The tent is up, the snacks are out, and the kids have already explored 98.63% of the campsite and are itchin for more. What to do? Gather up all your campers, big and small, and play some games, one and all! Here are 5 of our favorite all-ages camping activities.
"Got any 4s?" "Nope! Go Fish!" It's a classic for a reason, folks. A pack of cards is super portable and invites hours of play that encourages strategy, patience, and cooperation. If the wind picks up, take it inside the tent and get cozy with a game of Crazy Eights, Hearts, Memory, or any number of easy-to-learn card games!
Look a little closer and what do you see? A hidden nest way up in a tree! Scavenger hunts reveal a world of details that may go overlooked in the excitement of a camping adventure. Make a checklist that helps kids learn about the natural world, like noting the bright green tips of new growth on a pine, or the scat from one of the local critter residents. You can make the hunt as simple or complex as your kids' age and development requires. There are so many memories to be found!
You don't have to be Eddie Vedder or Joni Mitchell to bust out some campfire tunes! Bring along a ukulele or guitar, but if not, use those pipes and sing a tune together! "Row, row, row your boat" or "Rainbow Connection" are classic favorites, or take turns writing a simple verse about the nature surrounding you. If singing isn't your vibe, mimic the sounds of the rain with snapping fingers and softly clapping hands for a soothing lullaby to wrap up an adventurous day.
Empowered kids become confident adults! Teach them what you know, and if you don't know, take the time to learn together! Have them help you gather tinder and prep kindling for a fire. Head to the water and teach the importance of water filtration (no matter how clean it may look!). Recruit their help in keeping food safely stored from curious critters. These skills will carry forward through their entire lives, and they'll have so much fun learning from you.
Geo-caching is a treasure hunt, pure and simple. If you're somewhere within cellular reach, you can log in and see what's hidden near your campsite. But of course, one of the biggest reasons to camp is to disconnect from the online noise. So log in ahead of time and save information offline. Then follow the clues and see what you find! Don't forget to bring your own treasure to leave for someone else to discover in the geocaches you open!