9 Fun Camping Games for Families

Camping games for families

Camping is a super fun way of bonding with people and connecting, and doing it with your family can help spice up the spirit of all members. There are only very few things as refreshing as taking a break from today’s fast-paced world and heading off into the wilderness to commune with nature. I do that with my family from time to time and boy, is it memorable each time we do so.

Even if you can’t afford to go all out, backyard camping can also provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen familial bonds, albeit on a more pared back level, but still.

During camping, sure, there’s going to be a lot of time for some loud campfire talk, but the best way to make the experience more memorable is actually to engage in some activities together. It’s even more important when camping with your family and you have young children. If all you do is talk and talk, it’s only a matter of time until you hear the very dreaded “I’m bored” complaint from one (or all) of your kids.

So, if you’re planning on going camping with your family anytime soon, I think you might find these ideas for camping games useful in making sure everyone has a fun time.

  • Scavenger Hunt

This is a fun game that never gets old. It can be tweaked to fit any age, and since you’re going to be camping, it only makes sense as it involves gathering things from nature like leaves and sticks, and bugs and flowers.

When my family goes scavenger hunting, we usually pair up to make things more fun. You can pair up with a younger sibling or an adult with a smaller child while the older children pair themselves. For kids who can’t read yet, show them pictures and explain in the simplest ways possible. Have everyone collect items, tick them off the list of things to collect and take photos to share with your friends when you get back home. Rest assured, there’s a lot of laughter to be mined from this game.

  • Camping Olympics

In this game, you are free to create as many playable games as possible including relay races, swimming contests, puzzles, and relic hunts. Why this game works is that you can adjust the game to suit age levels and athletic skills of participants. The endgame is not primarily to find who’s best at something but to have lots and lots of fun.

  • Capture the Flag

This is one of the most traditional camp games around, and not without good reason. It’s simple, fun and engaging.

All you need to do is divide the playing area into two “homes.” Divide the family or group (if you’re camping with another family) into two and have them mark out a designated area for jail then hide the flag in their home. The goal of this exciting camping game is to find the flag safely to be able to cross the line back to their own home safely. Players get “jailed” if they get tagged while in the other team’s home. Sometimes, I like to switch to another version of this game where a player earns a “pardon” to get out of jail if a teammate tags them.

If you’d like to have more fun, try dividing the groups across age lines. If the group is made up of teenagers and older children, try playing kids vs. adults. For a group with much younger kids, share the kids evenly between teams.

  • Hide and Seek

Playing this age-old game outdoors adds a different aura of excitement to it that can’t be obtained outdoors. Because there are no convenient places to hide in like cupboards, curtains, under beds or closets, your family members have to find a way to get creative so that they can blend into the natural setting.  There’ll be a lot of laughter during the frantic scramble to find somewhere to hide before the countdown ends as well as when someone is found out. You have to be careful, though, if you are going to be playing with younger children, set clear boundaries and keep an eye on them.

  • Backpack Pass

You’ll need campfire s’mores for this game. Get the chocolate squares for the campfire s’mores and put them into a small brown paper bag. Then, on the outside of the paper bag, write down a silly command. Place this bag into another bag and write a silly command on this new bag. Repeat this and continue writing silly commands on all the bags until you have enough bags to go round.

Once you have finished doing this, put the collection of bags inside of a camping backpack (if you don’t have an empty backpack handy, you can try the variation of this game by using a bowl). Make sure you set the graham crackers and marshmallows out so that they’ll serve as motivation for players to complete the game. Only players who have completed it can have one. Bring everyone to the campfire and have them form a sitting circle around it. Play music and start passing the backpack. Have someone control the music. Once the music stops, the player with the bag must open the first bag, get up and do according to the command on the paper bag they choose.

Repeat this until everyone has had a chance at the bag and the chocolate has been revealed. This is one game that can really bring your family together in love and laughter. Watching your family play around with silly commands will elicit a lot of giggles.

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  • Bear Catcher

This is a tag game that involves one bear catcher and every other person acting as bears. Place one sleeping bag for each person around the campsite. The sleeping bag is acting as the bear cave. Then have each bear-person go to their cave while the bear catcher stands at the centre of the play area. A non-player will have to shout “go!” so that the bears start racing to new caves. If a bear fails to reach a new cave before the bear catcher catches them, they get tagged and become the new bear catcher.

  • Alphabet Game

This is a great game for if you have small kids with you on your camping holiday. Why people love this game is that it’s extremely low impact and you can play it anywhere, whether you’re already on the campsite or hiking towards there. You can even play it while going shopping! All you need to do is have your kids find and point out or write down or draw objects that start with a particular from A to Z. the first person to reach Z is the winner of the game!

  • Camping Charades

The only downside to this camping game is that it won’t work for you if you have a family with small children. But if you have kids aged five and above, then you’re in luck. It’s really and doesn’t involve much activity, which is perfect for downtimes or after supper moments. Just get small slips of paper and write down activities that each person has to act out and place them into a cup, backpack or bowl. Easy peasy!

  • Noah’s Ark

This is an extremely versatile game that can be played with several variations. This is how to play it; you get players to name animals in alphabetical order for your ark in this format, “I’m going on Noah’s Ark I’m taking two antelopes along with me.” The next person repeats this and then adds another animal with the following letter. For example, “I’m going to Noah’s ark, and I’m taking two antelopes and two baboons with me,” and so on. If you don’t want to use Noah’s Ark, you can say “trip” or any other variation that suits you.

Do this from A-Z. First to get to letter Z wins. A player can lose out if they forget the order of the animals or items or take too long to think of something to move the game forward. The others continue the game until they reach letter Z. This is a fun memory game that can be mentally stimulating to older folks and educating to younger ones.

Try out these camping games with your family and it will guarantee to eliminate boredom but most of all, help to create a fun, loving family atmosphere that will surely create incredible memories!

Happy camping and once again please don’t hesitate to drop me a comment !

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