Camping is an adventure, and there is so much to do.  My kids love going camping and doing fun new activities every trip.  There is never a lack of anything to do! While it may feel like you’re isolated in nature, there are many things to keep kids having fun.

Here are some ideas to keep kids busy while on a camping trip.

Explore nature

There are so many things you can do by exploring the campground or other natural areas.  This can be anything from checking out bugs to identifying flowers.

Go on a nature scavenger hunt

Make your own or check the internet for some good lists.  A scavenger hunt is a good way to get kids exploring, searching for everything from pinecones to a variety of colors in nature.  I always bring baggies for the stuff my kids collect, from rocks to pinecones.  Keep in mind that there are often park/preserve rules about not removing things from nature, and I always remind my little ones to respect nature and try to leave as small of a footprint as possible. You can put together your own scavenger hunt, or purchase nature scavenger hunt games.


Check beforehand to see if there are geocaching sites around where you are camping.  This GPS-guided scavenger hunt is a fun way to keep kids entertained.

Go hiking

Most campgrounds will have their own trails, but chances are you can also find trails nearby. Here are some Tips for Hiking with Kids.

Hannacroix Preserve

Guided walks, nature centers, ranger programs

Many state parks or campgrounds offer programs for kids, whether it is an on-site nature program or a self-guided program.  My kids have also loved earning their own “Junior Naturalist” badges offered by New York and Vermont State Parks.

Campfire activities

One of our favorite things to do as a family is sit by the campfire and cook, make s’mores, and tell stories.  And my kids love to put on their share of dramatic shows for us!

You can also buy campfire colorant that makes your campfire flames more colorful!

Read books

My kids love reading stories before bed, but they also love relaxing by the fire with a good book.  What better time to dig into a good book than on summer vacation!


There are plenty of games you can do without bringing actual board games, or at least not much more than a deck of cards.  My kids use their imaginations and come up with lots of great games when we go camping, from playing with pebbles and sticks to balancing on logs.

Go fishing

Bring the fishing gear and see what fish you can catch.

Stay active

Many campgrounds have different ways to keep kids active, whether it is a playground, beach, open fields, etc.  You can always bring things like a kite, Frisbee, soccer ball, bikes, and so on to keep the kids busy.

Explore the area

There may be some fun things to do in the local area around your campground, from hikes to getting lunch, or visiting museums or other attractions.

What do your kids like to do while camping?