When looking for fun outside of the campground’s prescribed activities, Linda White and Fran Lee suggest in Sleeping in a Sack: Camping Activities for Kids (Gibbs Smith, 1998) that young campers can create their own games with a little inspiration from home.
For instance, kids often play “the floor is lava” in which they climb on furniture in an attempt to not touch the floor. Camping provides an even more challenging version requiring participants to jump from rocks, logs and other materials and avoiding falling or stepping on the ground. Shallow, slow-moving rivers where stepping stones are prominent could also be an option if a parent is around to supervise.
A traditional part of any group camping trip is the theatrical activities – ghost stories, shadow puppets and skits. Kids and young adults on a camping trip can plan together to have a scary night of ghost tales, learn how to make supporting characters through inventive shadow-hand puppets (just a flashlight and the back of a tent needed) and come up with a show to entertain the others through playacting. Encourage the kids to really get their creative juices flowing with prompts and characters to include.
The great outdoors can create lasting memories, but why not help those memories along? Buying a scrapbook before the trip will give children a place to preserve pressed flowers and leaves as well as their memories and photos of the trip itself.
Just a little preparation – paper, glue and markers – can give children the materials necessary for endless hours of creative work. Encourage the young campers to experiment with nature in order to find the perfect art materials – from berries (know what they are first, to prevent poisoning) and flowers to smooth stones and rocks, many items at a campground can be used to create beautiful works of art.
Finally, origami can be a fun way to spend the time. Buying a pack of origami paper and instructions will give children the foundation to create shapes and designs of their own. Eventually, kids may figure out how to make origami from leaves and flowers they find at the campsite.
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