The Top 7 Fun Camping Games for Families (And Even More for Adults!)

August 23, 2021

kids playing camping games with their family

Blog written by Wise Owl Outfitters.

Nature is beautiful - but sometimes, it can get a little boring (listen, someone had to say it). And if anyone knows this, it’s children. With an attention span of about 15 minutes, most kids may love nature, but it’s a lot to ask to have a kid bask in the glory of nature all day. I say this as someone who also has an attention span of 15 minutes, so I know what I’m talking about. 

So, how do we remedy this? Why, with some fun camping games for kids, of course! From card games to sleeping under the stars with a big, comfy hammock, we’ve got the low down on all of the super fun (non-screen related) activities that can keep your kids entertained, and even some activities for rainy days as well! 

No kids? No problem. Because we here at Wise Owl think of everything, we have some perfect camping games for adults here, too. 

Let’s start off with the basics: 

What Games Can You Play While Camping?

What do you do when the portable charger runs out? Well, believe it or not, there are a lot of family camping games that you can play that are actually fun, not just pretend fun. While some are a little more lengthy or difficult to learn than others, all of them are family-friendly, fun, and entertaining. 

It should be noted that some of these camping games require prior planning, so if you’re reading this on your way to the campsite, you may be a little more limited. If you’re not, however, I would at least pack a deck of cards! 

If you’ve got more room, you can also pack board games or outdoor sports equipment. A soccer ball, a frisbee, even a ring toss set would be perfect. But again, if you don’t have that stuff, we’ve still got you covered! 

Time to get started! 

The Top 7 Camping Games for Families

No matter what you like to do, we’ve got something for everyone here. From pre-planning games to simple spontaneity, you’ll find everything you need to ensure you (and your kids) aren’t sitting around wishing they were back at home where the iPad is.

Cornhole

This probably requires the most amount of storage space as well as the most planning, so if you’ve got room to spare, this is a must-have. You’ll need 2 cornhole boards, bean bags, and 2-4 people on hand. If you’ve got all that, then you have at least 2-3 hours of entertainment, guaranteed.
If you’ve never played cornhole, it’s a classic family camping game that involves 2 teams trying to rack up points by seeing who can throw their beanbag into the hole the most. It’s competitive, skill-oriented, and super fun! 

Tug-Of-War

So simple, yet so satisfying. All you need for this oldie-but-goodie is a thick rope, flag, or ribbon - as well as 2 evenly-matched teams, of course. The first person to tug their flag to the other side of the dividing line wins!
You can make this an extra-fun camping game for kids by letting the winner pick a special prize, such as a quality camping snack or the next activity! (I would pack some chocolate or candy to make the prize extra appealing).

Card Games

Card games are a go-to for most people trying to satiate their boredom, so what better way to pass time in nature than by utilizing them in your camping games? What’s more, they can actually be quite constructive - card games can help children develop both their concentration and memory skills, all while being super fun! For younger kids, simpler games like matching and Uno are perfect. For older kids (or adults), harder games like Phase 10, Gin Rummy, and Slapjack are a must! 

Spoons

But this is a card game, too!” I hear you thinking to yourself. Well first I’d like to say congratulations for actually reading this far, because no one does. I feel like I’m alone on an island screaming a bunch of fun camping ideas to nobody. It’s extremely isolating.

Secondly, Spoons is so much more than a card game, so I put it into its own category. If you’re looking for family camping games that require wit, speed, and focus, look no further. To play this game, you’ll need a table, a deck of playing cards, and enough spoons for every player except for one. The goal of the game is not to be the player left without a spoon by the end. You can see how this may get a little heated - but fun! 

Simon Says

Ah, the perfect game for tots. Simon says has been entertaining kids since the dawn of time (I assume), and is the perfect remedy for outdoor boredom. There’s never been a more fun way to follow rules! Plus, it builds sequencing skills and motor development. 

To play this camping game for kids, all you need is willing players! The leader (Simon) makes commands, starting with “Simon says…” - if the leader doesn’t start the command with that, but the players do it, they’re out! Simple and fun! 

Charades

Another great game that requires no extra equipment or planning. One person acts like something (without speaking), while the other people have to guess! Easy, inclusive, and fun for all ages! The perfect outdoor camping game!

Fun Under the Stars

For those who are looking to include nature in their fun, this is the perfect solution. Grab a hammock (No hammock? No sweat: we’ve got plenty of quality hammocks and accessories right here!) Set up your hammock in an area where you can see the sky clearly. Once it gets dark, have your kids lay in the hammock, look up at the night sky, and see what shapes they can make with the stars!

This is a great camping game for teaching kids about astronomy and the wonders of space and nature! 

Uh-oh, it’s Raining: What Games Can You Play in a Tent?

Stuck in your tent? No worries - here are some great camping games that can be played while you’re waiting for the weather to lighten up: 

Shadow Play

For this family camping game, all you need is a large flashlight, a tent, and your hands. Then, all you have to do is set up your projection surface, shine a light, and make shadow puppets with your hands. If you don’t know how to do that, no worries - another option is to grab some toys or stuffed animals that cast a distinctive shadow and let your imagination run wild!

Jenga

Jenga is the perfect rainy day game. You have to bring the blocks beforehand, but if you have it, it’s an amazing time killer! First person to make the tower fall loses! 

Would You Rather

A great camping game for kids who love to use their imagination! Have your kiddos come up with 2 crazy situations (for example: “would you rather hold a spider in your hand for 15 minutes, or jump off the highest diving board in the world?”), and pick which one they would rather do.

As an Adult, How Do You Entertain While Camping with Friends?

So, you’re not with kids - you’re with friends! But that doesn’t mean you guys don’t get bored from time to time, too. Well, entertaining your friends while camping is easier than it seems, because not only can you do the camping games listed above, you can incorporate alcohol into the mix. Being an adult is great. 

For Adults-only Trips, Try These Camping Drinking Games:

1. Never Have I Ever

A saucy solution for those who are settling down after a day of outdoor activity. This game is super easy: Everyone gets a drink, and raises 3-5 fingers. Go around the circle and say something you’ve never done, like “never have I ever seen Titanic” (this is true for me. Crazy, I know. Too much water and drama). If someone in your group has done that, they put a finger down and drink! This is a great camping game for adults who are looking to get to know each other better. 

2. Drink, Drink, Shot

Duck, duck, goose, but with a twist. This one is fun until you get too drunk, then it’s a little dizzying. You go around the circle, tapping people and saying “drink”, then tap on one person and say “shot!” and that person has to take a shot, and also chase you around. A simple, yet shockingly exciting camping drinking game

3. Beer Pong

Beer pong has been a great way to enjoy nature, spend time, and drink since, well, forever. You’ll need a table, some solo cups, and a LOT of beer for this camping game, so make sure you plan ahead! Bring this to your camping outing with your friends and you’ll be the most popular one there. 

Final Thoughts

We certainly hope this has helped you find ways to pass the time after you’ve enjoyed all of the outdoors has to offer. But hey, if you’re looking for more tips or amazing camping gear, just check out our website

Have fun out there!


Contributing Writer: Aurora Detor





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