Does your family love the outdoors? If so, you may enjoy camping with your family. My family has had our share of family camping trips! While the usual campfires and s’mores are great, nature-loving families may be looking for other suggestions when it comes to outdoor fun.
Here are some tips on making your next camping trip one you’ll remember forever!
Fun on the Water
Lakeside camping offers a host of fun activities. Just don’t forget to pack the sunscreen and life-vests!
- Paddle boarding or standup paddle boarding, also known as SUP boarding, can be fun for the entire family. Smaller children should probably accompany adults, while older kids should be able to paddle their own boards. Check for rentals near your favorite campsite, and let the fun begin.
- Pontoon boating. Many lakes, including Ohio State Parks, offer pontoon rentals. A great family activity to enjoy on your next camping trip. You can fish, swim and even have an on-board cookout!
- Water Skiing or tubing. If you have a boat available or are able to rent one, don’t stop there. Rent or purchase tubes or skis, and cheer each other on as you experience these fun new water sports.
One of the many perks of camping is that it lets you get in touch with nature. To really experience the wonder of the outdoors, use your next camping trip to explore fun activities like the ones listed below:
- Ride the trails. Check your favorite campsite for ATV trails, then set out on a fun exploration trip with your family. Look into kids four wheelers, and be sure your children are schooled in the basics of operating an ATV, then get ready to explore nature in style!
- Have a scavenger hunt. What better way to explore the outdoors than with a scavenger hunt? Create a list of objects – wildflowers, pine cones, certain types of rocks, leaves, etc. – and set out on your hunt. Be sure to have at least one adult per group, and see who makes it back to camp first with all the items on the list.
- Study the stars. Camping provides the perfect backdrop for a little stargazing: no lights or smog, and plenty of wide open spaces. Bring along a constellation map, or download a star gazing app on your smartphone, and see how many you can spot with the naked eye.
If you camp the old-fashioned way, you probably don’t use modern amenities like electricity or Wi-Fi. And even if your family prefers a 21st Century camping experience, you can probably still appreciate some good old-fashioned family fun. Either way, the following games are almost guaranteed to entertain families.
- Family crafts. Crafting is a great way to spend some quality time with your family, so grab some supplies and get busy. You could use objects found in nature, or you could bring your own supplies from home; the point is to have fun, relax, and nurture those artistic spirits!
- Board games. Everybody loves board games! On your next camping trip, be sure to pack some fun games or a deck of cards, then devote at least one evening to family game night.
- Family Storytelling. Campfires make everything more dramatic! What better way to achieve a memorable camping trip, than by showcasing some family stories around the fire before bedtime? If your family is anything like mine, you’re sure to have some amazing stories (good and bad) to tell after your camping trip.
Pack your gear and get ready for fun with your family in the great outdoors!
Saturday 20th of March 2021
I have a van like yours. I am trying to figure out where you put everything if the bed is spread out in the van and the seats are stowed. It would be great to see a video on trip pack up and go then campsite arrival with the night time set up. I have a hitch that I can put my tray on with a couple totes but you haven’t mentioned doing that.
Love your tips and window treatment idea.
Monday 22nd of March 2021
Hi! I have a video somewhere of our setup but honestly, it's outdated now. My husband and I are hoping to be camping later this week so I'll take some photos and video and share what it looks like. We travel pretty light when we're in the minivan. We now have a Promaster that we convert when we're traveling for more than 10 days.
Monday 23rd of February 2015
It's been so long since we have gone camping! The good news is we are planning to go in a few weeks! You named some great activities we can do while out there! I really like the idea of a family scavenger hunt!
Tuesday 7th of October 2014
Don't forget geocaching! Since geocaches are placed all around the world, I do it with most types of travel, but there seems to be more and/or better geocaches in camping areas. Just yesterday I went to Collings Mountain to see what is officially the world's only Bigfoot trap. Along the trail, we found three different geocaches. I always describe geocaching as being like a worldwide treasure hunt for grown-ups! If you've never done it before, it's definitely worth trying out. You may be surprised at how many are even within close proximity of your home. (And I will be happy to give you geocache-hunting tips as well!)
Thursday 9th of October 2014
I've not tried geocaching, Jes but I would love to sometime. I used to letter box with the kids and I always enjoyed that. I'll take any tips you want to offer. Let me know if you're interested in writing a guest post. :)