10 campsite games & nature activity ideas for kids

Following our post on our top 10 tips for camping with the family, we thought we’d share our 10 campsites activities to help keep the kids entertained while you’re on a campsite.

Campsites are a great way to learn about nature and explore the world around us without screens
Campsites are a great way to learn about nature and explore the world around us without screens

Campsites are a haven for natural play, with trees to climb, nature to explore and campfires (when allowed) for evening marshmallow toasting.

They’re a great place to use their amazing imaginations to explore and have fun with, however we love to have a stash of indoor and outdoor activities on hand, not just for a fun distraction, but they’re great to help her learn about what is around us and also because we find Lily loves bonding with other kids through her toys and activities.

So, without further ado, here are our top family friendly activities that we pack for our camping and glamping trips.

1. Scavenger Hunts

Campsites are great places for a scavenger hunt, with so much nature at your doorstep (well, tent entrance!).

Lily enjoying her Learning Resources UK Scavenger Hunt with her Bugnoculars ready for nature treasures!
Lily enjoying her Learning Resources UK Scavenger Hunt with her Bugnoculars ready for nature treasures!

We love them as they’re easy to print and store for when they’re needed or easy to save on your phone too. They’re a great way to explore all the incredible nature on a campsite that you may not find at home.

Need some inspiration? Shop and download ideas…

2. Sensory Activities

Sensory activities are a great way to connect with nature and really help you to find peace in the moment with the world around us.

It not only helps our wellbeing at any age, but it is also a wonderful way to appreciate nature and truly have a break on your holiday, forgetting some of the stresses you’ve left behind.

Exploring woodlands with her cards from Catkin & Co
Exploring woodlands with her cards from Catkin & Co

On campsites you’re often surrounded by woodland, countryside, rivers and footpaths, so why not take a moment to listen, feel, smell, and enjoy the world around you.

Need some inspiration? Shop and download ideas…

3. Wildflower or bug hunt

We’re going on a bug hunt, we’re gonna catch a big one…!

Ok, it’s not quite a bear, but we can sure find some incredible things on campsites and bugs you may not find at home. They’re in their own habitat – watch where they go or how they carry their food!

Wildflower Cards from Catkin & Co
Wildflower Cards from Catkin & Co

Being so remote, you can also often find beautiful wildflowers. What can you find? Just remember not to pick them!

Need some inspiration? Shop and download ideas…

4. Outdoor toys

We use a folding car boot organiser as storage in our tent – one side is for shoes, and the other is for her outdoor toys. Complete with a ball, dance ribbon and skipping rope as well as a velcro ball game,

Lily loves to bond with other children on the campsite by playing with her toys together with them!

We take a few small outdoor toys - great for campsite friendships too!
We take a few small outdoor toys – great for campsite friendships too!

5. Eco fun

We’re huge supporters of Leave No Trace and camping is a great way to share this with the family – learning about the importance of protecting our environment and respecting the world around us, while being able to experience it first hand.

Photo by Catherine Sheila on Pexels.com

Check out the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace here but why not make it into a game for kids to learn, like going on a litter pick together or finding ways to make your camping trip as eco-friendly as possible?

Need some inspiration? Shop ideas…

6. Binoculars

Binoculars are a fantastic thing to pack if you can (why not give it as a gift for their next birthday or Christmas?) – what can you see? What can you spot that you can’t see closer to us? They’re a great way to learn and explore nature while keeping distance from wildlife.

Can you draw what you can see through the binoculars?

Exploring Notgrove with her Learning Resources UK Kidnoculars
Exploring Notgrove with her Learning Resources UK Kidnoculars

Need some inspiration? Shop ideas…

7. Stargazing

When the sun sets, the remote locations of many campsites mean they’re a great place for stargazing!

Dancing like a unicorn watching the sunset and waiting for the stars! (Wearing KidsOnesies)
Dancing like a unicorn watching the sunset and waiting for the stars! (Wearing KidsOnesies)

If you have space in your packing, why not take a telescope with you and see what you can spot that you may not be able to see in more populated areas?

Need some inspiration? Shop ideas…

8. Nature crafts

From leaf rubbings to stick men and nature mobiles, what can you make with the treasure you’ve found around the campsite?

Inspired to make a dreamcatcher thanks to Little Trekkers

Need some inspiration? Shop ideas…

9. Activity books

Activity books are packed with hours of fun and are great for quiet time, rainy days, and just for something to do when you’re keeping cosy in the tent.

We take the My Busy Bots Fun Folder on all our adventures as all the activity books can be kept safely tucked inside inside her own folder, ready for when she wants to complete them.

Need some inspiration? Shop ideas…

10. Colouring in

We have a pack of colouring pencils and recycled plain paper as well as a colouring book on hand for those rainy days or early mornings when we are snuggled up in the tent.

Why not get the kids to draw a picture of what they can see? What colours are around you? This could help them take in the nature around them while you’re there.

Need some inspiration? Shop ideas…

Look at all the colours in nature - see if the kids can draw what they can see and pick out all the colours
Look at all the colours in nature – see if the kids can draw what they can see and pick out all the colours

Bonus Idea: 30 Days Wild

If you’re heading away through June, make sure you sign up to the 30 Days Wild challenge from the Wildlife Trusts – to do one wild thing a day throughout the month of June! 

When you sign up, you’ll get a free pack of goodies to help you plan your wild month, plus lots of ideas to inspire you to stay wild all throughout June (and beyond!).

Find out more here

Always remember to respect the environment and Leave No Trace
Always remember to respect the environment and Leave No Trace

If you liked this, you might like…

… our blog on 10 tips for family camping

… our favourite family-friendly campsite reviews

… our top unique ideas for UK staycations

… our suggestions on clothing and accessories for getting outdoor with the kids

… 20 ideas to make walks more interesting with kids!

Exploring with her Catkin & Co Sensory Cards
Exploring with her Catkin & Co Sensory Cards

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