10 Campfire Games for the Whole Family

By incorporating campfire games into your camping trip, you ensure entertainment and create opportunities for learning and a deeper connection with the natural environment. These activities encourage kids to engage their senses, think critically, and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.

  1. I Spy:
    • How to Play: Choose one player to start. They say, “I spy with my little eye, something that is…” and give a clue about an object they see in their surroundings. For example, “I spy something green.” Other players take turns guessing the chosen object, asking questions like “Is it a tree?” or “Is it a leaf?”
    • Expansion: To make it more nature-focused, encourage kids to spot objects in the natural environment around them. For instance, “I spy something with feathers,” or “I spy something that’s moving in the water.”
  2. 20 Questions:
    • How to Play: One player thinks of an object, animal, or plant related to the camping environment. Other players take turns asking yes or no questions to guess what it is. They can ask questions like “Is it alive?” or “Is it larger than a breadbox?” Players have a limit of 20 questions to make their guesses.
    • Expansion: Use this game as an opportunity to teach kids about the local wildlife and flora. For example, the chosen object could be a pine tree, and kids can ask questions to identify it correctly.
  3. Would You Rather:
    • How to Play: Take turns asking each other “Would you rather” questions, presenting two options. For instance, “Would you rather have the ability to fly or breathe underwater?” Each player chooses their preferred option and explains why.
    • Expansion: Customize the questions to the camping experience. For example, “Would you rather sleep under the stars or inside a cozy cabin?” This sparks discussions about camping preferences and introduces kids to various aspects of outdoor life.
  4. Storytelling Circle:
    • How to Play: Sit in a circle, and one person begins a story with a sentence or two. They then pass the storytelling to the next person, who continues the narrative. Continue around the circle, each person adding a sentence or two to build the story.
    • Expansion: To make the storytelling educational, set a theme related to the camping trip. Encourage kids to include details about the natural world, such as encounters with animals, interesting plants, or exciting adventures outdoors.
  5. Campfire Charades:
    • How to Play: Write down a list of words or phrases related to nature or camping on paper. Fold and place them in a container. One player selects a paper and acts out the word or phrase without speaking while the others guess.
    • Expansion: Prepare a list of nature-themed words, animals, or camping activities for charades. This adds an educational aspect and promotes creativity and imagination as kids act out scenarios like “building a campfire” or “soaring like an eagle.”
  6. Riddle Time:
    • How to Play: Take turns presenting riddles related to the natural world. Provide clues, and let others guess the answer. For example, “I’m brown and furry, with a bushy tail. What am I?” (Answer: Squirrel)
    • Expansion: Create riddles that challenge kids’ knowledge of local wildlife, plants, or geological features. Encourage them to think critically and apply what they’ve learned during the camping trip to solve the riddles.
  7. Campfire Sing-Along:
    • How to Play: Bring along musical instruments or sing acapella. Gather around the campfire and sing traditional campfire songs, such as “Kumbaya” or “This Land Is Your Land.” Encourage everyone to join in and share their favorite songs.
    • Expansion: Include nature-themed songs in your repertoire. Songs about animals, forests, and outdoor adventures can enhance the camping experience. Provide background information about the songs, like the inspiration behind them or any connections to the environment.
  8. Mystery Sound Game:
    • How to Play: Turn off all other sounds around the campfire, including flashlights, and have everyone close their eyes. One person (the “sound maker”) produces a sound from nature, like mimicking a bird call, rustling leaves, or the sound of a flowing stream. The other players listen carefully and try to guess what the sound represents.
    • Expansion: After each sound is guessed, discuss the source of the sound and its role in the natural world. For instance, you can explain how birds use calls for communication or how the rustling of leaves can signal the presence of animals.
  9. Nature Bingo:
    • Preparation: Create bingo cards with pictures or descriptions of various natural elements commonly found in your camping area, such as pinecones, birds, mushrooms, or different types of leaves. You can also find printable nature bingo cards online.
    • How to Play: Hand out the bingo cards and markers to the participants. As you explore the campsite or go on a nature walk, encourage kids to mark off the items they spot on their bingo cards. The first one to complete a row, column, or diagonal shouts “Bingo!” and wins a small prize or gets to choose the next activity.
    • Educational Value: Nature bingo promotes observation skills and familiarity with local flora and fauna. It encourages kids to pay attention to their surroundings and learn about different elements of nature.
  10. Constellation Spotting:
    • Preparation: Before camping, research and print out a star chart or download a stargazing app suitable for your location and time of year.
    • How to Play: On a clear night, gather around the campfire or lie on blankets and gaze at the night sky. Using the star chart or app, identify and discuss constellations and planets visible that evening. Encourage kids to connect the dots and imagine the shapes represented by the stars.
    • Educational Value: Constellation spotting introduces kids to astronomy and the wonders of the night sky. It teaches them about the movement of celestial objects and helps them appreciate the vastness of the universe.

These campfire games offer educational and entertaining activities to enhance your camping experience with kids.

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