10 Camping Games for Kids

For Themed Parties or Campouts

Smores held in hand over fire in firepit

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

If you need activity ideas for a camping-themed party or a way to entertain your kids when you are camping, these games are kid-friendly, but fun for adults, too. So gather around the campsite and gear up for some outdoor play designed to make everyone a happy camper.

  • 01 of 10

    Mosquito Bites

    Brother and sisters playing in small tent
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    At the beginning of the campout, hand each camper a sheet of red-dot stickers. Choose a word that kids are likely to say often, such as “tent” or “camping,” and make that word forbidden to say for one hour.

    As the campers go about their activities, if one kid hears another say the forbidden word, he gives that player a mosquito bite (places a red dot on her). At the end of play, you can give a prize to the player with the fewest mosquito bites. the camper with the most mosquito bites has to remove the mosquito bites from the rest of the players.

    If you are camping in a mosquito-prone area, this game is good reinforcement to use repellent and keep the pests out of the tent.

  • 02 of 10

    Sleeping Bag Race

    Kids playing in garden
    Tim Hall / Getty Images

    Relay-races often top the list for outdoor kids’ party games. For a camping party, take a cue from the classic potato sack race, but use sleeping bags instead. Kids can jump inside of their sleeping bags, or get into them on the ground and crawl, worm-style, to the finish line.

  • 03 of 10

    Backpack Pass

    Hipster Blue Backpack, Thermos And Trekking Poles Closeup, Front View. Tourist Traveler Bag On Rocks Background. Adventure Hiking Outdoor Concept
    Sergey Tinyakov / Getty Images

    Place the chocolate squares for your campfire s'mores into a small, brown paper bag. Write a command on the outside of the bag, such as, “Dance a jig.” Then place that bag inside another bag, on which another silly command is written. Continue placing bags inside of bags (all with silly commands on them) until you have at least one for each player.

    Place the collection of bags inside of a camping backpack. Set the graham crackers and marshmallows out, but inform campers that in order to retrieve the chocolate, they must complete the backpack game. Have everyone sit around the campfire and begin passing the backpack as you play music. When you stop the music, the player holding the bag must open the first bag, stand up and perform the task.

    Continue playing in this manner until everyone has performed a command and the bag containing the chocolate is revealed.

  • 04 of 10

    Knot Tying

    Scouts Learn To Tie The Knot
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    Have someone teach campers how to tie three different kinds of camping knots. When the lesson is over, set a timer and challenge campers to successfully complete all three knots before the buzzer sounds.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Scavenger Hunt

    Cooking set . Travel equipment and accessories for mountain hiking trip on wood floor
    apomares / Getty Images

    What better way to explore your campsite than with a scavenger hunt? Hide various pieces of camping gear for the kids to find, or make lists of things they would find in your campsite's environment. In the woods, for instance, items to find could include an acorn, a red leaf, a piece of bark and a yellow flower. Give them the list and have them hunt for the items. You can set a prize for the player who finds the most items within a set time period, or give a reward for everyone who completes the list during your campout.

  • 06 of 10

    Bear Catcher

    School children unpacking their sleeping bags to camp in the forest
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    In this game of tag, one player is the bear catcher and the rest are bears. Place one sleeping bag for each bear around the campsite. Have each bear go to his cave (sit on a sleeping bag) and have the bear catcher stand in the center of the play area. On the word “go” (called by a non-player), the bears must race to a new cave before the bear catcher can tag them. When a player is tagged, he becomes the new bear catcher.

  • 07 of 10

    Magnet Fishing

    Child holds a scissors and cuts paper crab
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    Cut the shapes of fish out of three different colors of paper. Have three baskets filled with trinket prizes, and mark each basket with a ribbon that matches one of the fish colors. Attach a paper clip to each paper fish, and place them in an empty baby pool or planter box. Tie strings to sticks to make fishing rods, and then attach magnets to the ends of the strings. When a camper catches a fish, she chooses a prize from the basket with the matching colored ribbon.

  • 08 of 10


    Close-Up Of Dreamcatcher Hanging On Plant
    Emma Todua / EyeEm / Getty Images

    This activity will provide a little quiet time for creativity. Campers can make dreamcatchers to hang on their tents and then take home as souvenirs when the campout is over.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Canteen Bucket Brigade

    Summer rain
    lenalir / Getty Images

    Divide campers into two teams. Place two large buckets of water side by side, at one end of the campsite, and two empty buckets, side by side, several feet away from the full ones. Line the teams up at the full buckets and hand each team a canteen. Team members must race to fill the empty buckets with the water from the full buckets, using only the canteen to transfer the water.

  • 10 of 10

    Campfire Relay

    Brother and sister preparing wood for a campfire in a forest
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    Divide campers into two teams. Set up two sets of supplies needed to build a campfire (paper, wood, rocks) and on the word “go,” have players race to gather supplies and build their own campfires (minus the actual fire part). The first team to complete the building of a campfire wins.