Here are 16 ways to keep your kids entertained. Keeping your kids entertained while you are camping or on a long Travel Trailer trip can be a tireless task, the activities can vary depending on their age and location on which you travel, so here are 16 items that apply to all ages. Keep in mind, you may like camping, but your kids may have different feelings about being away from their friends and devices so make it as enjoyable as you can for them.
You may be asking yourself how do you stay entertained while camping, or what games can you play while camping, well… There are lots.
To keep entertained while camping, especially with kids, we recommend bringing lots of outdoor lawn games, board games in case it rains, brushing up on your scary storytelling, as well as bring fun items like scooters, bikes, or paddleboards.
You may have several lawn games already, but lawn games that pack up small are great to bring camping as to not take your precious space. Kubb is a new game we discovered through my sister and we love playing it, all you need is a 16′ x 20′ area and you are golden. Bocce Ball is another fun outdoor game that does not take too much space.
Board games can keep your kids and yourself entertained for hours. These can be helpful on a rainy day or after the sun sets. Our recommendations would be: Farkel, Cover your Assets, or even a deck of cards are all our favorites and take virtually no space.
We have one of these small rock crawlers, it provides hours of fun at the campground. Crawl it over logs, sticks, rocks, and even on books at the house. I use mine to have competitions with my daughter about who can go up a certain rock or down without flipping over. Make sure when looking for your own to buy a hobby-grade model like this one so there is aftermarket parts and suppoooooort. Try it out, you won’t be sorry!
Parents, take out a piece of paper, write down 10 items that could be found in the outdoors in your area and let your kids go. Some items cannot be taken back to camp so you will have to take their word for it. Ten sample items could be:
- Pine Tree
- Perfectly Round Rock
- Something Red
- Beaver Dam
- Animal Scat
- Something Shiny
Collect Wood and Sticks to Build a Fire
Use your kids as free labor to keep them entertained and have them collect kindling as well as larger sticks for your campfire. Get them excited for their s’mores later that night.
S’mores are the ultimate campground food which could be had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Only three simple ingredients are needed to make your mouth water: graham crackers, Hershey bars, and marshmallows. Make your mind blown by swapping Hershey bars for Reese’s or even a York Peppermint Patty. Yum. The smoky marshmallowy chocolaty flavor is making me want a s’more right now! Make sure you have your S’more sticks, happy camping.
Grab your lights and head to the woods to get some exercise and have a blast with your kids playing flashlight tag. Check out some good rechargeable flashlights to play with as well as read up on the official rules here. https://www.wikihow.com/Play-Flashlight-Tag
Hide and Go Seek
Hide and go seek is another outdoor activity that can keep your kids busy for hours. This can be played in the day as well as the night. The rules are pretty simple, all players hide, and one player tries to find the other. Once all players are found whomever is “it” changes to the first person who was found and the game is played again.
Scooter Around Campground
My wife has many fond memories of scootering around the campground while camping. Kids love getting around and seeing new things. Razor Scooters can be folded up to a small size making them easy to pack. Bikes also are enjoyable but a bit bigger to pack if you have a few kids.
Identify Animal Prints
Go on a hike with your kid(s) and spot as many animal signs and identify them as possible. This includes footprints, scat, markings on trees, as well as places where they live such as beaver dens and bird nests. Get a book on identifying animal tracks, or use your phone if you have service.
Plants and Flower Identify
If you are vegetarian, you can identify plants and flowers instead of animal tracks. Grab a book on your local area and get hunting.
Identify Insects with Kids at the Campground
What child does not like insects? Insects can be found all over and kids love them. You can grab a book or if you have cell service use your phone to identify different insects you find around camp. Look under rocks and logs as those are favorite spots for insects to hang. Hopefully you do not run into the situation of mosquitos playing identify the human. This could become thousands of mosquitos swarming around you. Make sure to pack bug spray as it can get old really quickly.
Go Animal Watching
Another recommendation from the wife; when she was young her and her father would go on drives to search for animals. Get up early grab a coffee and go for a drive around the area if you are in the woods, or even go on a hike. You never know what you will see before the other campers get up and scare the animals off. Our current favorite is to search for bears around Glacier National Park. On a 6 day trip last year we spotted 19 bears!
Go on a hike and explore. After all that is why you purchased your trailer, to spend more time you’re your family outside unplugged away from it all. Hiking not only gets you to exercise, but it brings you to places cars do not go. When you are a few miles in, you can actually hear nature and not just passing by cars. When you are several miles away from civilization, it can be very tranquil as things are different so far away from traveled roads and trails.
Paddle Board on Your Travel Trailer Trip
If you are camping near a lake, getting out on the water can be a game-changer. If it is hot and muggy, paddling out on an inflatable paddleboard to the middle and taking a swim or even just paddling around enjoying nature will help you cool off. Bring a fishing pole and you have another activity for your kids. The look on their face showing their pride when they reel in “the big one” is priceless. The best part about inflatable paddle boards is they fit in a large backpack (included in the recommended board above) for easy packing and travel.
Binoculars for Kids
Spotting animals for kids on a hike or a drive is just as good as taking them to the candy store. It may be difficult for them to give up their binoculars, so getting them a pair for themselves will keep their fingers off of your nice lenses. Nothing too expensive is needed as they may get lost or damaged. Finding and watching animals is fun for kids of all ages and your kids will always remember that huge bear they found in Montana, or the large Moose in Colorado.
Tell Spooky Stores Around Campground
Sitting around a campfire telling spooky stores is a favorite pastime. Scary stories can be passed down generation to generation, or found in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz 3 pack which my father used to read to my sister and I as kids. Pro-tip, if your kids are in a separate tent, you may want to lean away from the scary side as you may find them in yours.
At the end of the day, the most important thing and the reason you go camping is to spend time together. Yes, the getaway/vacation is nice, but what fun would it be without your family.
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