Making Camping Fun for Kids

Most kids get excited at the idea of going camping. After all, spending a night in a tent out in the woods sounds pretty adventurous! The trouble for parents and chaperones is that once you get kids out into the woods away from the PS3s, Facebook, and TV is that they might not know what to do with themselves! Thankfully, there are plenty of different games and ways you can make camping fun for kids. Here are a few such ideas:

Take Pictures!

Equip your kids each with a disposable camera and encourage them to take whatever snapshots from the camping excursion that they please. Kids like having their own camera to do with what they wish. Plus, the finished product is a bunch of pictures to give them fond memories of camping!

Scavenger Hunt

Nothing is quite as fun as a nature scavenger hunt. Send your kids out, with parental supervision, of course, on a nature scavenger hunt. Give them a specific leaf to find, a specific rock, have them find and take note of a number you've hidden in a certain place they're given instructions to find, etc. You can keep kids busy for hours and having a blast with a good scavenger hunt!

Campfire Stories

One of the great joys of camping with kids is the chance to scare the crap out of them with a good campfire story at night. Tell your favorite campfire story, flashlight pointed at face, of course, and have them entranced for hours. If you don't have a good campfire story, there are plenty classics available online that shouldn't take too long to commit to memory.

Board Games

Bring a deck of cards and a couple of board games on your camping trip. You never know when your trip might get rained out or when there will be a moment of boredom where a deck of UNO will come in handy.

Have Them Help!

Camping is a great chance to teach kids the importance of responsibility and safety. Have your kids help you set up the tent and unload supplies. A great way to help your kids unload a little wild energy is to send them out on a mission to collect firewood. Have them gather as many twigs and sticks as they can. These will help keep the fire going later. You can also have your kids help prepare the food you'll be eating at camp. Don't forget supplies for s'mores. Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars are a camping classic!

Star Gaze

Since most people live in urban settings these days, fewer and fewer kids truly know what a starry night sky looks like. Camping is a great chance to star gaze. Visit the site Earth Sky to learn a few interesting things to look for in tonight's sky. Getting to see a constellation for the first time is a great memory for kids!