Hazel is a camping addicted, mum of two, who insists on a campfire! Her blog, YellowFields Camping, is all about camping on the wilder side with full reviews of campfire campsites with lots of pictures. Also, fun ideas for children plus loads of camping related posts. YellowFields Camping is all about campfires, ropeswings and streams – not clubhouses and hard standing!
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Free Family Camping Fun!
Children of all ages love camping, however,when their natural curiosity and energy for exploration has finally expired they can get bored. So here are a few ideas to help them keep busy on a camping trip without having to put your hand in your pocket or bring loads of extra equipment!
The Obstacle Course
Get them to gather a variety of objects from around the camp to create a course. This may involve dribbling a ball in between some shoes, throwing a tennis ball into a bucket, hopping to a marker and back, walking along some strategically places lengths of wood. Use whatever can be found and your imagination. A few silly things make it even better!
Everyone takes turns at racing around the course, use a stopwatch (many mobile phones have one) to time everyone. It is most fun if adults join in too!
Of course it’s unlikely the youngest of the family will be able to win so instead set them a target of beating their own Personal Best!
Gather some natural bits from around the campsite or go on a little walk. Pine cones, daisies, handfuls of grass, sticks, anything you fancy.
Help your children decide what shape or picture they might like to make on the ground. It might be a specific picture like a butterfly or just a pattern. Let the creative juices flow!
This can of course equally be done on a beach with shells, stones and seaweed.
Make a Mini Den
There may not be enough materials around to make a full size den, but it’s easy to make a mini den or fairy house from what’s nearby. We have made many different sorts, perhaps among the gnarly roots of a tree, against an old stump or free standing teepee style. The opportunity for invention is extensive. We have even tied long grass together at the top to make a hollow. They can be furnished with leaves, grass and nut shells. Occasionally the fairies visit and leave a few pennies of rent for the pleasure of staying in a great mini den, so it’s always worth getting your child to check in the morning!
Depending on age you may need to help your child hide a ‘treasure’ and then make a trail. Older children will relish making one themselves.
Simply hide a treasure which could be anything from a note saying ‘ I love you’ to a bottle of beer! Then make a trail using sticks to create arrows on the floor. The longer the better, the trail should go all around the houses (or campsite) before leading back to the treasure right next to the tent!
Scavenger Hunt or Bingo
Write a list of items to be collected, or found and ticked off, around the campsite or on a walk. Never fails to get kids excited especially if there is some kind of prize available for being the first back!
Make a Mini Raft
If you are lucky to have a stream on the campsite and the kids have finally exhausted dam building, stone collecting and general splashing around you might suggest building a mini raft. They can collect a few sticks, use about 6 thumb width sticks plus two as cross braces. Tie together with string as well as you can and “ta da” a mini raft is born! Top tip: Attach a length of string to the raft as a lead if there is any danger of it sailing off too far!
So much can be done with the fairly limited materials, once the children have been shown the possibilities their imaginations will take them even further!
Thank you Hazel, for such an inspiring post. Please leave any comments or your own ideas for ” free family camping fun” in the comments section below.