21 Easy Kids Camping Activities (+Free Printable 25 Page Activity Pack!)

Keep your kids busy around camp with these fun, easy activities! 

Keep a kid busy while family camping with these fun camping activity ideas!

These will work for kids of all ages, though it’s primarily for the younger crowd. We’ll check out some fun camping crafts, easy snack options, and little chores to help around camp!

Whether you are pitching a tent, or setting up a camper, it is no joke that keeping kids (especially young ones like toddlers and babies) entertained while you get everything done is sometimes really difficult!

camping activities for kids

I know, for example, if I don’t give my toddler some task, he will either start putting rocks in our SUV’s exhaust pipe or start smacking things (sometimes people) with a stick!

Babies are sometimes a little more difficult to entertain, as occasionally they just want to be held.

And if you’re camping with teens, it can be intimidating to be “competing” against the fun of a phone… but I have some tips for them too!

P.S. I am an Amazon Affiliate and do get a small commission if you purchase something through these links! But these are all items I have purchased and love

Here’s a summary of the best camping activities for kids!

  • Include them in packing for the camp trip
  • Go on a campsite scavenger hunt
  • Bring a bucket for “nature soup”
  • Assign simple chores such as kindling gathering to keep any little ones busy!
  • Have some fun camping crafts ready to use (see below!)
  • Play some fun camping games such as Spot It and Charades
  • Bring chalk and let them decorate the camp site!
  • Use a kiddie pool filled with water to cool off during the heat of the day!
  • Pack open ended toys that are multi use and durable (trucks!)
  • Play some fun camping activities at night too! (Use glowsticks in waterbottles and play bowling for example!)
  • Make sure to bring camping books for your toddler for when it’s too hot to play!
  • Plan fun family campground activities such as s’mores, story telling and camp song singing!
  • Make sure to go on a nature walk and observe any animals in the area!
  • Sings some fun camping songs that are to the tune of classics that they already know!
  • Set up a hammock for extra play and relaxing
  • Print out a fun kids camping journal for them to fill in about their camp trip

Don’t forget to download your 25 page Kids Camping Activity Pack so you have EVERYTHING you need!

Ensure an awesome camp trip with this Kids Camping Activity Journal! It includes everything you need to camp with your kids including

  • Camping Meal Planner
  • Kids Camping Packing Checklist
  • Wide Range of Kids Camp Themed Activities
  • Coloring Pages
  • Camp Scavenger Hunts
  • Camping Songs
  • Journal Prompts with writing Practice
  • Hands On Camp Activity Printables


Let them get involved in packing for the camp trip

EVERYONE is way more invested in a planned activity when they are able to be involved in the planning and prep work for it! This doesn’t stop at kids – use a checklist both for yourself and so that your kiddos can see what it takes to create these special moments.

As they get older, it becomes more of a help than a hindrance… since they’ll be familiar with the packing process and can read the checklist!

kids camping checklist printable

Take some nature rubbings from around camp

Pack crayons and some paper so that everyone can create nature rubbings at camp! Simply put your paper over the bark/leaf/rock and color to create an awesome, detailed outcome.

printable camp nature rubbing activity

Dig a hole and create a “Dig Site” for your kids in your campground!

I discovered this one by accident! My kid found someones old dutch oven cooking hole that was only loosley covered, then proceeded to dig in it.

I was pretty overjoyed when he entertained himself for over half an hour just digging around with his shovel and dump truck!

The icing on the cake was when his sisters decided to join!

family camping tip - make a digsite and bring trucks and shovels to keep all the toddlers and babies busy in the same spot so it's easy to see them!
One of my best family camping tips is to bring versatile toys and create a play site all the kids can stay occupied in! I am a fan of digsites and trucks!

Bring a 5-gallon bucket to keep kids splashing (or making nature soup!) at camp

A little warning about this one – yes, you must monitor your young child when it comes to any water play! But I was able to just sit in my camp chair while they had a blast!

A 5 gallon bucket is often heavy enough that they cannot tip it over, but if you’re concerned, just put some heavy rocks at the bottom!

See also
DIY Summer Camp 101 at Home (with printable lesson plans!)

Try using these “Camp Cook Recipe Cards” for older kids who want to do more than just splash around!

nature soup cards for camp
tip for camping with a baby - have a splash bucket! They love dropping rocks and toys into them!

Assign some simple chores to keep younger kids busy around camp!

I’m talking SUPER toddler level – such as help move firewood from one place to another!

Even if you don’t actually need it moved, it really helps to involve them and make them feel like they are helping you rather than getting in the way!

Some other chore ideas include throwing trash away, gathering kindling (some small sticks) or getting the toys out from wherever they are stored.

keep kids busy around camp with fun chores
 Our toddler’s favorite thing to do around camp is anything involving the campfire! This particular time, we asked him to get the firewood out of our camper. He was kept busy around camp, and we were able to set up!

Take the opportunity to practice the 7 Leave No Trace Principles with your kids

More than anything, it’s so important to pass onto our kids stewardship of nature – after all, there would be no camping if there wasn’t beautiful, cared for nature to visit!

If camping in a campground, make sure to go over a couple of extra rules too… such as not going into others campsites, not using toys that aren’t theirs, leaving a clean campfire ring, cleaning up the picnic table etc.

Psst.. don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know what they are! Just freshen up and read this article!

practice leave no trace while camping with kids

Have fun doing some easy camping crafts to bust campground boredom!

I’m a BIG crafter, and I pretty much take any opportunity to craft!

If I need to get things done though, I do try to give my kids a craft that they can do mostly on their own.

This might include a play-doh nature craft, or just getting the materials for a campsite sign!

If you know your kids love things like legos or other activities, be sure to bring a small pack of them with your camping to keep them entertained!

I bring my own “camping craft pack” because I know my guy loves to make stuff from nature!

Related: Check out 53+ more camping crafts here!

toddlers love camp crafts, especially creative ones! For example, create a campsite sign that any preschooler would be proud of!
 One of the first things we do if our toddler is getting bored around camp is ask him to get the things to make our campsite sign! It’s a fun camping craft that really keeps him busy around the campground!

Give your kids some chalk and let them get creative

Chalk has been so great in our kids’ camping life!

Whether it’s drawing pictures, practicing letters or a simple tic tac toe, chalk is ALWAYS a winner at camp!

Just be sure to wipe down obnoxious things such as stuff around the picnic table and grill (it should come off easy with water) before you leave!

make a fun camping game for your toddler by giving them chalk and asking them to only color certain things (bumpy rocks, pine trees etc)
 Chalk is an easy toy to give to a toddler to entertain themselves! Just be sure to wipe off anything intense before you leave! (Some marks are OK I imagine, but a whole rock colored in might be rude for the next camper in the campsite!)

Play Camping BINGO

I love giving the kids something to do whenever boredom hits that encourages them to explore camp, and camping BINGO is a perfect way!

It can be played either as traditional BINGO, as a scavenger hunt, or just asa matching game… modify it to how you think your kid will love the most!

Check out how to get your own free camping bingo cards here!

These fun printable camping bingo cards are a great way to have fun camping or at birthday parties!

Have a campsite scavenger hunt

Get familiar with how the campground/campsite is laid out and have some fun while doing it! For older kids, add a picture taking aspect to it… kids these days love fun selfies!

camping scavenger hunt printable activity for kids

Bring a plastic kiddie pool for cooling off and washing off later!

While my toddler likes the pool, my babies love it way more!

The best thing about it is that it doesn’t even have to have water in it to be fun!

Just put some fun noise making toys (I know, normally awful but while camping, everything is much more fun!) in the pool, and watch your babies have fun climbing in and out!

You could definitely fill this with water too! This is really great for extended camping trips with kids where you just want to break up the day a little!

 It’s pretty surprising how much fun kids can have in a little cheap plastic pool around camp! Even if it’s not filled, babies have a blast throwing things in and out of it!

Get a camping journal to remember these memories forever!

Our kids LOVE their camping journals – even before they could write, we would ask them each prompt and write in their answer. I love that there’s a ton of activity ideas at the back (camp charades is easy and fun around the campfire!)

Here’s the kids camping journal that we love!

campsite journal activity with kids

Make sure to have some fun “open ended” toys while camping with kids!

Some of these might include shovels and buckets, trucks and cups, as well as maybe some kitchen stuff too!

If you really need to get camp chores done, you might not have time to constantly help your child play or participate in games with them.

See also
Mountain Footprint Craft for Kids!

That’s when these toys, that they can play with independently, really come into play!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE playing with my kids!

Sometimes, though, work has got to get done before play!

 We have two trucks my toddler absolutely loves to play with while camping! They are great for his creativity and independence!

Have a Nature ABCs Scavenger hunt with your kids around camp!

I love these because it’s a great way to go over letter sounds with your kids!

It’s also perfect to give the older kids while the younger ones do a picture based scavenger hunt around camp.

nature abcs scavenger hunt

Make S’mores!

This pretty much goes without saying, but before camping with my little guy I wasn’t really sure if he’d enjoy it..

I was wrong! He loved it!

We make it the special thing we do at the end of every night, and we only make s’more while camping to keep it special!

s'mores while camping to make it special for kids
My sweet guy enjoying a yummy s’more!

Play fun games at night while camping like glow in the dark ring toss!

Night time while camping can be a pretty different experience for toddlers and even older kids!

It’s important to make it as fun as possible, and I find one of the best ways to do that is through glow sticks!

Not only are they a ton of fun, but it’s also a good way to keep track of the kiddos at night!

I love this idea for glow in the dark ring toss!

Pack some camping books for rainy days or other unexpected changes in your camp trip!

I know I know, people will say that “there is no bad weather, only bad clothes” or something like that…

But let’s get real – toddlers aren’t as resiliant as older kids are, and it’s nice to keep them warm and cozy in your tent, camper or car until the weather passes!

Having some “indoor” activity might come in handy to help wind down before naps and bed – and why not have camping themed ones to make it more special?

If you need some ideas, here is a list of the top kids camping books for toddlers I love – complete with tons of pictures that your little one will love!

Curious George Goes Camping” is definitely a favorite in this house! My son is a fan of all things curious george though, so this wasn’t a surprise!

Sing some camping songs that are to the tune of songs they already love!

Toddlers absolutely LOVE songs (even if they don’t sing along!) so why not have a fun campfire sing along with them!

I adapted some classics (Wheels on the Bus, Mary Had a Little Lamb etc) to have a camp theme so that my kids would be familiar with the tune and just sing the camp words!

Check out all 53 family campfire songs here (I even included the Spongebob CAMPFIRE campfire song!)

camping song printables for kids at camp

Have a coloring session on the picnic table

Nothing feels better than sitting at camp with the sun shining on you! Coloring is a great wind down activity and a nice back up should it rain or get too cold/hot.

printable camping coloring pages

Baby/Toddler Specific Camping Activity Tips

Sometimes, babies just can’t be entertained!

That’s why it’s really helpful to have some backup plans and products to take when camping with a baby!

As there are different ages and stages, be sure to pick an appropriate one.

For example, SUPER little babies (under 3 months) likely cannot support their neck enough for a backpack. You can still use a front carrier if necessary though!

If your babies are crawlers, keep them contained and entertained at the campsite!

Now that my twins are a little older, they know not to eat rocks. They might still lick them (ew!) and such, but they no longer try to swallow them.

That wasn’t always the case!

There were a couple of camp trips that really wore us down because most of it was spent telling them not to eat rocks, and getting rocks out of their mouth.

“The Octagon”, as we call it, is when we finally got a break long enough to cook some food or set something up!

It is super easy to set up, light, and a decent size. It also comes with a sunshade!

And the best part is that your babies will only eat things that you put in there!

how to keep babies safe while camping and entertained
 This portable camping baby playpen sets up in less than a minute and you can even buy a shade for it!

Bring a bouncer as a fun activity to do around camp with babies!

Sometimes it helps to have the comforts of home brought to the campground when it comes to babies!

For us, having bouncers really helped keep the babies busy around camp!

See also
51 Funnest Camping Crafts for Kids of All Ages!

Not only were they contained, but they had toys to play with and an area we could put snacks on to keep them even more occupied!

how to camp with babies and keep them entertained
 These camping baby bouncers are another easy to pack item that are so worth it! To double their usefulness, pair it with some “Fresh Food Feeders” (a netted thing you put fruit in for babies to suck on) and you have a happy baby for atleast half an hour!

Don’t forget a camping highchair to keep the snacks coming!

I don’t know if it’s all the extra energy burned, or maybe just the lack of a schedule, but all my kids eat 2 to 3 times more it seems while camping!

That’s why you should bring some food you know they’ll love, but also some special “treats” to break up the day or reset everyone if they get cranky!

Most special treats tend to be sticky, and are best eaten sitting down.

That’s why we love our camping high chairs! They’re easy to fold up, store well and are easy to clean. They also seem pretty sturdy on the rocky, uneven ground that is common in campgrounds!

If you want to check out more baby highchairs, check out the ULTIMATE list of the 15 best camping chairs for toddlers and babies!

camping highchairs for babies
 Everyone loves to eat breakfast outside around the campfire in the mornings, and it’s great because mom and dad get a chance to drink their coffee in (semi) peace! We do have two different camping highchairs, but I really prefer the one on the left (Summer Infant Portable Highchair) due to the solid tray. The one on the right  (Ciao Baby Portable Highchair) tends to slope down, and has broken in a couple of places already! =/ Feel free to make your own decision though if you’re in the market for one!
keeping babies busy around camp with food in a camping highchair
 If you need to keep babies busy with snacks, be sure to bring things that are easy to eat on their own! This might include broken up bits of pancake (as pictured), cheerios, fruits, berries, or crackers!

Bring a jogging stroller for naps on the go when camping with your baby!

I didn’t bring our Chariot the first couple of times, and I really regretted it!

Here’s why – most babies fall asleep in their stroller. It is relaxing, comforting, and most importantly, a place they know!

If you don’t camp too often, your baby might be having fun, but could also get overstimulated by all the fun stuff going on and have a really difficult time being put down somewhere new.

That’s why you should just skip the 30 minutes it would take to put them down for a nap, and just walk them to sleep!

If your lucky, your babies might not even need to actually go anywhere and just be fine being pushed back and forth right in camp!

The more enclosed the better, so as to remove all the distractions of camp.

We really really love our Thule Chariot Stroller!

I don’t mean to go on about it, but it can be pulled behind your bike, be a jogging stroller, regular stroller, and even attach to skis! And the cherry on top, when it comes to “off roading” in campsites with it, is that it even has a custom shock system that you adjust based on the weight of your children!

good stroller for going hiking and camping, thule chariot
 Our twins in their “Sleep Sacks” (Swaddle Me Transitions) in the super supportive Thule Chariot Stroller! They have a different support set up you can buy for each age!
the thule chariot stroller is a good stroller for hiking, backpacking, skiing and biking
 My husband carrying our son in an Osprey Poco pack and pushing our twins in the Thule Chariot Stroller! We had just got back from morel hunting and the Chariot rocked the bumpy ground and tall grass!

If all else fails… wear your kid in a backpack to expedite camp set up!

Sometimes nothing works to get your baby or toddler into a better mood!

They might be growing and needing those extra cuddles, but that’s hard to do when you’re trying to get the jacks down or set up the grill and trash cans and such!

My husband and I each have a backpack that is useful for so much more than just hiking!

It may be because we started putting our babies in them at 2 months, but ours REALLY enjoy being in the backpacks!

I have always preferred it over a front carrier because it frees up a lot of working space I need with my arms and such!

use a baby backpack for a fussy baby around camp
 Our little lady smiling in her backpack on a hike! The osprey poco plus kid backpack provides tons of support as well as comfort – so whether we are hiking or getting chores done, everyone is comfortable! It’s no wonder it’s Amazon’s Top Choice!

Pin these kids camping ideas for later and don’t forget to download your camp activity packet!

I know, nature itself should be exciting enough for everyone!

But it is sort of a learned skill, and you sometimes need to help make it exciting!

Join the Newsletter

25 Page Kids Camping Activity Pack + Planner

You also get instant access to my super awesome resource library that’s full of FREE stuff. Join the 13,307 families who are downloading my free camping printables.

    Don’t worry… I hate spam too. (Unless it’s like real spam cooked over a campfire)

    Sharing is Caring!