As promised in my Camping 2012 part 1 post I said I'd be back with some fun camping activities and dessert ideas. So I'm back to do that.
I'll start with some ideas for activities:
Kids always seem to be on the excited side when they know they are going somewhere fun. Here is are a few activities to do in the car to keep them busy and focused and hopefully not asking "are we almost there?" every 5 minutes.
Here are some traditional games turned into travel games. You can find directions at Choose to Thrive.
Here is a travel Eye Spy game that they can play in the car. Download the Summer Eye Spy list at A Pretty Life in the Suburbs.
Now when you get to the campsite and you get everything set up and you get the dreaded, "Mom, I"m bored" you're going to have to have some tricks up your sleeves. Here are a few you games and activities you can gather up and pull out when needed.
Some of our family favorites:
We light the lantern and play cards way into the night. Skipbo, Phase 10 and Cribbage are our favorites. We also enjoy Ladder Ball and Bean Bag Toss. One of my favorite things to do while camping is a puzzle. I bring a piece of foam board and I do the puzzle on top of that. At night I then slide it into the van so the dew doesn't ruin it. For some reason a puzzle is very relaxing to me.
Another thing we love to do while camping is Letterboxing.
Letterboxing is growing hobby that combines elements of hiking, treasure hunting and creative expression into an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by following clues that are posted on the Internet (see the Web sites listed below), and then record their discovery in their personal journal with the help of a rubber stamp that's part of the letterbox. In addition, letterboxers have their own personal stamps which they use to stamp into the letterbox's log book.If your not familiar with Letterboxing you can go to Letterboxing.org and check it out.
NOTE: You do need to print out your clues before you leave and get your stamp around.
Geocaching is the same basic thing as letterboxing except you use a GPS system to find the hidden box. For more information visit Geocaching.com. We haven't done Geocaching because when we first started we didn't have a GPS. I think we might need to check it out this year. I see there are several clues for both Letterboxing and Geocaching where we are going camping next weekend. Gotta get the clues printed out.
Here is a fun scavenger hunt list. I particularly like the photo list. You can find it at: Families that Stick.
Camping Scavenger Hunt List
All you need for this is just a list printed out for every "hunter" and a brown paper bag! Easy-peasy!
|1. Pinecone||6. Acorn|
|2. Smooth river stone||7. Bird feather|
|3. A Maple Leaf||8. Rock that looks like an arrowhead|
|4. Sand||9. Winged seed (like maple, dandelion, etc..)|
|5. An Oak Leaf||10. A rock that looks like an animal|
|Bonus #1: A bird nest||Bonus #2: An antler|
Camping Photo Scavenger Hunt List
Everyone takes their cell phones and this list into the woods and captures as many of these pics as possible! How fun and easy!
|1. Hollow log||6. Tallest tree you can see|
|2. Climbing a tree||7. Wildlife (extra credit for the best pics!)|
|3. An Oak Tree||8. A Pine Tree & team members|
|4. A boot print||9. Animal tracks|
|5. Animal scat (ewwwww!)||10. Swinging on a vine|
|Bonus #1: A bird in flight||Bonus #2: A beaver dam|
|**All group members must be in at least 1 picture!!**|
A camping scavenger hunt will be talked about for years to come. It’s a great way for campers of all ages to have fun in the woods. It can also be a very inexpensive party idea for your next group outing. Hope the lists above are useful.
Here is another fun scavenger hunt. You can find it at Creative Homemaker
Here is a Camping Bingo Game at ThirtyHandmadeDays
Camping Olympics can be found here:
And here are some more fun games that can be found at Camping-field-guide
- Treasure Hunt: A fun way to explore the great outdoors while following a treasure map of clues!
- Geocaching: Have a GPS? This activity is growing in popularity and number. Just type in the zipcode of the campsite and you’ll likely find many hidden canisters in the vicinity. This is lots of fun…if you have a GPS, you’ve got to try it!
- Camping Olympics: Have a bigger group? Why not organize some camping games and point system and keep your competitive kids active. From tug-o-war to horseshoes, there are plenty of wooded activities to combine for a team competition.
- Flashlight Tag: The timeless game that gives the kids an excuse to run around in the dark.
- Kick the Can: Another fun game for larger groups, this one is a blast for big and little kids, alike!
- Capture the Flag: This one can occupy the campers for hours…especially if you have a lot of wooded territory to work with.
- Frisbee Horseshoes: This unique game is fun for all ages, can be played anywhere, and is a lot safer than throwing iron weights at one another!
- Shadow Puppet Charades: A tent & flashlight are all that you need. This is a good idea for rainy nights!
I have posted so many activities I'm going to have to do one more post on camping desserts and snacks. I'll post that on Thurs. I hope this inspires you to go camp and enjoy your family. Camping is a GREAT way to bond. Family counselor, author and speaker Gary Smalley says that family vacations especially camping, are great chances for family bonding. The thing to keep in mind is that the best bonding comes from shared crisis experiences. The reason he recommends camping is that something always goes wrong on a camping trip. The bonding comes later, when everyone is finally able to laugh about it. Then you can get the pictures out and say “remember when…”
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