Camping as a family is a true bonding experience. Spending quality time together, unplugging the electronics and playing fun games, away from the regular routine at home, benefits everyone; parents and children alike. Believe it or not, playtime is important! Of course, it’s fun, but it also keeps you fit, builds healthy positive relationships, and creates lasting happy memories.
A good family camping game has just a few important criteria. It should be enjoyable for all ages and get everyone in the family involved and it should have simple rules and use ultra-basic equipment, or even better, – no equipment at all.
For a fun outdoor group activity, take advantage of the family campground or RV park, or break away to a nature trail for a scavenger hunt. It’s one way to expose children to nature and also get the whole family up and out and on their feet. You can either set up objects in advance for the family team to find or keep it simple and make a list of natural items to be collected, such as a feather, a bird’s egg, a triangular shaped rock, a pinecone, etc. You can also allow the family to bring along a cell phone and take pictures of things on the list that can’t be picked up and put in the bag, such as a squirrel, a mushroom, a deer, a nest, or a red bird.
Stargazing at night, on a constellation hunt, is fun and educational at the same time. You can bring along a book depicting the night sky and try to find as many constellations as you can while telling the stories about how each constellation got its name. With some added imagination, each member of the family can find other shapes hiding in the stars and create a story and name a constellation of their own.
Another activity that challenges the imagination is story telling, round robin style. Round robin story telling is a great way to close out the day while the family is gathered around the warmth of a campfire, back at the campground, in the darkness of night. Each story can be created by the whole family, one member at a time. To begin, one person starts a made up story with one sentence or several, followed by each member of the family taking a turn to add their own part to the story; as much or as little as they want. The story can be scary, funny, adventurous or a combination of themes that takes you on a wild ride! The game gets your imaginative juices flowing for some quick thinking and even small children can contribute.