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10 Classic Activities to Survive Camping with Kids

2013-06-27 by Marnie

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We’re sharing some fantastic family fun tips from Marnie of Carrots are Orange, about on how to enjoy and survive camping with kids!

10 classic activities to survive camping with kids

Camping with Kids is Fun and Refreshing…Right?

Well, most of the time. I love sleeping outdoors and breathing the air but camping these days with my two young sons is not exactly a walk in the park. Camping with kids can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be with a little planning. So, since we have a camping trip with friends coming up in the next few weeks, I have brainstormed these simple and doable Classic Outdoor Activities for Kids.

10 classic activities to survive camping with kids


I love Activity Cones. Our set is colorful and comes equipped with great game extensions. My 2.5 year old likes to stack and make patterns with them. Both my boys like to set up obstacles courses and goals for a “kickball” game.


A Drawing Pad is a great tool for young children to begin documenting their observations of the world. Plus, on a whim I grabbed Melissa & Doug’s triangular crayons too. As it turns out these crayons work better than anything I have ever offered my boys. Plus they have a great travel case. My suggestion is to go on a walk with all your senses open to the environment. Find a spot to just sit. Maybe at the fire, maybe on a log or in a patch of grass. Your child may simply choose to journal in the tent, alone, or at a picnic table with friends. Encourage the children to close their eyes and draw what they hear.


Cozy up in your sleeping bag for a session of story telling. Make up stories together with each person taking turns creating the next line.


We use a Bug House to get a closer look at critters. Our Bug House has a great little door easy for children to open and close. Plus it is lightweight and the perfect size for children to carry around with them. We observe the critter and then release it back to its rightful home. Critters always seem to inspire my older son. He likes to make up a poem, a story or a song about that bug. Loads of fun to do with children.

10 classic activities to survive camping with kids


A Bug Net is perfect for chasing butterflies and moths around a field, the forest, in your yard or a campground. Always good to tire the kiddos out a bit. My sons are extremely joyful when chasing butterflies.


Children love to collect things. So, grab your Lobster Claw Catchers (which are technically a pool toy but not in our family!) and go off on a hunt! Find things that start with a certain sound or are shaped in a certain way, or simply just collect rocks, leaves and sticks. Save a few of the rocks for painting at home and as a souvenir.


You can purchase parachutes but you can also do what I did as a child and pack an old or inexpensive sheet. Easy to pack away and take out.


Use a flashlight to draw and write at night! Play a game where the players have to guess the letter, the number, the word, or the song (if you use the flashlight to “blink” a tune like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.


Collect sticks and build with them. Some kids will want to build house, and some will want to build words. Sticks can go a long way. Plus sticks make great writing instruments for the dirt or sand. Challenge the kids to make a map of the area, or a scavenger hunt map.

Practical Life

Get kids involved in setting up and taking down camp, cooking by the camp fire, planning the next activity and maintain an organized campsite. You’ll be surprised at how seriously and joyfully children will work if given the opportunity to do so.

Thank you for choosing to read this post today.

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Marnie writes Carrots Are Orange, a blog focused on Montessori-inspired activities and ideas, teaching kids about money and general musings on parenting. Check it out on Facebook and Pinterest.

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