Top 12 Camping Activities for Kids
Our Sunshine Collective families are old enough for some fun family camping and caravanning holidays, so we’ve all headed off in different directions these school holidays. We have spent quite a bit of time planning camping activities for our kids; things that they enjoy (and keep them busy for a while) and activities that keep them learning (mostly without them even realising). So, here’s our TOP 12 camping activities for kids:
What to take with you
First rule: be prepared! When I started taking the kids on camping trips, I trucked so much stuff along with us, ‘just in case’. Now, I’ve got the kids activities down to one extra large zip lock bag each. Here’s what I include:
Stationery: pencils, pen, sharpener, glue stick, eraser
A book for each (chapter book)
A couple of dot-to-dot / activity books
One scrap book for each, into which I paste/draw a whole load of stuff. It starts with a map of where we’re going, plus stickers for them to track our route. I paste lots of our Brilliant Box activity sheets/instructions into it, with space for journal and story writing and prompts at the top of the page; space for drawings; little ‘challenges’; spotto games and holiday themed word searches.
‘Create-a-smore’ recipe challenge
I throw in a few blank cards and get them to write out/draw their ‘perfect smore’.
Include some thick paper or card and have them collect bits and pieces as we walk/explore, so they can use their glue and pencils with tactile materials to create a collage picture of somewhere we’ve visited on our holiday.
Create a campfire story
Include some writing and drawing paper. Even if you don’t have an actual fire, it’s a good evening activity. We do a progressive story, where we go around the circle with each person adding a little bit to the story. The kids write or draw the story, as we go. (This can make for an interesting story when you have one child who has zombies or Avengers in all of his stories and another who sets all of hers in fairy tale castles.)
I know we’ve got instant photos and videos on our phone, but our kids still love having their own little disposable camera. They get developed after we get back, so the images are a surprise. It’s always interesting to get an insight into the view of the holiday from a child.
There’s quite a few apps to help with this, now. My son loves anything to do with space and astronomy, but often can’t see many stars given our proximity to built up areas at home. When we’re camping, we usually get a much better view, so he likes to mark out constellations. I remember doing this with my grandfather, so it’s lovely to do this with my own child.
Throw in some coloured paper and some instructions for creating things like ‘chatterboxes’ or a few origami animals. Print out a cube net template and have them decorate it with their favourite holiday memories, then cut it out and stick it together.
When we’re with a larger group of kids, we create a series of ‘Survivior’ or ‘Boot Camp’ challenges. So, they might have to solve a puzzle or get through an obstacle course, using teamwork, to get a reward. (It’s often a food reward and they usually choose to share it with all the other kids, too.) What we do is include a thick envelope in each zip lock bag with instructions, then have them randomly pick a colour/word out of a hat, to decide on the teams.
A card game.
Even if it’s one with set rules such as UNO or Go Fish, they usually end up creating their own rules or games out of it.
Boardgames and puzzles
Depending on where we’re going and what other activities we have planned, we might put in some boardgames or a jigsaw puzzle, for the whole family to do. We’ll be beachside in our upcoming holiday, and have planned on a lot of swimming, hiking and kayaking, so a couple of zip-lock bags will be all we’re taking this time. The kids are so excited to tear them open on the first day of holidays . . . it’s becoming a family tradition.
What are your traditions for family holidays?
We’ve put together themed holiday Brilliant Boxes for a few families now, so please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via the website if you’d like to take your own holiday Brilliant Boxes on your next family holiday.
We hope you have BRILLIANT holidays!
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