Camping with children can be both a joy and a nightmare, often both in the same trip and having kids camping games to hand will always help tip the balance to the positive side of things.

The low points in our family camping trips usually occur in those moments when we’re cleaning up after the evening meal. The kids have been told “Don’t go far” or “Stay where we can see you” and, as a result, they usually hang around our camping spot, complaining they have nothing to do, and generally being annoying.

We’ve tried taking board games with us. As a result, we’ve lost pieces in the dirt, had kids whining that their siblings are trying to change the rules, and seen games take so long to set up that it was bedtime before the first roll of the dice.

The best thing for this situation is to have a simple game or two up your sleeve. Nothing complicated to pack, store, or set-up, and it can’t be a game that takes hours to play or cannot be interrupted.

That’s the great thing about these camping games. You can print them out a day or two before you leave and store the pieces in a Ziploc bag. The bag can sit in a pocket behind your car seat or be slipped into the inside of a backpack. You could even drop the games into your camping washing up bowl. At least that way, the games will be easy to find after dinner.

Camping Memory Game For The Little Ones

This simple, camping themed matching game will keep the younger ones amused while you take a moment to get organized or sneak five minutes with your feet up. Simply download the PDF file above, print, and cut along the lines and “Hey Presto” you have cards with which the kids can play snap or a “turn over a pair” memory game.

Camping Activities Bingo

This one is for your more competitive kids and can be used, by them, to plan the next day’s activities.

Download the PDF file above and print out a copy for each child, or if you’re feeling adventurous, one for each member of the family.

The card has 20 activities which are popular to experience while camping. You can choose your own way of crowning the “winner.” It could be the first person to cross off:

  • All of the activities
  • The activities in all four corners
  • An entire row or column of activities

You could declare whoever crosses off the most activities the winner or, alternatively, you could not have a winner – but my competitive side says “Wheres the fun in that?”

Story Telling Camping Games

Now, both of these games can be played if you’re camping by the beach, in the backcountry or even if you’re backyard camping, and storytelling is also a fabulous camping game to enjoy, no matter where you have pitched your tent.

Use prompts which are age appropriate and have the youngest person start off a story. It can be something as simple as “Everyone had been warned about the bears in the woods, but.” This kind of prompt allows for the story to go in any direction.


You don’t need to spend money, bring fancy equipment or listen to the kids moan when you take the family camping. During those down moments between activities or when the weather keeps you inside your tent, these simple camping games can be a lifesaver.

Over To you

Do you have a go-to camping game or activity? I’d love to hear about it, and if you share here, in the comments, your fellow readers can benefit from your experience!