Camping Games for Kids

Camping games

Photo by Jim Trottier

With several family camping trips behind us now, I started thinking about some ways to make each camping trip filled with something new this year. Living on the Gulf Coast, we always choose campsites with swimming access and other activities. However, during the times of hanging out and enjoying our campsite, I would like to have a variety of activities for the kids to do. While we are not opposed to technology out camping— we take our iphones everywhere for the GPS, etc— we would rather limit the time our kids are watching movies or playing app games on the phones. There are several games many of us played as children that my children have not learned yet.  And, since our social daughter will start looking for children to play with at other campsites, I decided a fun way to meet our camping neighbors could be to introduce ourselves to them and then invite their kids or grandkids over for a game.

Here are a some choices for games that could be played by children ages 5 and up- making many fun camping moments.

New  Orleans is started by picking two captains and they then choose their team. Each team has a home base. After teams are chosen, one team is chosen to present the charade. This team then decides what activity or occupation to act out such as washing dishes or pretending to be a doctor.  Once this has been done and the actions for the charade discussed, the teams line up on their home bases facing each other. The teams then approach each other and the team chosen to begin the game, begins with the following question:

Team 1: “Here we come.”

Team 2: “Where are you from?”

Team 1: “New Orleans.”

Team 2: “What’s your trade?”

Team 1: “Ice cream and lemonade.”

Team 1 then begins the charade and Team 2 tries to guess. The captain of Team 1 answers the guesses either by saying yes or no or you’re getting warmer. If the correct guess is made, Team 2 tries to catch the members of Team 1 before Team 1 can run back to their home base.

What’s the time Mr. Wolf is played with one player as the wolf. He/she will stand with back turned about 20 feet from the others. The others call out, “What’s the time Mr. Wolf” and the wolf turns to face the others and shouts out a time such as 10 o’clock. The others would then take 10 steps toward the wolf. The group will take the same amount of steps toward the wolf as the amount of hours in the wolf’s time. The wolf will then turn his back to the group again for them to yell “whats the time….” (He looks at the group only when he shouts the time at the group”. When the group gets close to the wolf the next time the group yells “What’s the time Mr. Wolf” and the wolf will say ‘DINNER TIME” and run after the group who are to run back to the start line and hopefully catch one of the group who will then be the wolf.

Capture the Flag can be played in an open field area between campsites. The field is divided into two halves, known as territories. Players form two teams, one for each territory. Each side has a “flag” or piece of fabric. Cloth napkins or bandanas would work fine. The flags are generally placed in a visible location at the rear of a teams territory. The object of the game is for players to make their way into the opposing team’s territory, grab the flag and return with it to their own territory without being tagged. The flag is defended mainly by tagging opposing players who attempt to take it. Within their own territory players are “safe”, meaning that they cannot be tagged by opposing players. Once they cross in to the opposing teams territory they are vulnerable. Different versions can be made up according to age level of children and number of players.

Up and Down is a variation of the game tag where one person is it and runs to catch the other players on the field. But rather than having one  to run to for safety, base is anything that you can climb up on top of.  So, at a campground, base would be a picnic table, chair or tree.

Whether you are planning to camp as a group or just with your  family, you are sure to have a memorable time playing  games while keeping your kids happy campers.

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2 Responses to Camping Games for Kids

  1. Eric February 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    Love it. The best part about camping is the time you can spend with your kids. These look like some great games. I just found your blog and will be definitely coming back.

    Eric

  2. Shawn February 26, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Hi Eric, thanks for the comment. That time together as a family is special time.