How are you planning on spending your time while camping? In this huge guide, you’ll find 43 camping games and activities. There is something for everyone – from the little kids to families and adults. Keep this guide close and have an amazing camping trip!
43 Camping Games and Activities: Kids, Families, Adults
The tent is staked. The fire is crackling. But your kids are starting to get bored.
To them, that beautiful lake landscape just isn’t that great, and they’re wondering why mom and dad are so obsessed with taking pictures of it.
This is when it’s time to pull out the camping games. Not only can they keep your little ones entertained, but they can also teach them a thing or two about nature, survival and the great outdoors.
If you’re looking for fun, family-friendly things to do on your next camping trip, here are just 43 ideas.
8 Classic Camping Games (for all ages)
1. Bean Bag Toss
Bean bag toss is a classic game that can be enjoyed by all ages. You can make your own course or purchase a fun, colorful one with pre-stuffed bean bags and painted cornhole boards.
There are even specialty versions out there for playing things like tic-tac-toe! You can keep score if you’re feeling competitive, or you can just play for fun with the younguns. The possibilities are endless when the game is timeless.
2. Bocce Ball
You’ve probably played bocce ball without realizing that it dates back to the days of the ancient Egyptians.
The rules are simple: Everyone throws a ball at a specially-marked center ball, and the person who gets closest to the target wins. Just watch out for challengers who are free to knock out your ball, the center ball or any other ball on the playing field.
Bocce ball sets are pretty compact and fairly inexpensive, like this set by AmazonBasics.
Here’s how to play bocce.
Watch on YouTube
3. Scavenger Hunts
Scavengers hunts are always fun, and if you play your cards right, they can provide teachable moments as well.
For example, you can have the kids look for particular butterfly breeds or bird nests, or you can challenge them to bring back “an edible plant” or “a sedimentary rock.” They’ll learn more about nature even as they’re having a blast!
You can make your own game (like in the video below) or pick up a stack of prepared scavenger hunt cards like these by GoFindIt.
Here’s how to plan a treasure hunt:
Watch on YouTube
4. Sleeping Bag Races
Potato sack races are a time-honored tradition in outdoor games, but what if you didn’t bring any potato sacks to the Grand Canyon? Use your sleeping bags instead.
Everyone has their own, so there won’t be any fighting or waiting for turns, and they’ll provide a soft cushion for any giggling, squirming kids who fall over. There won’t be any skinned knees on your watch.
It’s a classic for a reason. Charades can be played by all ages, genders and skill levels, and it doesn’t require any tools or supplies other than an active imagination. You can play as individuals or on teams. You can play in any kind of setting.
Charades is the ultimate camping game, especially when you give it a camping theme. Make everyone act out things in nature or tasks that can only be completed on a campground.
If you have a good imagination, you can make these up as you go along. To keep things fast moving, you can also pick up some charade cards, like these no-reading required cards for kids aged 4 and up.
6. Hacky Sack
Don’t let it touch the ground! Whether it’s played with a ball, sack, bean bag or just a rolled-up sock that’s seen better days, hacky sack is a thrilling game filled with laughter and close calls.
The only objective is to kick the object around from player to player without letting it hit the dirt.
7. Frisbee Games
You can do a lot more with a Frisbee than just zipping it through the wind. There are whole sports that combine Frisbee tossing with tennis, soccer, golf, rugby and dodgeball.
You can create or customize your own Frisbee activities depending on the ages of your kids and the equipment that you feel like toting in the back of the car.
8. Leaf Threading
You don’t have to wait for the holidays to create garlands. Leaf threading is a fun, low-key activity that can be enjoyed by all ages, and it’ll promote everything from creative thinking to fine motor skills.
As a bonus, you’ll create DIY mementos of your camping trip that you can take home when everything is over!
8 Campfire Games
9. Shadow Puppets
Nothing complements a good blaze like shadow puppets. You can use the light of the flames to cast them against cars, campers, boulders or the side of your tent.
For added competition, turn it into a game of charades where everyone has to guess the animal or object that you’re making.
10. Toasted or Roasted
Toasted or Roasted is an interactive card game where the goal is to toast marshmallows over a campfire as quickly as possible.
But watch out! Your opponents will be drawing cards that give them sabotaging rights. Whether they’re pouring water on your fire or forcing you to burn your marshmallows to a blackened crisp, they won’t make it easy for you to win. Get this game on Amazon.
11. Noah’s Ark Memory Game
Noah’s Ark is a memory game that can be played everywhere from campfires to car trips. To start, the first player says, “Into Noah’s ark went (an animal that starts with the letter A).” The second player continues with “Into Noah’s ark went (the first A animal) and (a second B animal).”
The goal is to make it to Z without anyone messing up. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, especially if you give it a nature twist. For example, you might only be allowed to say the names of animals that you’ve observed on your trip.
The funniest games are always the ones where the objective is not to laugh. In Pterodactyl, players have to use their lips to cover their teeth as they go around in a circle saying the world “pterodactyl.”
Making funny faces is both allowed and encouraged. If you show your teeth, however, you’re out. So no laughing!
Here’s what it looks like:
Watch on YouTube
13. Fire Tender
This game isn’t played with an actual fire, but it’s the spirit that counts. One blindfolded player sits in the middle of a collection of twigs, sticks and branches.
Everyone else tries to sneak close and grab some without the fire tender hearing them and calling them out. You can make the game easier or harder with things like penalties, time limits or extra-large branches with rustling leaves still attached.
14. Two Truths and a Lie
“Two truths and a lie” is a more sophisticated version of “truth or dare.” It’s also a good way to keep everyone safely around the campfire without wandering off in the dark to complete dares. The rules are simple, and you’ll get to know your kids a little better with every round.
You might even pick up on their tells when they lie; this can come in handy when they’re trying to wiggle out of misbehavior back home!
15. Down by the Banks
Perfect for a family sitting around the campfire, Down by the Banks is a hand-slapping game that goes in a circle.
Everyone links hands and says a rhyme as they gently slap the next person’s palm, and when the rhyme ends, the slapper has the chance to take out the slap-ee with a decisive smack.
But be warned! The slap-see can move their palm at the last second and save themselves, forcing the other person out instead. The game continues until there’s only one person left.
16. Camp Talk
Camp Talk is a great bonding tool for families. It’s a question-and-answer game prompted by cards that can run the gamut from silly to heartfelt, so it manages to be fun, creative and thought-provoking all at the same time.
What’s the grossest thing that you’ve ever eaten? What qualities make a good friend?
Camp Talk can be a really illuminating exercise for parents who want to grow closer to their kids. Check out Camp Talk on Amazon.
9 Camping Games for Kids
Tetherball is great for kids because it’s a self-sufficient game that can be played at any time. They won’t have to wait for an even number of players or for mom and dad to set up every game.
As soon as the pole is installed, it’s good to go, and it can keep the little ones entertained for hours at a time. It’s also one of those games where you can make up your own rules if you don’t like or get bored with the official ones, so there are always new twists to add.
18. Water Relay Game
Perfect for a hot day, this game will keep everyone nice and cool. It’s played by having the kids stand in a single-file line with empty plastic cups.
Without looking, the first player fills their cup with water and dumps the whole thing over their shoulder; their aim is to get as much water as possible into the next player’s cup. The process repeats down the line until everyone has had a turn.
How much water will be left in the final cup? How wet will everyone get? There’s only one way to find out.
Here’s what it looks like:
Watch on YouTube
19. Molkky (Skittle Scatter)
Molkky is a throwing game from Finland. It’s like horseshoes crossed with bowling; the object of the game is to knock down a series of pins that are marked with points.
The first person to get 50 points is the winner, but it has to be exactly 50 points. If you go over, your score resets to 25.
Molkky can be played in stops and starts for your entire trip, so it’s perfect as an ongoing game that’s resumed at every new campsite. Here are the detailed rules for Molkky.
Get your Molkky set on Amazon.
20. DIY Windcatchers
Windcatchers are usually an indoor arts-and-crafts project made with things like paper towel rolls, but you can create a nature version as well.
Just give your kids rocks, leaves, twigs, acorns and seed pods instead of the usual supplies. Hang them up outside of the RV when they’re done.
21. The Cup Game
The cup game doesn’t have an official name, but if you’ve seen Pitch Perfect, you already know what it is.
Watch on YouTube
It’s a musical memory game where players use empty, upside-down plastic cups to create clapping or thumping songs that everyone has to remember in sequence.
Everyone can play, but the nice thing about it is that kids can do it on their own while the adults are busy.
Here’s the video that made Cups super popular.
Watch on YouTube
22. Ladder Toss
Ladder toss will require adult assembly, but once you have the poles set up, your children will be able to play without worry or supervision.
It’s a simple tossing game that uses two balls connected by a rope, and the goal is to hook them around the poles with the help of force, momentum and gravity. You might even be able to sneak in a physics lesson here or there!
Packed into a small yellow pouch, Bananagrams is the portable, travel-friendly version of Scrabble.
Instead of working on a communal board, however, the goal is to create your own board while using up all of the letters from your particular pile.
Kids can do it by themselves without any adults refereeing. It’s fun, simple and educational, so it’ll boost the brain even as it keeps the hands busy.
24. Kan Jam
Kan Jam is a disc-throwing game where you try to sink a flying disc into a small canned opening like a cross between basketball and darts. It requires both attention and precision, but it’s so satisfying when you finally succeed!
For an extra challenge, buy an illuminated Kan Jam can that glows in the dark. The kids can play by themselves while you’re setting up the tents for the night.
25. Camping Bingo
Camping bingo can be played in several ways. The traditional way is a regular game of bingo with campfire-themed cards; a longer, more interactive way is by treating the cards like an extended game of “I Spy.”
You can only add a sticker to your bingo card if you see or participate in the action depicted there. Who will be the first person to get five in a row?
Stay warm and safe with our Toasty Guide to Camping Heaters
10 Camping Games for Families
26. Parachute Games
There are endless games that you can play with a big, billowing parachute, so it’s just a matter of finding the ones that will entertain your family.
If you have several kids, for example, you might enjoy turn-based challenge games. If you just want to tucker out a toddler, send them running under the parachute or try to balance some balls on top of it.
Watch on YouTube
27. Squirt Gun Fun
This carnival-style game is quite simple: Line up some empty cans or soda bottles on a picnic table and use squirt guns to try and knock them off.
You can play solo or with duos or teams if there are little ones that could use a helping hand. Things might get a little wet, but it’ll be a cool and refreshing game during summertime camping trips!
So yeah, squirt guns are fun. Here’s proof (as if you needed any).
Watch on YouTube
28. Capture the Flag
You’ll need big teams for a truly rousing game, but there’s a reason why Capture the Flag is such an iconic and enduring pastime.
It combines luck, skill, strategy, dexterity and good old-fashioned courage, and it can last for hours if everyone is giving it their all. You can even play “family versus family” if you make new friends at the campground.
29. Act and React
Act and React is a bit like charades in the sense that it involves acting out scenarios that were written on pieces of paper.
However, it allows for more elaborate ideas, and it’s easy to give them a nature theme. Possible scenarios could include things like “discovering a snake in your sleeping bag” or “protecting your campsite from a possum.”
Let the kids get as wild as they want!
30. Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Toss
Ring toss is always fun, but it’s even more fun when you’re using glow sticks on a dark night.
Toss the rings at a target from several feet away, or put the glow sticks around empty soda bottles and use the lights as a beacon while you bowl.
The possibilities are endless, but they’ll all look awesome. Here’s a great set on Amazon.
31. Spot It! Camping Game
Spot It! is a popular card game with many different versions, including a camping version.
You play by visually matching items on separate cards and calling out bingo-style when you find them.
It’s a fun, fast-paced game with a lot of potential for tongue-tied moments, and it doesn’t require any reading if you’re playing with kindergartners. It’s all reflexes and object recognition. See Spot It! on Amazon.
Pickleball is a bit like badminton, but it’s more kid-friendly. It uses paddles instead of rackets and a large, wiffle-style ball instead of a birdie. Kids will be able to hit, serve and dive to their heart’s content.
There are real rules for pickleball games if you’re playing on a court, but if you don’t feel like being official, you can just goof off with the little ones and have fun.
See this great starter pickleball set on Amazon.
Watch on YouTube
You’ve probably played variations of this game. Each person adds a line to an ongoing story, and the end result is usually a mix of funny, outlandish and completely nonsensical.
For the best results, use a piece of paper to hide the story except for a single line that the previous person has written. It’s a nice way to pass the time at a picnic table while dinner is being prepared.
Spoons is musical chairs without the music or the chairs. There’s always one less spoon on the table than the number of people playing, so when it’s time to grab them, one person will be left empty-handed.
Players are eliminated until there’s a single spoon champion remaining. It’s an exciting game, and you won’t need anything but kitchen utensils to play.
35. Park Ranger
If you’re looking for camping activities that are both educational and entertaining, consider Park Ranger.
You start by clearing a large, empty space and creating two end-zones. One player is the park ranger, and they stand in the middle and call out the features of a particular animal.
All other players represent an animal, and if their feature gets called, they have to make it from one end-zone to another without the park ranger catching them. It’s good clean fun, and it can teach your little ones about the animal kingdom to boot!
Camping Tip: Here’s how to keep food while camping
8 Camping Games for Adults (and Some Kids)
If you aren’t familiar with geocaching, it’s basically a high-tech treasure hunt where you use handheld GPS devices to find “caches” that other travelers have buried.
Watch on YouTube
You can get clues and coordinates from special geocaching sites, or you can make your own cache to bury for the next person.
Kids are welcome to join, but unless they can read maps, follow signs and operate GPS equipment, it might not be the most fun activity for them.
37. Never Have I Ever
You might be familiar with “Never Have I Ever” as a drinking game, but you don’t need alcohol to enjoy it.
You can sit around the campfire and spill your secrets just for fun. You can also play a modified version with pennies, marshmallows, M&Ms or soda sips in places of shots. The last one with something left in their bottle is the winner.
38. Campfire Songs
This is a great way to spend the evening around the campfire. Choose from the classics (Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash), modern (Coldplay and Spongebob) and kids (The Ants Go Marching and Home on the Range).
What songs should you sing? Here are some of the best campfire songs for families. The guide includes lyric videos so everyone can sing along.
39. Kite Flying
Kites can require a lot of patience, but they’ll be worth it in the end. They’re just as fun to design as they are to fly!
You can also play kite games with an opponent once they’re in the ar, including “kite battles” that are essentially aerial wrestling matches.
You’ll want more than your basic kite for these games. A nice quality kite like this one should do the trick.
40. Flashlight Tag
You never really outgrow tag, and flashlight tag kicks it up a notch by adding the extra challenge of playing at night.
It might not be safe with very young children, but it can be an exciting game to play with teens and adults after the little ones have gone to sleep.
41. Chubby Bunny
If you have leftover marshmallows after your smores, Chubby Bunny is a good way to use them.
It’s a stuffing-your-face game where the goal is to cram as many marshmallows in your mouth as possible while still being able to say “Chubby Bunny.”
It can be a choking hazard for young kids, but older kids and adults should have a sweet time.
If you love to spike volleyballs but could take or leave the rest of the game, consider Spikeball.
It revolves around a bouncy, ground-level trampoline net that players use to spike the ball towards their opponents.
It can be a little rough and fast paced for kids, if you’re an athletic adult with good coordination, Spikeball will definitely get your blood pumping. Here’s a great kit to get you started.
Here’s how to play spikeball.
Watch on YouTube
43. The Tarp Game
The tarp game is cornhole played with a tarp instead of a board. The cool part, however, is that you cut your own tarp as a customized scoreboard, so you can decide for yourself how easy or difficult that you’d like the game to be.
If you’re just playing for kicks, you can make the holes big and easy. If you really want to challenge yourself, you can make the holes small, far apart or weirdly angled. You decide with the tarp game.
More reading: How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener
These are just a few camping activities that can keep your family entertained even when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Who says that you need TV to have a good time? Unplug, take a deep breath and enjoy nature with these kid-friendly games, crafts and sports.
- About the Author
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Hi, I’m Bryan Haines. And I’m a co-founder of Storyteller.Travel. I’m a traveler and photographer.
I also blog about photography on Storyteller Tech.
Monday 9th of August 2021
This is a very interesting list of camping games and activities, perfect for all ages. Thanks for sharing these ideas and explaining them so well!
14 Fun Camping Activities for Adults: Campfire, Classic, and Active | GudGear
Tuesday 15th of October 2019
[…] Check out this huge guide to camping games for families and kids. […]