Brush up on the rules and regulations for wherever you’re fishing.
If you need a fishing license, you’d best have it if a ranger or Department of Natural Resources officer asks to see it.
Fines for fishing without a license aren’t cheap, and you can get in serious trouble.
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10. Kayak/Paddle Board
Water and electronics don’t typically go together very well.
So if you want your kids to put down their screens, take them on a kayak or paddle board.
They likely won’t want to ruin their device and will leave it behind during the adventure.
If you don’t own a kayak or paddle board, you can often find vendors that rent them by the hour or day.
Renting may be the most cost-effective option if you use them rarely.
11. Board/Card Games
You know those board and card games your kids constantly ask to play, but you don’t have the time?
Bring them with you!
Take advantage of the time together to play family games.
It may surprise them that you’re the one asking them to play instead of vice versa.
Camping trips can be an opportunity to try out new activities with your kids.
Try to learn a card game, or teach your kids one of your favorite activities.
You might find that you start making time to play these games between trips at home.
Keep in Mind: Keep your little camper comfy with these awesome Kid Camping Chairs!
Enjoy Family Fun Without Screens With These Camping Activities for Kids
Many parents can be upset or frustrated when their kids constantly use electronic devices.
However, many parents are just as bad as kids regarding electronic usage.
Set an example for your family by showing responsible phone usage and putting your phone away when camping.
Have plenty of camping activities for kids and adults to keep everyone off their devices and help them forget about screens.
Which of these camping activities will you try with your kids?
Last update on 2024-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API