Every summer my husband and I take our kids on a week long camping trip. We spend our time playing games at our campsite and experiencing different activities around town. Doing this has become such a wonderful family tradition! The time we spend together truly brings us closer after a long and busy school year. Now this year will be a bit different as we officially have a teen and tween on our hands. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how to keep the kids busy on this camping trip. What camping games are there for teens?!
As my children have grown their interests have changed. No longer can I just bring a big box of toys and expect them to be entertained for hours. So now what?
There is no one answer to this question since teens can be quite different from one another liking a wide variety of camping games and activities. However, some general ideas include playing board games, listening to music, reading books, going for walks or hikes, and swimming or fishing in the nearby creek. Helping set up camp and cooking meals are also great ways to involve them in the trip.
Camping is a great opportunity to bond with your family. By doing activities together and playing games, you can create memories with your teen that will last a lifetime. So get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!
How to Keep Your Teen Busy While Camping
Teens today have a lot of interests and hobbies that can be difficult to replicate in a camp setting. However, with a little creativity you can come up with activities that will keep them occupied and engaged.
As a parent, it can be challenging to find games and activities to keep your teens occupied and happy while camping. Here are some ideas that will help make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
Get Them Involved
One way to keep teens busy with activities while camping is to have them help with the planning and preparation. This can involve tasks such as choosing the campsite, packing the car, and setting up camp. By involving them in the process, they will feel more invested in the trip and be less likely to become bored.
Let Them Plan the Day
Another idea is to let them create a schedule of activities for a day. This can include things like hiking, swimming, playing games, and visiting local attractions. By having your teen plan the day they will know what to expect and be less likely to become restless.
Be EXTRA Prepared
Make sure to pack plenty of supplies to keep them occupied. Things like books, magazines, music, and portable games will help them pass the time. By having these items on hand, you can avoid the dreaded “I’m bored” complaints.
All of these things are great to bring as they will also keep the kids busy on the drive as well!
***Check out these 36 Road Trip Games and Activities to find more ideas!
Fun Camping Activities
Camping is a great opportunity to do fun things with your family. By doing activities and games together with teens, you can create memories of camping that will last a lifetime. One way to make sure your trip is enjoyable for everyone is to plan some fun games to play at the campsite.
Here are some fun ideas
One game that both my husband and I enjoy playing with our kids is card games. We always bring a deck of cards with us when we go camping and we love playing different games together as a family.
Some of our favorites include Rook, Uno, and Happy Salmon. These are all games that can be played with with kids of all ages. All you need is just a deck of cards and they’re perfect for when you’re relaxing around the campsite.
***For a list of the best reviewed games and activities for summer camp games check out my previous article
Another great way to spend some time together as a family is by going on hikes or walks. This is a great opportunity to explore the area around you and to get some exercise. It’s also a chance to bond with your kids and to have some quality time together.
If you have young children, you may want to bring along a stroller or wagon so they can ride if they get tired. If you have older kids it’s a good idea to buy them some hiking equipment.
We found that this is one of the best ways to get the kids excited about something they may not be too interested in. It seems like they feel more invested in the activity when they have things they can use on the way.
List of hiking equipment:
Bring Friend Along
Of course, one of the most popular activities for teenagers is simply hanging out with their friends. This can be done anywhere, but it’s especially nice to do when you’re camping. There’s something about being in nature that makes friendships seem even stronger. If your teen is hanging out with their friends, make sure to check in on them every so often and to set some ground rules beforehand.
Swimming is a great activity to do while camping. It’s a good way to cool down and have some fun. Make sure to bring swim clothes and towels so everyone can enjoy a swim. If you’re looking for a place to take a swim, there are plenty of options available. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
-Local Lakes and Ponds
One of the best places to find a swimming hole is at a local lake or pond. These are typically free to use and provide a great place to cool off. Make sure to check the depth of the water before allowing your kids to swim and to supervise them at all times.
Another great option for swimming is at a waterfall. These can be found in state and national parks. Make sure to look up the rules before swimming as some areas may not allow it.
If you’re near a beach, this is another great option for swimming. Beaches typically have lifeguards on duty, so this is a good place to let your kids swim without you having to worry.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
This is a classic camping game that can be adapted to any age group. Make a list of items that can be found around the campsite. Then take a nature walk and see who can find them all the fastest.
This game is simple yet fun, and all you need are some marshmallows and a few friends. See who can toss their marshmallows the farthest, or set up targets and see who can get the most in.
This is another simple game for all skill levels to play. This is one of the best things for exploring the campsite and getting everyone involved. Make a bingo board with different items found in nature, make teams and see who the first team is to get bingo.
Hiking Obstacle Course
This is a great outdoor game for the whole family. It is also a fun way to get everyone moving! Set up an obstacle course using things found around the campsite, and see who can make it through the fastest. This is so much fun and at the end of the day you will still be laughing over the experience!
This is an easy way for bonding around the campfire. Take turns telling stories, and see who can tell the best one. This is sure to be one of your teens favorite activities while camping!
Here are some fun books that you have campfire stories to read aloud
-Classic Campfire Stories: 40 Spooky Tales
-Campfire Stories Deck: Prompts for Igniting Conversation by the Fire
-Campfire Stories and Joke Book
Murder Mystery Board Games
Teens love playing murder mystery games while camping! What could be a more perfect time than doing it while camping?
These are a few different games you could bring along
-Murder Mystery Party Case Files
This is a great game for relaxing and taking in the beauty of nature. Lie down and look up at the stars, and see who can spot the most constellations. You could also invest in a telescope if you plan on camping more throughout the years.
Best Rated Telescopes for Camping:
-Celestron Power Seeker: Compact and Portable
-Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope for Adults Kids Astronomy Beginners
-BNISE Telescope Astronomy 600/50mm Positive Imaging Telescope for Kids and Beginner
Check out these easy to use Star Gazing Guides to help you discover and learn more!
-National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky
-Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to see with at Home Telescope
-Night Sky: A Field Guide to Constellations
-What We See in The Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky
-Astronomy for Kids: How to Explore Outer space with Just Binoculars, a Telescope or Just Your Eyes!
-110 Things to See with a Telescope
This is another classic game that makes for a great experience. One person thinks of something, and then the next player takes turns asking questions to try and figure out what it is. This game can be played in larger groups or small groups as well.
This is one of the best outdoor activities for getting everyone up and moving. You’ll need a few friends and a football to play. The object of the game is to score touchdowns by throwing the ball to players on your team.
Nerf Gun War
This is a great game for older kids and teens. You’ll need a few friends and some nerf guns to play. The object of the game is to eliminate all of the players on the other team.
This is a great game for older kids and teens. You’ll need a few friends and some laser guns to play. The goal of the game is to shoot other players and make them out.
Glow Stick Ring Toss
This is a great game for playing in the dark. You’ll need a few friends and some glow sticks to play. The object of the game is to toss the glow stick rings onto the sticks.
This is one of the easy games for getting teens to laugh while camping. One person acts out a scene from a book, movie, or TV show, and everyone else has to guess what it is. The great thing about this game is that younger campers can play this games too.
Karaoke with You Tube
This is a great game for getting everyone singing. All you need is a karaoke machine and Youtube. The object of the game is to sing along with the songs and have fun!
Here are some YouTube Channels that you can use.
These are just a few of the many family camping games and activities that you can enjoy as a family. So get out there and have some fun!
What are some of your favorite camping games? Let us know in the comments below!