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Camping Activities for Kids

September 2, 2019

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Camping with kids can be scary endeavor. Lord knows, I was terrified at the idea of going camping with mine. But, in parenthood, doing lots of things with kids is scary – the first time you need to take a newborn shopping . . . by yourself, the first drive that’s longer then 20 minutes, the first overnight at a place that’s not home. They’re all terrifying, but we get through it and do it anyway. That’s usually the point when we realize that it’s not so bad! We can handle it. We may have even enjoyed it!

So when Hubby and I made up our minds to go camping with the kids, he started working on what we would need for the trip. I started working on what the kids would need for the trip. Because we all know that nothing is worse than spending time with a “bored” child.

In the end, we all had a great time. Aside from the culture shock of the first afternoon after we arrived (“What do you mean I can’t play my tablet??”) the girls never once complained about being bored or having nothing to do. As a matter of fact, Hubby and I have already talked about making camping as a family a regular occurrence.

So, today I’m going to share all the things I packed for the girls that kept them entertained (and us sane) while roughing it in the wilderness. They made our camping trip a success, so I’m sure they’ll help you too!

Toddler, siting at a picnic table with her sister, painting

Art Supplies

On our trip, I had a small, lidded bin that stocked full of activities for our trip. Most of the things in this bin, were art supplies. Water colors, paper, crayons, and coloring books. The girls spent many an afternoon sitting at the picnic table making masterpieces to show us. We especially loved having a couple Melissa & Doug painting books, because all you need is water and a paint brush (we got this one for Emma and this one for Charlie). When the girls were feeling fancy, we broke out the regular watercolor palette and this paint pad (the paper is thicker, perfect for painting, and it’s inexpensive).

I also got each of the girls an LCD writing tablet to doodle and draw at the campsite AND while we were on the road. They were a big hit!

A hand, holding a hand of Go Fish cards


Aside from the occasional Candy Land or Hi Ho Cherry-O, we haven’t played many games with the kids. But a camping trip seemed like the perfect time to change that!

I didn’t want to drag along a board game with a ton of pieces (that would inevitably go missing), so instead I opted for card games. Emma loved them! We had oldies, but goodies like Go Fish and Crazy 8s as well as a new-to-me game, called Tug of War. I also brought the game Exploding Kittens for the adults, which Emma enjoyed too (Emma couldn’t play by herself, but loved to be on a team). Emma had a bit of trouble holding the cards herself, but my Mom had these card holders, which helped her a lot.

We had a great time and have carried the love of these games back home with us.

Little girl, in the woods, looking through binoculars

Little Explorers

What better way to spend your time in the great outdoors than exploring your surroundings?

Between my mom and I, the girls had tons of plenty to help them explore and observe nature. I grabbed this inexpensive pair of kids binoculars off Amazon. I also ordered some of this sun print paper. I had this stuff as a kid, and loved collecting leaves, flowers, and other items, then watching the sun “bleach” the paper, leaving only the imprint of my treasure behind.

Bug barn on a picnic table, filled with beetles

My mom brought a bug barn which got a lot of use and a pair of walkie talkies that of course made taking walks that much more fun!

Campfire with blue flames

More Fun Stuff

Who says the fun has to stop at night? To keep the fun going, I hit up my local dollar store and grabbed some glow sticks for the girls (or you can grab some here). Because what kids doesn’t love glow sticks? I also came across this cool product that changes the color of a campfire’s flames! It was super cool and the girls weren’t the only ones who loved it!

We were also fortunate enough that my parents had brought a portable projector and movie screen. So a couple nights, we all gathered the camping chairs and watched a movie together. It was a good way to wind down for the evening.

I was worried about how the girls would handle their first camping trip, but they both had a blast. With the few things we brought, they had plenty to do and never once complained about being bored. I call this trip a slam dunk and I can’t wait to do it again!

What’s your best tip for beating boredom while camping with kids?

Looking for a place to camp? See what we think about camping at Canyon Point Campground


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