Things To Do While Camping With Kids
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Looking for some fun things to do while camping with kids? Taking the little ones out into the wilderness helps them get fresh air into their lungs and build new appreciations for nature.
However, when the weather isn’t always top notch here in the UK and the tree ahead looks the same as the tree back there, it can be a small challenge finding the right things to do when camping with kids.
From learning about new camping activities for families already pitched up to getting the handle of fun camping games in the surrounding British paradise. Here at Camping Cubs, we’ve been in the exact same boat. We’ve had to think on our feet and create new and fun camping games that’ll keep the kids entertained while letting them into the green world of nature.
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What are some fun things to do while camping?
We’ve gathered together 10 of our favourite camping activities for families so you don’t have to be quite so on your toes. Take a look and find out new things to do when camping with kids that’ll suit you and your campsite with the cubs!
Astronomy for Beginners, Big and Small
To kick off the list, we have one of our favourite calm camping activities to do after the sun’s gone down. Finding Orion’s Belt is always the starting point. Then, it’s looking for the rest of him including his hunting tools.
Our little ones are always fascinated by the creativity our solar system has as well as the far-off constellations. If you find the brightest star in the sky at night, you’ve found Venus. If your camping cub finds a star glimmering a hot red, they’ve nailed it for Mars.
Fun camping games don’t have to revolve around bringing extra equipment, cards, tools, games and what-not from home. It could simply involve laying on the green grass while finding new and innovative things to do when camping with kids such as looking up at the night sky without light pollution getting in the way.
What we like to do is let the creativity fly around the night sky while coming up with new and fun stories that each of the constellations could have, turning one game into a few fun camping games.
Build-a-Shelter Contest Using Nature’s Tools
If you’re by the woodland there’ll inevitably be an abundance of sticks and branches just waiting to be given a second lease of life. And that new lease could come through fun camping games such as shelter-building contests.
Whether it’s girls versus boys, parents versus kids or every camper for themselves, finding things to do while camping with kids doesn’t have to go much further than nature’s fallen goods. Plus, this one can take hours of time off your hands.
Campfire Cooking for Kiddies
What we really mean here is to take a leaf out of our American cousins across the pond’s book and make some s’mores.
If you’re not yet acquainted with the culinary marvel that is s’mores, you’re in for a treat. It starts with camping activities for families such as gathering sticks and making a safe fire. Then, it involves getting the big marshmallows and the digestives out.
Stick the stick into the marshmallow, toast over a fire and crack a digestive in half. When your marshmallow is toasted, use one hand to place half a digestive either side of the marshmallow, pull off the stick and then eat away. You’re welcome!
Also see: Camping Snacks For Kids
Capture the Forest Flag
This one involves a bit of an early escape and planning (as long as you’ve got two adults and one can keep a close watch over the little cubs).
Head out into the wilderness and place two flags while marking a centreline (this could either be placing a number of sticks along the ground or carving out a line with the heel of your foot).
Then, let them loose. Of course, maybe let off on some of the rules such as the ‘freeze’ and the ‘bandana catch’ just because there’s a smaller group and it wouldn’t make for fun camping games. So, just leave the objective to be capturing and guarding!
Geocaching with the App
One of our favourite things to do when camping with the kids and exploring new areas is to download the Geocaching app. Then it’s a case of hunting out new Geocaches, finding past explorers and writing our family name to leave our mark in the forest.
It keeps our camping cubs on their feet as they have to be vigilant for looking at small hiding spaces while keeping them entertained for hours (or however long it takes them to find the Geocache!).
One quick tip for these types of camping activities for families is to always come kitted out with a small swapping trinket, a camera and a pencil (because pencil actually stands the test of time a little longer than ink).
How do you make family camping fun?
Camping with kids, especially little ones, needs a bit of entertainment planning to stop them from getting bored. Make a list of all the activities they’d like to do while you’re on your camping trip and then pick and choose them according to the weather each day.
Homemade Camping Bingo
When you know where you’re going for the next family adventure into the great British beyond, you might have an idea of what you’ll see when you’re there. Maybe a specific sign, a pretty bird, a type of tree, some mushrooms or even a distant landmark.
So, gather what you know you’ll find onto a colourful page of images and get your kids to check them off the list as you venture through the campsite. Maybe put a couple of harder-to-find ones in there too; that way they’ll be entertained with fun camping games for hours.
Kiddie-Winks Yoga Under the Stars
If you’re looking for things to do when camping with kids that’ll help improve their mind and body (while giving them a snippet of best practices as they grow) you’ll want to do a bit of kiddie-winks yoga.
Either use the lush green grass on a sunny day as the mat (that’s if you find the one day of the year it doesn’t rain in the UK) or take a few yoga mats with you.
Then, make a small routine that you can do some moves to alongside some calm music to help get them ready for a deep sleep under the stars. Have a look at some yogi poses that are perfect for our camping cubs (we find our little one’s love trying and failing at the tree pose most).
- Bow Pose
- Bridge pose
- Butterfly Pose
- Cat and Cow
- Child’s Pose (obviously)
- Dancing Flamingo
- Downwards Dog
- Flower Pose
- Resting Pose
Letterboxing in the Nearby Town
Just like Geocaching, letterboxing involves great collectible camping activities for families. But this one is more suited if you’re camping by a town rather than out in the sticks of the Lakes, Peaks or wild camping up in Scotland.
It involves a bit or orienteering and a hint of puzzle solving to get from one clue to the next. It’s one of our favourite things to do when camping with kids because the end of the letterboxing trail results in a unique stamp that the kids can put into their travel journals.
Eventually, the idea is to have a whole book filled with letterboxing stamps that tie in family camping memories throughout the years!
P.S., you’ll need a compass, torch, book and your own stamp to put into the letterbox’s book, too.
Scavenger Hunt in the Surrounding Woodland
If you want to take the fun camping games of camping bingo to the next level, you could turn it into a scavenger hunt where you’ve already hidden the goodies and your little ones have to run round the area to find every single one.
Give them a bucket, a list, a boundary and then set them free for 20 minutes. Whoever comes back with the most items ticked off the list gets the first s’more around the campfire.
Here are some scavenger hunt items you could include for fun camping games in the English outback:
- Something red
- 3 twigs
- A big leaf (full)
- 2 wildflowers
- 5 pinecones
- Something that crawls
- A handful of grass
- Something round
- Some moss
- A leaf with holes
- Some wild fruit
- 4 acorns
- A big rock
- Something yellow
Sleeping Bag Races
Last on the list is the sleeping bag race; it’s one of the ultimate camping activities for families where everyone can join in. But be sure to bring some wet wipes for any loose dirt as well as a plaster or two because “there’s always one”.
All you need to do is mark the starting line, mark the finish line and climb into your sleeping bags. Hopping down the racetrack, the first to get across the finish line gets a prize. Whether it’s picking the drive-through for the journey home or choosing the music to be played around the campfire for some kiddie-winks yoga later on.
You could also turn up the volume on these things to do when camping with kids. For example, halfway down the racetrack, you have the recite the alphabet (backwards for the adult campers), hop in a circle three times or even climb out and back into the bag before continuing to the finish line!
So, whether it’s making use of the tools nature has already provided the camping activities for families or it’s prepping the trip with some scavenger hunting goodies, there’s always something for the kids and cubs to stay entertained.
After all, you want to be able to take a breath of fresh British air, too, right? So, let us know which of our top 10 tried and tested things to do when camping with kids you decided to take a crack at and what you want to see next!
Alternatively, have a look at these other articles written right here at Camping Cubs to help make the most out of your British escape into the wilderness: