Going on a camping trip is a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors and it is also a great time to spend with family. Unfortunately, without television or internet, your children are likely to get a little bored from time to time.
Here are ten easy ways to keep your kids occupied on your next camping trip.
1. Collect and press leaves and flowers – Send your kids out on a collection mission to find different types of leaves and flowers. Gather everything up and press the items between sheets of waxed paper in a heavy book. After the leaves and flowers have dried your kids can use them to make crafts at home.
2. Catch bugs and frogs – Bring a butterfly net and a bug catcher on your camping trip so your kids can catch frogs, insects, and other small animals to study. Make sure not to keep the animals too long and always release them where you found them.
3. Homemade fishing pole – Gather up some sticks and let your kids create their very own fishing poles. For older children you can use a fishing hook tied to the end of some fishing line but omit the hook for smaller children. They may not catch anything but they’ll have fun anyway!
4. Nature scavenger hunt – Write up a list of items you can find in nature then send your kids on a scavenger hunt to find them. Include items you’ll find in the woods like pine cones, feathers, maple leaves, etc. Whoever wins gets to make the first s’more on the campfire after dinner!
5. Try geocaching – If you are camping somewhere that still gets GPS and cell service you can send your kids on a geocaching mission. Download a geocaching app and let your kids go on the hunt – be sure to bring a few small objects you can trade for items in the cache.
6. Painting rocks – Send your kids out to find a few big, flat stones then let them decorate them with craft paint, glitter, and pipe cleaners. Challenge your kids to a competition to see who can turn their rock into a realistic-looking animal.
7. Nighttime games – Bring along some glow-in-the-dark sports equipment so your kids can play nighttime games. Try a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee, football, hula hoop, and a birdie with racquets to play badminton. You can also teach your kids how to play flashlight tag in the dark.
8. Storytelling – Gather your kids around the campfire to tell some good old-fashioned campfire tales. Take turns telling scary stories or make up a story together one sentence at a time. You can also play “I remember” by going around the circle and naming memories.
9. Learn how to build a fire – Building a campfire is a must when you go camping so take the time to teach your kids how to build it properly. Let your kids gather the kindling then teach them how to build it into a log cabin over some dry tinder.
10. Camping Olympics – Take advantage of the open outdoor space to hold your very own Olympics competition. Have your kids compete in relay races, sprints, and tug-of-war games against each other. If there is a safe body of water nearby, include some swimming races as well.
The next time you are planning a camping trip for the family, don’t forget to do a little extra planning to keep your kids from getting bored. Keeping your kids occupied is the key to a relaxing and enjoyable time for you.