We love to camp with our three kids. In fact, we camp more than we’re home! We go on long trips and always come up with fun things to do.
Today I’m going to share our favorite kid-friendly camping ideas with you that are actually fun.
A quick online search will give you plenty of ideas but most of them include things like painting rocks. You can only paint so many rocks.
Top 12 BEST Kid Friendly Camping Activity Ideas
1. Nature Walks and Hiking
Our kids love to go hiking because we always discover cool things while we’re out.
Whether you want to call them nature walks or hiking they don’t have to take a long time or be strenuous. Just get your kids all headed in the same direction and have some fun.
Each of our kids wear a backpack with a bottle of water and a small snack like a granola bar. They even do with on really short walks because there is something about the promise of a snack that makes a walk more adventurous!
While you’re walking, point out cool rocks and sticks, take plenty of pictures, talk about what you’re seeing, sing songs (our favorite is The Ants Go Marching) and just let your kids explore.
You’ll love this: [BEST] Hiking Trails in Arkansas that are INCREDIBLE
2. Ride Bikes or Scooters
For us, bikes are a too big to take camping. We always have a lot of gear in the back of our truck so we take Razor scooters for our kids instead.
Each child has their own scooter and the best part is that the scooters fold up. So, that means that they can fit in the floor of the truck if we run out of room in the back.
3. Cook Over the Campfire
Anything cooked over a campfire tastes better and it’s so much fun. Take a cast iron skillet with you and just experiment.
When I was little, my parents always made our camping breakfast over the fire.
They would make bacon, eggs and fried biscuits.
It wasn’t complicated and it tasted wonderful.
Pro Tip: Canned biscuits fry up nicely!
4. Make Up Games
Sometimes the best activities are those that kids make up themselves.
Let this activity be open-ended. It could even be a challege!
Tell your kids to use rocks, sticks, leaves and anything else in nature to create a game.
After they demonstrate the game and explain the rules, have fun playing it with them!
5. Go Swimming!
If you’re in a place with a great swimming hole, don’t let it go to waste!
Just be sure everyone wears a life jacket and have a great time!
6. Go Kayaking
Over the summer, we bought inflatable kayaks so that our entire family could go on adventures.
It was one of the best purchases we have ever made!
When inflated, all five of us can kayak and, when we’ve had enough fun, they pack up nicely in the back of the truck.
No kayak racks necessary!
7. Take Coloring Books
We always take coloring books camping with us. Our kids are very artsy and would never make it a week camping without coloring.
When the weather is nice, they spread everything out on the picnic table and have a great time coloring.
Otherwise, it’s a fun creative outlet to do in the camper while it rains.
8. Pack a Kids Joke Book
My in-laws gave our 10 year old daughter a “kids joke book” for her birthday.
They are all clean, kid-friendly jokes and funny stories.
She pulled it out one night while we were sitting around the campfire and we all laughed so hard at the jokes.
It turned out to be one of our favorite things to do around the campfire.
9. Search for Animal Tracks
Often, when we’re camping, we find animal tracks in the sand by the lakeshore or in the dirt on the trails.
It’s fun to learn which animals belong to which tracks.
10. Wash Dishes
Ok, hear me out.
Washing dishes at home is not fun but washing dishes at the campground is a blast.
Well, for kids that is.
I fill a tub full of soapy water and put in the dirty dishes. My kids have fun washing them because they get to play in the soapy water.
I don’t know how I convinced them this is fun but it’s a win-win for everyone!
11. Meet New Friends
Sometimes the best place to be at a campground is on the playground.
We’ve met the coolest people and had some great conversations.
The kids get to play with new friends and we adults have a great time too.
Recently, we met a family who was traveling across the United States and tent camping the entire way!
12. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger Hunts are always a favorite with my kids.
There are plenty online if you do a quick search (like this one).
Whether you’re camping on the beach or in the woods, scavenger hunts are fun for everyone!
I didn’t include making s’mores because it’s just an obvious camping activity.
However, feel free to experiment with your s’mores!
Over the summer, we substituted chocolate chip cookies for the graham crackers.
It was FANTASTIC!
Just remember to not overthink these kid friendly camping ideas. Kids don’t need elaborate camping activities to keep them busy.
Just let them be outside and see what happens.
If they are used to being on devices, it may take them a little while to detox from them.
Give them time and encouragement.
If they start whining, just give them a challenge.
They’ll have a great time.