Camping Activities for Families

Camping Activities for Families

When we were kids, our parents took us camping all the time. My parents would pack us up before the crack of dawn into a cozy bed in the backseat of our dually truck. Our camper on the back was packed to the nines and the horses were in the Charmac trailer behind. All snug and cozy, we were on our way to camp out in the backcountry with family and friends. I have the fondest memories from childhood camping trips. My siblings and I loved playing in nature and creating our own fun. Getting dirty, exploring the surroundings, and roasting marshmallows were my favourite activities. 

If you’re heading camping with your kiddos and you want to have a couple of activities on hand to create core memories, look no further. We have some ideas just for you. 

1. Nature Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items for your kids to find in the campground or surrounding area, such as specific leaves, rocks, or animal tracks. This activity promotes observation skills and an appreciation for nature. If you don’t have time to create this list, you’re in luck! We have made a printable for you. Check out the Printables page!

2. Campfire Storytelling: Gather around the campfire and take turns telling stories. Your littles can use their wild imaginations, or re-tell one of their favourite stories from home. You can make it more fun by going around the campfire and each telling a part of the story. 

3. Hiking and Nature Trails: Explore the natural beauty around your campsite by going on hikes or nature walks. Look for interesting plants, wildlife, and picturesque views. Don’t forget to bring your Nature Scavenger Hunt! Be sure to have your bear spray on hand and chat with your littles about being bear aware. 

4. Campfire Cooking: From starting the fire, to plating up, involve the kids in cooking meals over the campfire. Teach them how to roast marshmallows for s'mores or cook hot dogs on sticks. It's a great way to bond and develop their culinary skills while educating them all about fire safety. 

5. Outdoor Games: Pack a Frisbee, ball, or other outdoor games that the whole family can enjoy. Play catch, kick a soccer ball around, or have a friendly competition with a game of corn hole. I remember playing Red Rover, Kick the Can, and capture the flag.

6. Nature Crafts: Collect natural materials like leaves, pinecones, and rocks to create crafts. Kids can make leaf rubbings, paint rocks, or create nature-inspired collages. This is also the perfect chance to try out your skills at making a bug hotel, inukshuk or even a mandala. 

7. Stargazing: On clear nights, lay back on blankets and spend time stargazing. Teach children about constellations or make up your own stories using the stars as inspiration. 

8. Canoeing or Kayaking: If you're camping near a lake or river, rent or bring your own canoes or kayaks. Enjoy a peaceful paddle together and explore the waterways. There will be lots of interesting birds, bugs, fish and reptiles to discover from the water. 

9. Campground Biking: Bring bicycles or rent them if available. Explore the campground's biking trails and enjoy the fresh air and exercise as a family. If you have a new biker in your crew, a camping trip where you have a grassy area to practice makes the perfect spot to build confidence on two wheels. 

10. Outdoor Photography: Encourage kids to capture their camping memories by giving them disposable cameras, an Instax Mini Polaroid or allowing them to use a smartphone or digital camera. Create a photo album or scrapbook afterwards to look through with them. Kids have a knack for capturing little moments and small details that we don’t notice. 

11. Wildlife Watching: Observe the local wildlife by bringing binoculars or a field guide. Look for birds, squirrels, deer, and other animals that may be present in the area. This is a great chance to chat with your kiddo about conservation and our impact on wildlife while fostering an appreciation of the natural world. 

12. Campfire Sing-Alongs: Gather around the campfire and sing songs together. Prepare a list of family-friendly campfire songs and encourage everyone to join in. If you have a guitar player in the family, they can learn a couple songs ahead of time. You can also bring a little bluetooth speaker and sing along to to your families favourite tunes. Just remember to be aware of the quiet hours at your campground.

We hope these activities offer a wonderful opportunity to bond as a family, appreciate nature, and create lasting memories on your next camping trip. Share some of your favourite camping activities in the comments below!

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