Trees, boulders, and rivers, oh my! When you're going on a camping trip with your family, there's no shortage of ways for your kiddos to entertain themselves. Getting away from your regular routines and technology might feel uncomfortable at first, but once your kids get out into the woods and find cool creatures everywhere, they'll find new ways to stay occupied for hours.
Let's look at a few more kid-friendly camping activities you can suggest to ward off boredom with your little ones.
Do your kiddos love creating art? While you’re surrounded by nature, you can encourage them to bring out this skill in new, inventive ways. Though they may not have coloring books and crayons available, they'll soon discover how to make beautiful designs using natural elements.
Here are a few easy ways to kick off this creativity:
Design a Leaf Collage
Go on a walk together and give small bags or containers to each child. As each child finds a leaf that interests them, tell them to pick it up and add it to their collection. They can fill up the bag with their mesmerizing finds, then head back to your campsite.
If you have paper and glue handy, your little ones can glue their favorite leaves into a design that wows you with all the colors of nature.
Create Paint from Mud, Water, and Flowers
If you have older children who love to paint, consider bringing paintbrushes and paper along for your trip. Instead of packing their usual paints, have them create natural colorful pastes from flowers, mud, water, and leaves.
See how resourceful they can get while decorating their page with earthy hues. It's one way to teach them that it’s possible to find beauty in anything.
Write Down What You See in Nature
You may have an older teenager who's become quite reflective. They may enjoy some alone time on your trip, which can make for a meaningful grounding experience. During their solitude, they can take a walk through the streams, by the lake, and through the woods or trails.
As they tour the land, have them write down what they see in a notebook and write poetry or compelling thoughts inspired by what they observe.
Photograph the Wildlife You See
If you have an older child who's expressed an interest in photography, your campsite is a terrific environment for them to practice their growing skill. Hand them a practice camera and show them how to use a few settings.
Let them explore the nearby birds, bushes, and waterfalls that make for excellent digital or film compositions. They can show you their work afterward, and you may even choose to have a photo printed and framed to remember your camping trip.
Skills That Can Come In Handy in the Wild
When you're enjoying nature with your kiddos, there are a few skills that may benefit them to know. Learning knot-tying or shelter-building can teach them safety and inspire them to pursue more adventurous camping trips when they get older.
Let's look at the survival practices your kids can learn to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest extent.
Learn How To Make a Fire (with Supervision)
If you're spending time outside in the cool weather, you might consider making a safe fire to stay comfortable. If you have middle-school-aged children, consider showing them how they could start a fire if they ever needed to keep warm in the wild.
Adhere to appropriate safety protocol and follow local guidelines for fire safety. This activity will be an experience they want to tell their friends about at school.
Practice Tying Different Knots
When you're exploring nature, it's a good idea to learn some practical knot-making skills. By knowing how to tie knots, you can help your big kids develop their fort-making abilities and even learn to climb the side of a mountain when they're old enough.
This activity can also encourage critical thinking skills, making it a worthwhile pursuit with adequate supervision.
Try To Determine What Kind of Wildlife Lives Nearby
Here's another great activity for getting your kids acquainted with the outdoors. It's always important to know what wildlife is local to your campsite to ensure your safety.
You might consider purchasing a guide that helps them to identify droppings, tracks, and other signs of nearby life. Let your kiddos look around your campsite and write down the clues they find.
Build a Shelter
You may have a child who loves building things. While they may not have access to their Lego collection on your trip, they can still put their talents to work.
Let your resourceful kids find branches and small boulders they can use to build a makeshift fort. They can arrange each piece to form a shelter suitable for a small animal or large enough to crawl inside. When it's finished, they'll be excited to show you what they made with nature's housing supplies. Remember to disassemble their creations before you leave to keep the campsite pristine.
Just for Fun Camping Activities
Your little ones most likely just want to play. While wildlife exploration and knot-tying are excellent skills to learn, you may find that your best memories come from all the small adventures in between.
Here are some just-for-fun ideas your little ones and big kids can both enjoy:
Catch Frogs and Lizards
If your campsite is full of toads and geckos, your kiddos may love chasing them and capturing them to have a closer look. Let them squeal with excitement over finally catching a harmless lizard and show them how to treat each animal with respect and gentleness.
They can name them and even come up with stories about how each creature might spend its day. Show them how to release their new friends into a safe area to continue finding bugs to eat.
Collect Interesting Rocks
Here's an activity that can keep your kids' attention for a while. Tell your little ones to stroll around your tent, studying at the twigs and pebbles lying everywhere. They can bring a pouch or small bag with them and pick up rocks that they find interesting.
They may find shiny stones or smooth multi-colored pebbles. Look at their collection with them when they finish, and help them classify the kinds of rocks they find.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
If you're looking for an activity that will keep your older kiddos busy for a while, have them create a scavenger hunt for the grown-ups. They can design clues and hide treasures in safe spots nearby for you to find. It's a fantastic way to keep them entertained while allowing them to think creatively.
Design a Pebble Mural
As your kid finds neat rocks and cool stones, they can display their creativity by designing a mural with their finds. They can align each stone into mesmerizing shapes of differing hues.
Tell them to see what kind of designs they can make. Perhaps they could arrange each tiny stone to look like a flower or a face. Take a photo of their creation if you'd like to remember how you spent a wonderful camping trip.
Activities Your Family Can Enjoy
On your camping trip, your kids will love getting to have the freedom to explore your campsite and have a hands-on learning experience with nature. After your kids complete these (mostly) independent tasks, you might want to do a few group activities as a family.
Let's look at some of the things you can do to fill your time while enjoying the outdoors with your family:
Roast Marshmallows by the Fire
Roasting marshmallows by the fireside is an ideal way to celebrate a camping trip well done. Every person in your family can enjoy these tasty treats. Help your little ones stay safe while getting the perfect toasted finish on their marshmallows.
Once you've finished, you might consider singing a few campfire songs together or sharing your favorite moments from the trip. Don't be surprised if it's everyone's favorite memory from your vacation.
Do you have rods and reels? You can visit a local pond and show your kids how to wait patiently for the fish to bite. Help them bait their hook with worms or colorful bait. Then, you may need to help steady them as they reel in their catch.
Celebrate together as they show you the flopping fish they caught. This activity can teach kids that good results come with patience and a little optimism.
Share Your Rose and Thorn
Here's an activity that's great for those in your family who like to share their thoughts and feelings. Each person can talk about what they enjoyed that day (their rose) and share what part of their day was not so good (their thorn). Perhaps while you're sitting fireside, have everyone share the troublesome parts of their day first. Your little ones may cite a bug bite as one of their bitter experiences. (However, this doesn’t need to be the case with proper protection.)
Once you've all shared the lows in your day, you can shift to the fun part. Talk about the moments that gave you joy. Your older child may excitedly share the tale of when they caught a giant fish or built a successful fort. You might share how beautiful your little one's pebble mural was. This exercise is a great time to recap your challenges and favorite moments with one another.
Ways To Stay Safe Outdoors
No one likes getting slowed down by injuries or itchy bug bites. When you're outdoors, there are several safety precautions you should take to ensure you have a trip that's free of bites, scratches, and accidents.
Let's discuss a few simple measures you can take to have a fantastic trip while remaining safe.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Are you planning on swimming or tubing in a nearby river? Perhaps your little ones have been excited to get in the water and splash around. It's a good idea to make sure they have proper water shoes to stay protected from any sharp rocks or slippery areas.
Perhaps you're planning on exploring the nearby brush one afternoon to look for animal prints. These bushes, trees, and wildflowers may have thorns that can leave scratches behind. Try to pack long-sleeved tops and pants for your entire family so they can stay covered and avoid getting hurt. Tuck your pants into your socks to ward off ticks.
If it's your kids' first time camping, they might not be aware of how powerful nature can be. While water rapids and nearby creeks may look beautiful, you might want to help your children understand that getting into water without adult supervision can harm them. Teach them to appreciate the beauty of nature while respecting it and staying safe.
Ward off Mosquitoes
Nothing can put a damper on outdoor fun like mosquitos. You may have packed the perfect hiking boots for each of your children, complete with sun hats and fishing poles. Yet, when you get to your site, you could end up being miserable because of annoying mosquitos.
We think you shouldn't have to be miserable. At The Natural Patch Co., we want to make it easy for your kids to stay free of mosquito bites so they can focus on enjoying nature's adventurous and beautiful elements.
To stay protected from these pesky insects, stick a cute Buzzpatch repellent sticker onto your child's shirt sleeve, shorts hem, and socks to cover each exposed area. Our patches use non-toxic, natural ingredients to keep mosquitos away for hours at a time.
Our patches smell incredible, and your kiddos will love adorning their outdoor clothing in the most adorable BuzzPatch stickers.
Appreciate the Fresh Air
Taking your kids on a camping trip is an activity that's good for them in so many ways. As they explore the wilderness, play in the streams, and observe wildlife, they'll gain a new appreciation for the earth and its creatures.
Stay safe from mosquito bites, scratches, and any dangerous zones around your campsite, and you'll be off to a fantastic start to an unforgettable trip.