Family camping is quite challenging nowadays and if you really want your kids to get their faces off gadget screens, and off the couch, you need to plan exciting family activities around the campfire. Camping gives the kids time to appreciate nature’s beauty, make friends with the wildlife, and smell the flowers. Pretty soon, they will be going off in all sorts of directions away from our home and I can only do so much. My kids may feel forced to go camping but I’m sure these will become their fondest memories when they’re all grown up. Check out this list of classical campfire activities that we’ve tweaked a bit for the whole family to enjoy!
15 Fun Family Activities for a Wonderful Camping Experience
1. Campfire Songs
Enliven the campfire group with good ol’ campfire songs and singing games. Everybody loves karaoke so everyone will definitely join in this vocal chord-exercise activity. Don’t forget about singing games like ‘Name That Tune’ or try this singing game where you start a song from the last word of the previous song. Don’t forget to bring your trusty guitar along!
2. Shadow Puppet’s Play
Forget about bringing a projector to a campfire. Where’s the fun in that? Why not make your own shadow puppet show using your hands and put your and your kid’s imagination to good work.
3. Playing Dress Up
Who doesn’t want to play dress up? Whether your kids are up for magical fairies or a wild-wild west theme, it’s going to be extra fun in the campfire. You can put up a play around the campfire too!
4. Toasting Marshmallows
What’s a campfire without roasted, toasted, and even burnt marshmallows? Before you pack up for the big day, be sure you’ve got the big bag of marshmallows all secured. Get the campfire list entry on marshmallows checked!
5. Roasting S’mores
The classic never gets old. So, it’s great to add our favorite S’mores on the list! It’s a favorite traditional campfire treat that we can proudly call our own. Your kids will definitely dig this treat they can make themselves.
6. Lighting Sparklers
It doesn’t have to be the 4th of July for you and your kids to light up sparklers around the campfire. In fact, the setup and timing couldn’t be any perfect with sparklers you can easily lit in the campfire. Make sure to get a good shot with your camera of the sparks and lines.
7. Scary Story Time
Remember ‘The Midnight Society’ from Are You Afraid of the Dark? They tell scary stories all around the campfire which surely sets the mood. It’s funny that I can be a scaredy cat but this was my most awaited part of the campfire as a kid. Don’t forget about Bigfoot or the scarecrow, they are classics that just never grow old. You can also check out the best scary story to tell in the dark here!
8. Grilling Barbecue
Whether it’s chicken, pork, steak, sausages, or hot dog barbecue, lay them all out in the fire to grill. With the activities and the fresh outdoor air, you’ll soon have a bunch of hungry campers. Make sure to throw in some healthy fruits and vegetables to balance everything out. You may also want to check these campfire recipes for a delicious variety.
When was the last time you gazed up at a night sky and appreciated the stars, constellations, and all? Sadly, it’s not possible in a well-lit night in the city or even in the suburbs. Stargazing may seem like a boring activity for your kids, but wait till they try it. They might spot a wishing star or two and wish for a campfire each year. Make sure you’ve got your constellation expertise covered and be ready for a barrage of questions.
10. Campfire Games
Playing in the dark, even with the campfire blazing can be difficult. Luckily, we have fun games to pass the time around the campfire where you don’t have to move around and potentially hurt yourselves in the dark. You can enjoy games like ‘Pass The Message’ where you simply whisper a message around. You’ll find it funny how a message changes as it goes around.
11. Glow in the Dark Ring Toss
Kids love playing with glow sticks. So why not make a game with them? Use one large glow stick and plant it on the ground. Get some smaller bracelet sized glow sticks to use as your rings. Kids will be able to compete with each other and keep the fun going for hours as they sit by the warm campfire while playing dark ring toss.
12. Truth or Dare
Truth or dare has always been a staple of every fun friendly gathering. Get to know your friends better with truth or just have them act silly with a dare. The possibilities are endless and you’ll have the best time around a campfire.
Playing charades has always been especially fun for both children and adults. Competing to guess the correct word can be exciting. When playing around a campfire, it’s fun to take some creative liberties with the campfire to bring out imaginative interpretations.
14. Truths and a Lie
This game is usually an icebreaker to get to know someone new. It can, however, be just as exciting when playing with friends as you get to see their hidden depths unfold. Each person must give three statements; two truths and one lie. Everyone else must guess which statement is false. So huddle up around the campfire and get to know each more!
15. Hide and Go Scare
As the name implies you play ‘Hide and Seek’ but with the added twist of also scaring your opponents. Get creative and use the darkness around the campfire to scare unsuspecting victims as they try to scare you.
Want to try a cool trick? Add color to your bonfire by checking out this video from Rick’s Tips:
These family activities will remind you of your own camping trips from way back. They may be classics but they sure are the essence of an unforgettable campfire. If you want to go camping just near your home, you can also try to build a fire pit in your backyard. We hope you’ve found a favorite on this list. Don’t forget to bring these fun family activities on your next outdoor trip!
What are your favorite family activities around the campfire? Let us know in the comments section below!
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on June 19, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Originally posted on June 6, 2018 @ 9:00 AM