10 Camping Games For Families and 1 Free Download

10 Camping Games For Families and 1 Free Download

If you are about to head out on a family camping trip, plan ahead and grab a few simple supplies.

You won't have to think too hard about new games when so many classics exist. Here are what we consider some of the top family camping games:

Capture the Flag

A team effort is going to be the only skill that gets you through this game. Capture the Flag has been played by generation upon generation of campers. While there are various sets of rules and regulations to play by, depending on how serious you are about the game, the basics are this;
You have two teams, each with a different color flag, which is simply a piece of fabric. A red bandanna and a blue bandanna works well. Each team has two objectives; 1) capture the other team's flag and return to their home base, and 2), keep their flag from being captured. Set up the rules of game before beginning. For instance, the game is won when one team successfully captures the flag three times, return to their home base and defend the capture for two minutes.


Always a highlight of camping trips, skits bring a certain comedic nature to the camp site. Pick a fun topic, or poke some fun at your family and try your hand at impressions while other family members try to guess who you are. Then, if you want it to be a competition, judge your skits on different areas of excellence, like funniest, most dramatic, or even most accurate impression. Be sure to create silly trophies to bring along.

4 Square

A big bouncy ball and four squares is all you need. Draw one large square in the sand or grass, using a stick or some chalk, or even some water-based paint, then divide it into four squares. Each player gets a square (or if you have more than four players, the extras wait to stand in for players who miss and are out of the game.) Decide on the rules, then flip a coin or play rock-paper-scissors to choose a server. Then get in your squares and start bouncing the ball to each other, trying to make your opponents miss. When they miss, they're out. Pretty soon it will trickle down to a playoff between two players, scrambling to knock the other out of the game.

Dodge Ball

To play this game you'll need to set up a rectangular court with a center-line defined, and a big, soft foam coated rubber ball for each player. Divide your players in even numbers at either end of the court and place the balls in a line along the center-line. Have someone outside the teams blow a whistle. Then players rush in, grab a ball, and run back to their own starting line. Turn around and face your opponents and throw the ball toward the players (head shots are discouraged!), hitting them in the belly or back. This eliminates an opponent and sends them to the sidelines. Pick up another ball (they'll be rolling all over the place) and aim at another opponent. If they actually catch your ball, then you are out instead. Every time an opponent gets sent to the sidelines, one of the players on your team can re-enter the game. The game is over when it comes down to two players and one is taken out with the ball. Just remember; everyone has their own idea for rules, so be sure to agree on court rules before the game begins.

Tug of War

Depending on the number of people in your camp, you can either create a two-team tug of war or a three-team tug of war. Most of us are familiar with the two-team style – a long rope place over a line, or even a puddle. To create a three-team tug of war, just tie your long rope into a circle and divide it evenly into thirds, forming a triangle when each team grabs hold of the rope. Now you have three teams fighting against two opponents. Maybe two of the teams will decide to “gang up” on one team when push comes to shove... or tug!

Hot Potato

You only need music that can be started and stopped easily, and a tennis ball or an actual potato to toss. Everyone playing gets in a circle, with one person holding the ball. Then someone outside the circle, with their back to the players, starts the music and the players toss the ball back and forth until the music player stops the music. The person left holding the 'hot potato' is out of the game. The game continues until it comes down to two players and they have a play off. The last person standing without holding the 'hot potato' is the winner. Stock up on fun prizes to encourage competition. This is a game that can be played with any number of players (2 or more), inside or outside, and at almost any age. If the players are old enough to toss and catch, they are old enough to play.

Have a Knot Tying Class

Make this a priority in your camping activities for kids list! Take a rope/string with you on your camping trip for this camping activity for kids and teach them how to tie a good knot. It’s important to have specific names for the different parts of the rope: (1) The part you are working with in your hand in tying a knot is called the “end.” (2) A loop made by bending the rope is called the “bight.” (3) The long portion of the rope not being used in tying the knot is called the “standing part.” A very common and useful knot is the square knot. Its purpose is to tie together two ends of rope or string of equal thickness so that they will not ever slip or come untied. To make the square knot take an end in each hand, cross the end in the right hand over the end in the left hand. Twist it around the rope in the left hand, cross the end in the left hand over the end in the right hand; twist it around the rope in the right hand; pull tight.

Quiet Games

Planning for rainy days or quiet times is a must to make a camping excursion successful. Camping while it rains can get boring quickly, unless you are prepared. Many card games and board games can be used for those times when running around outside won't do. Uno, Hearts, Crazy Eights, and Go Fish are classics that almost everyone will either know how to play or be able to learn quickly. Board games like Life are very popular with many ages. Simple crafts are another idea for kids to stay busy and entertained indoors. If you don't want to add to your cleanup chores indoors, choose crafts that don't involve paints or other messy items. Some paper plates, yarn, crayons, crepe paper, ribbon, and school glue can go a long way toward keeping kids happy and busy indoors.

Flashlight Hide-and-Seek

Give “it” a flashlight and have everyone else run and hide. When “it” is done counting, make sure you don’t get caught in his flashlight beam or you’ll become the new “it!”

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Download the Free Camping Scavenger Hunt Cards Here!

Identify the Sounds of Nature

Sitting in the dark around the campfire, listen to and have the kids try to identify the sounds of crickets, cicadas, owls, night birds and the wind…

You don't have to look far, or think too hard, to create a fun camping trip for your family. Planning beyond the food and tent is important if you want to keep your family entertained and longing to go back and do it again. These games are easy to carry out with just a little planning.

With an adult's help campfire cooking can become great memories. Go beyond the hot dogs on a stick or smores and try something a little fun and unique.

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