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35 Fun Family Camping Games: For Kids and Adults

35 awesome camping games to play in your neck of the woods.

How can you plan the most memorable camping trip for your family? You might have the location, equipment, and snacks all planned, but if you’re still searching for family camping games, you’ve come to the right place.

With years of camping experience behind me, I have put together an incredible list of camping activities for kids, families, and adults. Whether you want games you can play in a tent or outdoors, keep reading to discover 35 exciting activities.

These are games that you can write down or memorize, using them for years to come. Make them a camping tradition; maybe one day, your kids will continue playing them with their own children!

Classic Camping Games for Everyone

Camping has been a family pastime for over 100 years, and games have long been a part of this outdoor activity. I’ve compiled a list of 12 classic camping games that are great fun for all ages, including field games, word games, and more. You might have heard a few of these, but I’ve included step-by-step instructions to refresh your memory of the rules.

1. Potato Sack Races

Potato Sack Races

You probably didn’t bring potato sacks on your camping trip. But you will have sleeping bags, which work just as well! This fun and competitive game is an easy, low-prep one that will have the whole family laughing.

How To Play

  1. Choose a start and finish line: Firstly, decide where the race starts and ends, whoever gets to the finish line first wins.
  2. Get into your sleeping bag: Step inside your sleeping bag and pull it up past your waist. Hold the top and try not to let go!
  3. Get hopping: After somebody says ready, steady, go, it’s time to hop from the start line to the finish line. Whoever crosses first is the winner.

Who Can Play

I recommend this one for kids ages three and up. Of course, adults and bigger kids will be at an advantage because they can take bigger hops and balance better. You might want to split races into age groups to make it more fair.

2. Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare

Truth or dare has some adult connotations, but it’s enjoyable to play as a family! You can suggest fun truth questions like “Would you rather be a dog or a cat?” For dares, you could challenge someone to spell the ABCs backward or do five cartwheels in a row.

How To Play

  1. Pick a player: Sit in a circle and choose somebody to go first. That person gets to choose another player. They ask them, “Truth or dare?”
  2. Choose your answer: The chosen player responds to whether they would like to be asked a truth question or given a dare.
  3. Truth or dare: The person asking has to think of a truth or a dare. The person they challenge must do the prompt — that’s the fun of the game!
  4. Move on: Once the player has completed their truth or dare, it’s their turn to ask somebody else. The game continues until people are ready to do another activity.

Who Can Play

This game is fun for any age, upwards of three. If playing as a young family, make sure to keep it age-appropriate! Parents, you will be super surprised (and often embarrassed) by what kinds of challenges your kids come up with!

3. Frisbee


You can’t go wrong with a game of frisbee. This is an absolute classic, and the equipment is budget-friendly. You can store the frisbees in your garage or with your camping gear for easy access on your next adventure.

How To Play

  • Find an open field: Find a large open spot away from other campers. The last thing you need is to send a frisbee to someone’s campsite!
  • Toss: Toss the frisbee back and forward, trying to catch it each time.
  • Split into teams (optional): If you want a more competitive approach, split into teams and set a goal at either end of the field.
  • Score goals: Like a game of soccer, pass the frisbee from teammate to teammate before trying to score a goal.
  • How to win: The winning team is the one with the most points after your chosen length of time.

Try This

The fun thing about playing frisbee is that you can make up all sorts of fun games!

Who Can Play

Kids from age two can play Frisbee. But they might not thrive well in team games. So if you want to play competitively, I recommend ages eight and up.

4. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunt

Parents, when you desperately need to distract your kids on a camping trip, you can’t beat a DIY scavenger hunt. Whether you’ve prepared one in advance or need to develop something on the spot, it’s super easy to organize!

How To Play

  1. Write a list: Write a list of things that the kids need to find, hear, see, smell, or touch. This could include something blue, a puddle, a leaf, a bird, and more.
  2. Head out: Together, head out on a scavenger hunt and see what you can find. If you need to pitch your tent, ask the kids to stay close, and they can complete the scavenger hunt from the campsite. Unsupervised scavenging is better for older kids that are eight and up (but you know your kids best).
  3. Winner: Whoever finds all the items first wins. Or, if you need to buy more time, the game is only over when each child ticks everything off their list.

Extra Tip

If you’re camping with many kids, split them into teams. This makes a great buddy system and helps the game go quicker.

Who Can Play

This works well for kids about three and up, though some younger kids can definitely get involved in a team approach. Teenagers and adults might not find this the most engaging, though.

5. 20 Questions

20 Questions

This game is excellent for camping, road trips, or even grocery shopping. We used to play it on family trips all the time, and we even had the handheld 20 Questions game, which was fantastic for solo play.

How To Play

  1. Mastermind chooses: Choose a player to become the mastermind. In their head, they think of a person, place, or thing. It can be general — like a penguin or rug — or it can be super specific — like Spongebob Squarepants or a Honda Jazz.
  2. Take turns guessing: Everyone gets a turn asking the mastermind a question. Usually, people start with, “Is it a person?” to figure out the category. You must ask yes or no questions. The mastermind can answer with yes, no, maybe, sometimes, or I don’t know.
  3. Ask 20 questions: When you get to question 18 or so, you might want to start guessing the answer. If you ask more than 20 questions, the team loses, and the mastermind wins!
  4. New game: Once the mastermind has won or lost, the next player takes a turn thinking of a person, place, or thing.

Who Can Play

In my experience, this game is best with a range of ages playing together. In general, it’s great for ages five and up. But younger kids will probably be better at guessing than being the mastermind.

6. Bop It

Bop It

If you’ve got a Bop It console, take it on your camping trip! It’s great for round the fire, playing in the tent, and on the car journey to and from your destination. Bop It never gets old and is fantastic for small and large groups.

How To Play

  1. Choose your mode: You can play a solo game, a two-player game, or party mode.
  2. Choose your difficulty: Use the flick lever to select your difficulty level: beginner, master, or expert.
  3. Start a game: Press the middle Bop It button to start the game.
  4. Follow instructions: The console will deliver instructions like bop it, twist it, or flick it. You must quickly respond to the instruction with the appropriate move. If you’re too slow or perform the wrong move, that game will be over.

The aim of the game is to beat your old high score or the players you’re competing against.

Who Can Play

Bop It is recommended for players ages eight and up. But some younger kids might be able to grasp it. Plus, adults love it, too.

7. Bean Bag Toss

Bean Bag Toss

A bean bag toss is a classic game, especially in the summertime when you can hang out in the sunshine! I recommend a foldable bean bag toss game since lugging around a big wooden board isn’t exactly camping-friendly.

How To Play

There are many ways you can play bean bag toss — the possibilities are endless! But here is one fun option:

  1. Split into teams: Split into even teams, with people of all ages on each team to keep it fair.
  2. Decide on points: Your game might have different points for each hole written on the board. But generally, the top holes are worth more than the bottom holes.
  3. Toss: Take turns tossing three bean bags each onto the board. Add up your score before your opponent takes their turn. Alternate back and forward until each team member has had a turn.
  4. Deciding the winner: The team with the most points wins!

Who Can Play

Kids of any age can play this one, even young toddlers. But it’s probably not until about three or four that a child has better throwing and aiming skills. Teens and adults can definitely enjoy this one, too, though!

8. Mafia


If you want something a little bit more ominous, Mafia is a fun and mysterious game that kids, teens, and parents will love. It’s a sit-down mystery game that works around the fire or inside the tent. All you need is a deck of cards and seven or more players.

How To Play

  1. Choose a moderator: Choose somebody to be the moderator, mayor, or narrator — whatever you’d like to call them! They’re in charge of each round, dealing out cards, making up the story, and giving instructions.
  2. Deal the cards: The moderator will sort through the cards, ensuring there is something for each role. Make sure there is a queen (doctor), a king (detective), and an ace (murderer/mafia). Numbered cards represent the townspeople. If you have a large group of people (more than 14, you can have two mafia members). When dealing the cards, make sure everybody gets a chance to look at their role privately.
  3. Begin the night cycle: The narrator asks everybody to close their eyes and bow their head. If they’re feeling creative, they can invent a story to make it all more exciting.
  4. Wake the mafia: The narrator asks the mafia to open their eyes and decide on a person to kill. This can include the doctor, detective, or townspeople. Once they have decided, they simply point to this person quietly. Then they close their eyes again.
  5. Wake the detective: The narrator asks the detective to wake. They must point to the person who they think is in the mafia. Once they have made their decision, they close their eyes again.
  6. Wake the doctor: The narrator asks the doctor to wake. They must point to the person they want to save (who they think the mafia has killed). They can also point to themselves. Once they’ve made their choice, they go back to sleep.
  7. Begin the day cycle: The narrator asks everybody to wake up. They describe the night’s events to the group, letting them know who the mafia killed, if the doctor was able to save them, and if the detective guessed the mafia members correctly. For example, they might say, “The mafia attacked Rachel last night, but the doctor managed to save her before it was too late, so Rachel is recovering well now. However, the detectives didn’t manage to catch the mafia, so they’re still running riot!” If the doctor couldn’t save Rachel, she is eliminated from the game. If the detective did catch the mafia, the mafia member is eliminated. Once all mafia members are eliminated, the game ends, and the townspeople win.
  8. Time to discuss: Allow the group a few minutes to discuss the night’s events and share their theories. They can give reasons why they are innocent, defend themselves, or ask others questions.
  9. Make accusations: It’s time to make accusations about who you think is in the mafia. Two players must back an accusation before moving into the defense phase.
  10. Defend: The person accused of being in the mafia can now defend themselves. They have 30 seconds to make their case. They can lie about the roles or bluff, but they cannot reveal their cards. It’s extra fun if players pretend to be certain characters, add backstories, or even wear costumes!
  11. Vote: After the accused defends themselves, players must vote as to whether they are a mafia member or not. Thumbs up for guilty or thumbs down for not guilty. If the majority vote for guilty, they are considered guilty and eliminated from the game, even if they aren’t part of the mafia. If the majority votes for not guilty, then the person remains in the game. All players cast a vote, even the accused.
  12. Begin the night cycle again: It’s time to begin the night cycle again. The game continues in the same order until the mafia wins or loses.

Top Tip

To make the game more child-friendly, don’t have mafia members “kill” townspeople. Instead, they could use a different crime, like stealing their crayons.

Who Can Play

I recommend this game for ages 13 and up, though you can make it more child-friendly by taking out the mafia and murder themes. However, this is a camping game hit if your kids are teens!

9. Bocce Ball

Bocce Ball

This was one of my all-time favorite camping games as a child. We loved it so much that we kept it in the backyard to play all summer long. It suits anywhere from two to eight people.

How To Play

  1. Throw the center ball: Choose a player to throw the center ball. Wherever it lands is the new target.
  2. Player one goes: Each player gets two balls of a specific color. You can also split into teams, with two players per team. In that case, each teammate gets one ball from their designated color. The first player throws their ball, trying to get it as close to the center ball as possible.
  3. Next player goes: The next player goes, attempting to do the same thing. They can also try to knock other balls out of the way.
  4. Repeat: Since each team gets two balls, it’s time for round two. Every player now takes their second chance to get near the target.
  5. Deciding a winner: Once everyone has thrown their ball, whoever is closest to the center ball is the winner. Now they can throw the center ball for the next game.

Who Can Play

Because bocce balls are pretty hard, I don’t recommend this game for players younger than 12. But you can opt for rubber balls instead, which are suitable for all ages.

10. Telephone


You probably remember this game from your childhood. It involves choosing a funny phrase and whispering it from person to person. It’s an excellent game for around the fire or chilling in the tent on a rainy day.

How To Play

  1. First player whispers: The first player chooses a phrase and whispers it in their neighbor’s ear. This could be a commonly known phrase or something totally random, like, “I hope we’re having green eggs and ham for dinner!”
  2. The whispers continue: Each player whispers what they think they heard to their neighbor. You’re not allowed to repeat the phrase if the person doesn’t hear you correctly. That’s the fun of it!
  3. The last person announces it: The final player hears the phrase and then announces it out loud to the group. Prepare for the phrase to have completely changed!

Who Can Play

As soon as a child has learned to speak and follow instructions, they can participate in this silly game! Kids probably enjoy it more than adults, but it’s fun for parents to get involved in.

11. Water Balloon Fight

Water Balloon Fight

Nothing beats a water balloon fight with your friends and family on a hot summer’s day. All you need is a tap and some water balloons. Make sure you ask the campsite in advance if you can play with water balloons, as some campsites won’t like the mess they make.

Either way, ensure you clean up after yourselves.

How To Play

  1. Split into teams: Split into two teams and find a large area to play. Make sure to avoid your neighbors — they won’t appreciate getting hit by a water balloon when trying to relax.
  2. Throw: Each team must throw water balloons at the opposite team, trying to get them to explode. There’s no real way to determine who wins! Whatever team is the most soaking wet at the end is probably the loser.

Who Can Play

Anyone can join in on a water balloon fight! Just be aware of little kids — don’t chuck water balloons too hard at them, as this can cause injury. Always aim for people’s backs or legs rather than chest and face. It’s a great game for large and small groups.

12. Hopscotch


If you have some sidewalk chalk, hopscotch is always a hit. We used to make extravagant hopscotch templates that were super fun and had cool prompts inside each square.

How To Play

  1. Draw: Draw your hopscotch template. This part is half the fun. Make sure the boxes are big enough to fit your feet.
  2. Throw: The first player throws a stone onto the template. You must hop over the square where the stone lands. On your way back, balance in front of the stone and reach down to collect it. You might have to balance on one foot to do this. Then the next player goes.

Improve The Fun

If you write fun prompts into the boxes, you have to do whatever one the stone lands on when you are about to collect the stone. For instance, when collecting the stone, if the box says, “Sing Twinkle Twinkle,” you must do that to complete your turn.

Who Can Play

This game is great for four-year-olds up to about 12, though some teenagers might enjoy it too. It’s a great game for solo play but works well for any number of players.

Camping Games To Play Outdoors

When the weather is nice, there’s nothing better than family games outdoors! I’ve compiled a list of 12 games that work brilliantly in the fresh air.

1. Ladder Ball

This game brings back happy childhood memories. It’s exciting, competitive, and enjoyable for all ages. Easy to play outdoors, it’s perfect for camping.

How To Play

  1. Stand back and throw: Decide how far back the players must be from the ladder. Simply toss the balls at the ladders, aiming them for the rungs. The first player throws all three of their balls before the next player can go. They take their turn without the other person removing their balls, so they can try to knock the other player’s balls off.
  2. Calculate the points: The top rung is worth three points; the middle worth two; the bottom worth one.
  3. The other player starts: Switch players and have the other player go first. This gives them a chance to knock balls off.
  4. First to 21: The winner is the first person to reach 21 points.

Who Can Play

Kids from four will have a lot of fun playing this game, as well as parents and even grandparents.

2. Kan Jam

If you like frisbee, you’ll love this frisbee game with a twist. Plus, it’s portable, so you can take it camping, to the beach, to the park, or even play it in the backyard at home.

How To Play

  1. Set up: Place the Kans 50 feet apart and split players into two teams of two players. One person from each team stands at either goal.
  2. Toss: On each team, you’ll have a thrower and a deflector (the one near the opposite goal). The thrower tosses the frisbee towards the Kan, and the deflector helps get the frisbee into the Kan by tapping it towards the goal if needed. Deflectors can’t carry, catch or double-hit the frisbee.
  3. Repeat: The other player from team one gets a turn, swapping roles from deflector to thrower.
  4. Next team goes: The next team has their turn, repeating steps two and three.
  5. Scoring: You get one point if the deflector redirects the disc and hits any part of the kan. You get two points if the thrower hits the goal without any help from the deflector. Three points if the deflector redirects the disc and it lands inside of the goal. And you can get 21 points if the thrower lands the disc inside the goal without any help at all from the deflector. Keep in mind that you will grant three points to the throwing team if you interfere with their turn.
  6. Winner: The first team to 21 points wins.

Who Can Play

This is a four-player game. Kids of any age can play it, but we don’t recommend a mixture of abilities, as older players will throw the frisbee harder and faster. This could cause injury.

So if you have a five-year-old who wants to play, try and find a few other young kids. Or ensure that older kids and adults don’t throw or deflect the frisbee too hard.

3. Hacky Sack

Hacky Sack

This is an absolute classic game that is fantastic for playing outside. If your kids are bored while you’re pitching the tent or cooking dinner, get them a hacky sack for hours of fun.

How To Play

There are no hard and fast rules for playing with a hacky sack. You can play by yourself or make up your own games. But here is one fun way to play with two or more people:

  1. Stand in a circle: Gather your friends or family in a small circle.
  2. Keep it up: Kick the hacky sack between players without letting it touch the ground. You can keep it up with any part of your body, including your feet, knees, or head. Pass from player to player.
  3. Keep score: You get one point for each pass. So if you pass from player to player 10 times, you score 10 points. Try to beat your score each time you play, ending each round whenever the hacky sack touches the ground.

Who Can Play

This is a great game for one player or many players. It’s fun for kids from three and up. Even adults will have fun with these little sacks!

4. Name That Song

Name That Song

Sitting around the campfire isn’t complete until you have s’mores, your favorite folk, and a fun game. Name That Song is superb for family camping trips and might even invite your fellow neighbors to join in.

How To Play

  1. First player hums a song: The first player hums a song. If they have a guitar, they could even play it on their instrument.
  2. Guess: The other players guess the song. Whoever guesses first wins! Now it’s their turn.
  3. Repeat: Keep going around the circle until you can no longer think of any songs or you’re ready to play a different game.

Who Can Play

Anyone can play this easy and fun camping game, even toddlers! They could choose to hum Twinkle Twinkle or another of their favorite tunes.

5. Obstacle Course

Obstacle Course

When in doubt, create an obstacle course. This is how we entertained ourselves as kids, whether camping or passing the time on our school vacation. You can create a fun and competitive obstacle course with any objects or silly rules.

How To Play

  1. Create a course: Using objects like sleeping bags, stones, sticks, or fences, you can create a unique obstacle course. Make sure that it’s safe and accessible. You don’t want any injuries.
  2. Compete: One by one, players take turns going around the obstacle course while another player times them. Whoever completes it fastest is the winner.

Who Can Play

This is an excellent game for kids between three and 15. However, older kids and parents can join the fun, too!

6. Nature Tic-Tac-Toe

Just because you’re outside in the wilderness doesn’t mean you can’t play classic games. You don’t need pens or paper for this one, just the wonderful world around you.

How To Play

  1. Draw a board: Get a stick and draw a tic-tac-toe board in the dirt or mud. Gather items to use as pieces, such as acorns or rocks.
  2. Take turns: Each player takes a turn choosing where to place their piece. The aim of the game is to get three pieces in a row diagonally, horizontally, or vertically.
  3. Winner: The first to three pieces in a row is the winner.

Who Can Play

Players from age three can grasp this game. It’s fun for adults, too. Two players compete at a time, but you can take turns so everyone in the family can get a chance.

7. Horseshoes


This is a classic outdoor camping game that’s marvelous for families. You can bring your own horseshoe set, but some campsites might include the game on-site.

How To Play

  1. Set up: Pitch the horseshoe stakes at opposite ends, usually about 40 feet apart, but you can shorten this based on ability or space available. Make sure the stakes are angled slightly toward each other.
  2. Toss: Opponents stand at the same stake, throwing towards the opposite stake. The first player goes, throwing both horseshoes towards the stake, aiming to get it around the stake. Then the second player goes.
  3. Scoring: Horseshoes within six inches of the stake get one point each. Horseshoes around the stake get three points each. If the horseshoe is leaning on the stake, it’s worth two points.
  4. Choosing a winner: The first team to 21 points is the winner.

Who Can Play

This is a great two or four-player game. If playing with four players, split into two teams and have one person from each team at either stake. You will throw in opposite directions.

As for ages, this is a great game for most kids, but if you’re younger than 12, make sure to use softer plastic horseshoes rather than metal ones.

8. Flashlight Tag

Do you want a game you can play even after dark? Flashlight Tag is a thrilling game that’s a total blast for an entire family. Kids, teens, and adults love this exciting game that involves normal tag rules and flashlights.

  1. Tagger gets a flashlight: Give the person who is “it” a flashlight.
  2. Run and tag: Players run around, and the tagger has to try and tag people with the flashlight. If they aim it at a player, then that player is out of the game.
  3. Play until everyone is caught: The game continues until everyone is caught. The next round begins with the last person standing as the new tagger.

Who Can Play

This is fun for all ages, but some younger kids might struggle running around in the dark. So you may want to save this for ages six and up or for whenever you know your child will be comfortable playing this.

9. Kickball

Kickball is a dynamite game similar to baseball and requires little equipment. All you need is a kickball and a few random objects to mark the bases. Ideally, you’ll have 18 players (nine per team), but you can definitely play this with as little as 10 players.

So note that this is better suited to large families, groups, or those who have made buddies with other campers!

How To Play

  1. Set up: Set up four bases: home, first base, second, and third. Split players into two equal teams. If you have enough players, the defense team has a pitcher, a defense for each base, and a few people in the field. The kicking team stands behind the home base, waiting for their turn to kick and run.
  2. Pitch: The pitcher starts the game by pitching the ball to the first kicker. They roll the ball directly to the kicker.
  3. Kick: The kicker kicks the ball and starts running toward first base immediately. They can keep running to the next bases, stopping at any base at any point to mark themselves as safe. If possible, they can go for a home run.
  4. Get kicker out: If the defense team catches the kicker’s ball before it touches the ground, the kicker is out. If the ball touches the ground, the defense passes it between each other, trying to get it to the defense player at the base the kicker is running towards. For instance, if the kicker is heading toward 1st base, throw it toward the person guarding first base. If they catch the ball and touch the base with their foot before the kicker, the kicker is out.
  5. Next player goes: The next player on the kicking team goes. Once they’ve kicked the ball, they begin running, and so does the other kicking player already out in the field. They can’t both end up at the same base at the same time, though. So one of them must keep moving or run back to their previous base.
  6. Switch teams: Once the kicking team has three outs, the teams switch positions.
  7. Scoring: Each team scores a point when a player makes it to home base. Typically, you play six rounds per team. Whichever team has the most points at the end of all 12 rounds is the winner.

Who Can Play

This is an awesome game for ages five and up. Some younger kids might want to get involved, too, so you can modify the game to accommodate their ability. If people get tired easily, you can agree to fewer rounds per team.

10. In the Pond, Out of the Pond

In the Pond, Out of the Pond

This straightforward game was a classic in Girl Scouts groups, but it’s fun for all ages and genders. It’s a classic campfire game requiring no equipment or skill.

How To Play

  1. Set up: Sit in a circle. Decide who is going to be the caller for the first round.
  2. Shout out: The caller gets to call out three different prompts in any particular order. They can say “in the pond,” which means everyone puts their hands forward, “out of the pond,” which means people put their hands above their heads, or “on the bank,” which means everyone puts their hands on their thighs.
  3. Eliminating: If anyone puts their hands in the wrong place or hesitates too long, they are out. They must sit on their hands until the next round.
  4. Winner: Whoever is the last person left in wins.

Who Can Play

Kids, teens, and adults can play this game. It’s probably best suited for ages five and up, but some younger kids might grasp it. It’s fun with a small group of four but even more fun with bigger groups!

11. Pass the Water

When the sun is beating down, and everyone is getting a bit too hot, this is a fun way to cool down. All you need are a few lightweight or plastic cups, water, and some players. The more, the merrier.

How To Play

  1. Set up: Each player gets a cup. The first player’s cup is full of water. Players must stand in a line, facing the back of the person in front of them.
  2. Pour: The first player pours their cups behind their head, trying to empty the water into the cup of the person behind them. Once the first cup is empty, that player moves to the back of the line.
  3. Repeat: The game repeats until there is no more water left. The fun of the game is that sometimes players don’t pour very accurately, which ends up soaking the other players!

Who Can Play

Anyone can play Pass the Water, but it’s best for kids ages three and up. The fun part is that the game gets a little more silly when tall players play with short players. The shorter players will end up the most soaked, though!

I recommend at least three players, but you can play with as many as you’d like, making a super long line!

12. Duck Duck Bear

You’re probably familiar with Duck Duck Goose, but when camping, a bear is more on theme! This is a favorite amongst kids, especially preschoolers and kindergarteners.

How To Play

  1. Set up: Everyone sits in a circle except for one player.
  2. Duck Duck: The standing player goes around the circle, touching everyone’s head and saying “Duck”.
  3. Bear: The standing player will then touch a person’s head and say, “Bear.” That person has to stand up, act like a bear, and chase the standing person, who must go around the circle and take the empty spot before the bear can catch them. If the bear catches them, that person goes into the middle of the circle. They can’t get out until another player is caught.

Who Can Play

Anyone over the age of three will grasp this game. It’s fun for parents, too. It works well in medium-sized or large groups of about five or more players. Personally, I like playing it with 20 people or more!

Camping Games To Play in a Tent

Do you need some things to do for rainy days, late nights, or early mornings? I’ve put together a list of 10 tent-friendly games. These also work in camper vans or pop-up campers.

1. Charades


Charades is a classic game that is great for inside the tent when the weather isn’t the best. You can also play this outside or even in the car (this doesn’t include the driver)! It involves splitting into teams and acting out a person or activity to your team who try to guess what you’re doing.

How To Play

  1. Split into teams: Players split into even teams. One person from each team is the actor, and the rest are to guess.
  2. Act it out: The two actors from opposite teams decide what they will act out to their team. If you create a list of ideas in advance, it will save you time and brain power! Whichever team guesses the charade first wins a point.
  3. Repeat: A new player becomes the actor for round two. Repeat until you run out of ideas.

Fun Tip

You can choose simple prompts like bird or teacher. Or you can go super specific, like, a mouse caught in a trap or a toddler eating birthday cake and falling asleep at the table.

Who Can Play

Anyone who can talk can play charades, making it a great game for preschoolers and adults! Some little kids might not be super skilled at the precise prompts, but they will still have fun getting involved.

2. The Alphabet Game

The Alphabet Game

This fun category game is excellent for anybody that knows how to spell. You don’t need any equipment, and it’s fantastic for the tent, but also for long hours in the car on the way to the campsite.

How To Play

  1. Choose a category: Choose a category. This can be random objects, colors, countries, names, or something else.
  2. First player goes: The first player chooses any word within that category. If the category was famous people, they might say Beyonce.
  3. Next player goes: The next player has to say a famous person whose name begins with the last letter of the previous name. So if the first player says Beyonce, the second player must choose a name starting with E, such as Ed Sheeran. The next player could say Nicki Minaj, and so on.
  4. Winner: You are eliminated from the game if you make a mistake or hesitate for over 10 seconds.

Who Can Play

As long as players can spell, they can play this game. They simply need to have an understanding of the alphabet. This is a great game for two players or 20 players!

3. Simon Says

Simon Says

Simon Says is great for younger kids. It’s not complicated and can be played and replayed many times. You simply need a few people to play and a little space, making it a great choice for larger family tents.

How To Play

  1. Set up: Choose a player to be Simon. They stand in front of the other players, who stand in a straight line, shoulder to shoulder.
  2. Simon Says: Simon decides on random actions for the players to do. They can say, “Simon says spin on the spot,” or, “Simon says clap your hands.” The players must do what Simon says. However, sometimes Simon will not say “Simon says,” meaning the players must not do the action.
  3. Eliminate: If the players do the wrong action or do the action when Simon hasn’t said “Simon says”, then they are eliminated.
  4. Winner: The last player standing wins, and they are the new Simon.

Who Can Play

Ages three and up will enjoy this game. Teens and adults might not have the most fun with it, but it can definitely be modified to accommodate all ages.

4. Exploding Kittens

Card games are a must-have on any camping trip! An epic option is Exploding Kittens, which is great for ages seven and up, and works for two to five players. It’s a compact enough game, so you can easily pack it on your camping trip.

How To Play

Your best bet is to read the instructions, as they are very detailed. But here is a quick overview:

  1. Set up: Divide cards between players and have a draw pile in the middle.
  2. Avoid exploding kittens: In the deck is an exploding kitten card. If you draw that card, you explode and are out — unless you have a defense card. The aim of the game is to avoid the perilous powers of the exploding kitten card.
  3. Eliminate: You are out of the game if you take the exploding kitten and can’t defend yourself. The game continues without you. The last player standing wins!

Who Can Play

The manufacturer recommends players ages seven and up can play this game, but some younger kids will grasp it. It’s suitable for two to five players, and it’s a super fun choice for teens and adults, too.

5. Add To the Story

Add To the Story

We loved this game as kids. It’s great for around the campfire, hanging out in the tent, or playing in the car. Kids who like storytelling and using their imagination will love it. And parents, you might enjoy joining in, too!

How To Play

  1. Player one starts: The first player starts the story by saying, “Once upon a time…” and then saying anything they like. The funnier, the better. Typically, they will say one or two sentences before saying, “Pass.”
  2. The next player continues: The next player adds to the story before passing it along. This continues until the story comes to a natural end.

Who Can Play

Ages three and up will enjoy this game. It’s a lot of fun with players of all ages, as this will make the story more ridiculous as you go!

6. Uno

You can’t go camping without a deck of Uno cards. Uno is easy to play, great for small or large groups, and works brilliantly in the tent. I love this competitive game that involves trying to get rid of your hand of cards before any other player.

How To Play

I recommend reading the rules for more detailed instructions, but here is a quick overview:

  1. Set up: Give each player seven cards. Put the remaining cards face down in the middle — this is your draw pile. Put the first card of the draw pile face up next to it — this is the discard pile.
  2. Take turns: Go around the players in a clockwise direction. The players must place a card that matches the color or number of the top card in the discard pile. They can also play a wild card which allows them to choose the next color played.
  3. If you can’t play: If the player can’t play any of their cards, they draw a new card. If the card can be played, they can play it.
  4. Yell Uno: If a player has one card left, they must shout Uno before another player notices. If another player shouts Uno before them or they forget to shout it, they must draw two cards.
  5. Winning: When a player is all out of cards, they win. A new game begins.

Who Can Play

Uno is recommended for ages seven and up, but some younger kids might grasp it. It’s great for two to 10 players.

7. Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie

I couldn’t get enough of this game as a kid. I loved creating a silly lie and thinking of actual fun facts from my life. It’s great for families, but so much fun if you meet new friends on your camping trip — it’s a real ice breaker.

How To Play

  1. Player one goes: Player one tells the other players two truths about themselves and a lie. These can be funny, serious, or totally crazy.
  2. Other players guess: The other players discuss which one they think is a lie. Once they guess, player one reveals which one is a lie and tells the backstory to the two truths.
  3. Next player goes: The game continues with each player sharing their truths and a lie.

Who Can Play

This is a lot of fun for all ages, from about four and up. Adults will love it, too.

Playing as a family can be too easy sometimes since you know most details about each other. So it’s great if you’ve met new friends or are camping with other families.

8. Mad Libs

As a child, I never went camping without my Mad Libs! It’s a hilarious word game that is not only super silly but teaches kids a lot about grammar. You can play it by yourself or as a family. Great for the tent or car.

How To Play

  1. Choose a scribe: Choose a player to be the scribe. On the top page is a list of words you must ask the other players, such as a noun, number, or color. Each player gets a turn to choose a word.
  2. Read out the story: The scribe inserts each chosen word into the story before reading it out. Because you don’t know the story, you’ll end up with super hilarious sentences like, “If you’ve seen the movie Party Hats featuring Barack Obama, you’ll understand the generosity of removing leeches from your chin.”

Who Can Play

All ages can play, but only kids with reading and grammar skills will understand how to participate. This makes it a great game for ages seven and up. As mentioned, you can play as a group, but playing alone is also a lot of fun.

9. Fortunately, Unfortunately

Fortunately, Unfortunately

This game is similar to the Add To the Story game but with a twist. It’s an excellent game for challenging kids’ imagination and thinking of good and bad consequences.

How To Play

  1. Begin the story: The first person begins the story by saying, “Fortunately…” and adding on their idea. For example, they could say, “Fortunately, I got a puppy for my birthday.”
  2. Continue the story: The next player must begin their sentence with the word ‘unfortunately’. For instance, they could say, “Unfortunately, I’m allergic to dogs.” The next player begins their sentence with, “Fortunately,” and this repeats. For instance, they might next say, “Fortunately, my grandfather had invented a magical anti-allergy pill.” The next player could say something like, “Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember where he kept them.”

Who Can Play

You only need two players for this game, but it also works with multiple people. It’s great for ages seven and up, but some younger kids might be able to grasp it.

10. Would You Rather

Would You Rather

Word games are brilliant for getting cozy in the tent and passing the time. Would You Rather is a classic word game that works well with two players or many more. Kids and adults will love it, and I think you’ll get a kick out of it, too! The weirder the questions, the funnier the game is.

How To Play

  1. Choose someone to ask: Choose somebody to ask the first Would You Rather question. This can be as silly as you like. They ask the question to the group.
  2. Discuss: The group discusses their answers before deciding which option they would rather choose.
  3. Round two: A new player decides on a question. The game continues until everyone is ready for a new activity.

Who Can Play

Kids from age three can play this game. It works well in small or large groups.

11. Camp Talk Game

Running out of conversation? Try out the portable Camp Talk game, which gives you conversation starters to jump into hilarious discussions in seconds. The device includes 50 different questions that you can play with friends or family.

How To Play

  1. Choose a question: Have one person select a question from the pack and ask it to the group. This could include a question like, “If you wrote your own camp song, what would it be about?”
  2. Discuss: The other members of the group discuss and share their answers.

Who Can Play

Anyone can play this game. The person asking the questions must be able to read, but anyone can answer the questions, making it great for young and older families.

FAQs About Camping

What Should You Not Do While Camping?

You want your camping experience to be as safe and smooth as possible. I’ve put together a list of things you should avoid while camping and why:

  • Don’t arrive too late or when it’s too hot: Plan to arrive at your campsite before the high heat of the day and before nightfall. Nothing is worse than pitching your tent in hot weather or when it’s pitch black.
  • Don’t forget bug spray: Bugs are brutal at campsites, especially in the summertime. Always pack a good bug spray, like OFF! Family Care Insect Repellent.
  • Don’t just show up: When you find a campsite you like, make sure you make a booking. Campsites get busy, so don’t just show up and hope for a spot.
  • Don’t forget to test equipment: Before camping, make sure your tent, coffee maker, and electrical equipment work well. Do a test run in the backyard.
  • Don’t leave food unattended: Don’t leave your food out in the open, unattended. This is a foolproof way to attract animals. One night, a pack of coyotes showed up at our campsite in the night because we left out some food. It was super dangerous!

What Are the Most Important Things To Bring When You Go Camping?

Here is a list of the most important things you should bring on your camping trip:

What Are Some Fun Camping Activities?

There are many kids’ camping activities you can do to keep everyone happy and entertained. From our list of camping games, some fun classics include going on a scavenger hunt, making an obstacle course, and playing Uno in the tent. You might also enjoy singing songs around the campfire, making s’mores, going hiking, or fishing.

What To Do on a Rainy Day While Camping?

Part of the risk of camping is getting stuck in the rain. But that shouldn’t ruin the fun on your camping vacation!

You can play any of our indoor camping games, like Exploding Kittens or Two Truths and a Lie. You can also get in the car and go to an indoor swimming pool, out to a cafe, or an indoor play area.

Here are some more fun ideas for when the rain is heavy:

  • Play a board game.
  • Visit a local area.
  • Drive to local landmarks.
  • Stay inside and read.
  • Play a word association game.
  • Tell stories.
  • Take a nap.
  • Play card games.
  • Sing songs.
  • Journal.
  • Do easy crafts, like making friendship bracelets.
  • Study hiking maps for your next adventure.
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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a Scottish freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. She is a mum to a young boy, and believes that it truly takes a village. When she’s not parenting, writing about parenting, or working, she can be found reading, working on her novel, taking photos, playing board games or wandering through the countryside with her family.