Hiking and Camping Activities for Kids


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Hiking and Camping Activities for Kids

Hiking trail with Kids
Hiking trail with Kids

Keep kid’s active and involved! These hiking, and in-camp, activities will not only keep kids interested, but can also help them learn about nature and the camaraderie of outdoor camping – whether in a tent, a cabin, or an RV. These camping activities will be a hit with the kids.

A Scavenger Hunt! – Scavenger hunts can be as simple or complex as you want to make them. The easiest of all is the “Alphabet” Scavenger Hunt, and a more challenging one could be a “theme” Scavenger Hunt. Here are some suggestions:

  • Alphabet Scavenger Hunt – This camp game can be played in-camp or on the trail – the rules and props are simple. All you need is a piece of lined notebook paper, (or our free pre-printed form), and a pencil for each camper – who will write the alphabet on it, one letter per line. (continue on back of paper if needed). The object is to find something in nature, (or the campsite), that starts with each letter of the alphabet. First camper to complete the alphabet, or the one with the most “finds” wins.

    Depending on the age and enthusiasm of your campers, you can add a few rules, or a theme.

    • Easiest – No Rules, anything they find in camp or on the trail
    • Nature only – No man-made objects, only things found in nature
    • Theme – pick one: things that grow or things that don’t, smaller than their foot or bigger than their head, etc.
    • Here is a pre-printed blank alphabet list you can download and just print as many copies as you need.
  • Category Scavenger Hunt with points – Similar to a theme scavenger hunt, you pick items, (like trees, flowers, animals, landscape, etc.), and campers get a point for each item they find that is related to the item. For instance, the item is a tree – anything related to a tree, like; leaves, pine needles, acorns, pine cones, bark, wood knots, etc. would each be worth a point each. Or birds, then; feathers, nests, eggs, etc. – get the idea?
  • Item List Scavenger Hunt – Simply a list of items for campers to find.

Scavenger Hunt Tips:

  1. Always set a time limit, 30 minutes or an hour, or even the duration of a hike. The excitement will wear off and your campers will lose interest if it seems to go on forever.
  2. Divide into teams if you have enough campers. It will promote camaraderie and competitiveness. (and lessen the “I’m bored” factor)
  3. The best scavenger hunts involve actually collecting the items, not just marking-off as seen or found.
  4. For younger campers – large paper grocery bags work great for holding found items. Even better are the brown paper shopping bags with handles
  5. Free Downloads: PDF’s
  6. Free Downloads as MS Word docs you can edit:

I Spy – Hiking Trail – Another favorite camping and hiking game for kids, but … a little imagination can make it a learning experience for younger campers or more of a challenge for older ones.

It goes like this: One person spots an object on the trail, (or in camp), and announces it with a one-word clue. Something like; “I spy something blue”, then the other campers get to ask up to three questions that can be answered with a Yes or No, and try to guess what it is.
If no one guesses it, then they get another clue, (after three more Yes or No questions), ie. “I spy something blue way up high”. If no one gets it right again, then a 3rd clue can be given, but if still not guessed, then the person that started it, points out what it was they “spied” and takes another turn. If someone does guess it, then they get to “spy” the next object.

Variations:

  • Category, like; trees, plants, or wildlife. All objects “spied” must be something in the category
  • Next-to: Instead of giving clues describing the object “spied”, the clues are objects near or next to the object. For instance; if the object spied was a tree stump, then a clue might be – “I spy a fallen tree”, or if the object was a hiking trail sign, then a clue might be – “I see a fork in the trail”.

boy with question markMemory Game – This game can be done during a hiking break, but works best as an in-camp game.

You will secretly collect ten different items related to your camping or hiking environment, like; a pine cone, acorn, rock, straight stick, forked stick, tree leaf, (fallen of course), a piece of kindling wood, etc. – up to ten items.

Put your items under something – a jacket, or shirt, or even a bandanna. Then with your campers gathered around you, you uncover the items and let the kids look at them for 5 or 10 seconds, and then recover the items.

Now send your campers out to find matching items in or around the campsite or trail. Set a five to fifteen minute time limit, and the camper(s), (young campers should always go in pairs, remember the safety of the “buddy-system”), that return with the most matching items wins.

More Camping Activities for Kids

CampingwithGus.com Kid's Nature's Bingo card
Nature Bingo
A fun bingo game that uses pictures of things found in nature instead of numbers. Fun for all campers, but especially suited for younger ones.
Free complete game package that you can download and print here:
MS Word doc – Nature’s Outdoor Bingo
PDF file – Nature’s Outdoor Bingo – PDF

Or you can check the available, more permanent heavy-duty laminated Premium Nature’s Bingo set here.
 

Bad Weather Survival Ideas for Camping with Kids:
Bad Weather? Kids confined to the tent? Save your sanity – be prepared with these games and activities to keep them occupied.

The links are for individual products, or the all-in-one bad weather kit. (as pictured)

CampingwithGus.com Rainy Day Camping with kids games and activities

Available as an all-in-one kitJust click the image on the right to see a complete all-in-one Camping activities for Kids and camp games for kids Bad Weather Survival kit” – All you have to do is select the item quantities to match your number of kids!





Here are a few items and resources that may prove helpful:

Camping compass

And you know kids love to play with compasses when they go camping, it is one of the camping activities for kids that allows them be real explorers.
Camping and Hiking Compass

Camping Safety Whistles

For emergencies, and your peace of mind, – every kid in camp should have a camp whistle on a lanyard around their neck! It’s a handy way for them to summon help when they need it.
Camp Safety Whistles

Kid's Camping Flashlights

Save the arguments, – every kid needs their own camp flashlight, instead of arguing who gets yours or who has had it the longest and who’s turn it is now.
(ps. this is a great camping flashlight for kids, but you can just pick some up at the Dollar store if you want)
Kid’s Camping Flashlights

Pie Iron for Campfire CookingPie Irons for Campfire Cooking
If you go camping with kids, you should have at least one Pie Iron, (preferably one for each kid), in your camping cookware. They are versatile – you can make anything from grilled cheese sandwiches to instant fruit pies. And they are so safe and easy to use that you can let your young campers make their own fun camping recipes for kids.
Just pop in the ingredients, close, cook over the campfire, and out comes delicious sandwiches, or biscuit-dough fruit tarts, or dozens of other camp food choices.


Check out these great examples of camping gear items you can find on Amazon. Like the folding shovel and personal first aid kit, once you have these pieces of camp gear included in your list of camping equipment, you will wonder how you ever did without them. Especially when you see how inexpensive they are when you buy them online at Amazon.

Tip: With young kids in camp, a portable camp toilet will make your life a lot easier. No interruptions for a long trip to the campsite bathrooms, and no “scary” after dark trips to the latrine in the woods.
You will be surprised how convenient and inexpensive portable camp toilets are. Here are some cheap portable camp toilets on Amazon.

Related Posts:

Camping with Kids – Safety and Rules
Camping with Kids Campsite Layout
Camping Activities for Kids
Hiking and Camp – Games and Activities
Rainy Day Survival Kit – Games and Activities
Personal Gear/Bedding Checklist
Camp Tools and Accessories Checklist



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