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Fun Camping Ideas For Kids

For fun camping ideas for kids, just look around your campsite! The possibilities are limitless. Here are a few to get your children started.

welcome sign made with cones

Our campsite was covered with large pines cones - so we used them to make a "Welcome" sign!

Should we bring the iPad?

Resist the temptation!

If you are a first time camper, you may wonder how your children will entertain themselves at camp without a TV or a video game system.

It's a valid concern. These days, many children are unaccustomed to big blocks of unscheduled time. At school and after school, most of their activities are planned for them. They may have forgotten how to make their own fun.

The ability to entertain yourself is an important one, and a camping trip is the perfect opportunity to practise.

I predict that after just a little bit of time away from their usual routines, your children will rediscover their innate talent for creative play.

boy playing with rocks and pails

They'll relax into the rhythm of camping and discover all sorts of fun activities, guided by what they find in the environment.

At first, your children may want your guidance in finding something to do. Have a few fun camping ideas up your sleeve to get them started, and they will soon remember how to make their own fun.

Pack a few toys and games.

You don't need to bring a lot of playthings when you go camping. A few well-chosen favorites will keep your kids busy for hours.

Here are some toys that will suggest fun camping ideas.


If your campground has an open field or a large beach, bring along a kite. Flying kites on the beach on a windy day is fun!

Sidewalk chalk

Many state and provincial parks have lovely paved roads and not much traffic. Suggest that your kids decorate the road in front of your campsite.


Those paved roads are also perfect for bike riding.

dad and boys biking on paved campground roads

Bigger kids will love exploring on their own. The relative safety of campground roads makes this a great opportunity to begin to ride independently.

Campsite Games

A campsite game like Ladderball or Cornhole is an easy way to get the fun started.

Learn more about campsite games here.

Balls and frisbees, cars and trucks

Sometimes the simplest toys are the best!

boy playing ball with Grandpa

When was the last time you played ball? It's still as fun as it was when you were a kid!

Insect nets and critter keepers

It's fun to try to catch insects, minnows and frogs.

Teach your children to handle the critters carefully, and to release them back to their homes after studying them.

Pails and shovels

My boys used to spend hours digging in the sand.

Be sure to take along sturdy unbreakable shovels - like the one in this set.

Board games

On a rainy day, or a very hot day when no one feels like running around,  playing a board game is enjoyable. Read about our favorite board games to play while camping here.

Fun camping ideas that don't need equipment

Once my children relax into the camping groove, they begin to make up their own play. There's something about camping in the natural world that stimulates all sorts of creative ideas! The environment itself suggests what to play.

If there are logs or driftwood, they might build a fort.

children making driftwood fort

If you are near a lake or river, they might collect small rocks to sort, skip, or paint - or larger rocks for building inukshuks.

boy with stone inukshuk

Trees demand to be climbed.

boy climbing tree

A clump of bushes can become a playhouse.

You'll love watching what your children invent!

The best camping games for kids are the ones that come from their imaginations.

Having the time to explore and imagine is one of the best parts of camping.

Enjoy watching your children's imaginations flower as they play in the natural world!

Now that you have lots of fun camping ideas, visit this page for even more ideas about camping games.

Please visit The Camping Family home page for information about every aspect of your next camping trip.

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