Simple 7: Ideas for campsite fun

(Courtney Johnson)

You can compete or relax and have fun day or night. The options are endless.

Bring On The Lawn Games

The popularity of lawn games has risen in recent years. Many companies make smaller and lighter versions of classic lawn games, from cornhole to horseshoes, to pack up and bring when camping. New or adapted versions of lawn games are sold in major sports stores, outdoors stores and big box stores. These games are designed to need less space to play, making them ideal for campground fun.

Build Until Your Heart’s Content

Campgrounds give visitors access to all kinds of materials for building. Logs, rocks, leaves, flowers and pine cones are all perfect construction materials. Design a fairy or gnome house for some campground visitors. Once built, forts offer the perfect place to take a break from the sun and campground madness. If you are near water, create a sandcastle or tunnels for water to travel through. The sky’s the limit with a little engineering and imagination.

Hang Out With The Rocks And Trees

Trees are a great source of fun while camping. Climb to the top of one for an overview of the campground and scenery. Hang a hammock between trees for a place to enjoy a nap, good book or even dinner. Slacklines and ninja rope courses can be set up between two sturdy trees for a challenge among the campers. Rope swings over the water are a perfect way to cool off while swinging from side to side. If you have any large rocks nearby (and the proper equipment, like a crash pad), have a bouldering session or two while at the campground.

Just Add Water

Who can resist a cooldown on a hot day of camping? Water balloons, splash balls, water cannons and super soakers are perfect for adding a little hot-weather fun at the campsite. Bring the sand toys (even large cups work) for some along-the-shore play. Having stick races always adds a little competitive fun along the shore, or you can create rafts with sticks and float them down the water. Rock skipping is always a great camping pastime, or grab a fishing pole and try to catch dinner. Inflatable tubes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards are growing in popularity to bring along when camping, as they pack down small in the car, SUV or camper and are perfect for paddling on rivers, lakes or ponds.

Pile Into The Tent

Sometimes, you just want to cozy up in your tent, and sometimes the weather prohibits other plans. From checkers and cards to Connect Four and Camp Board Game, many companies make travel versions of classic games that take up less space to pack and less space to play in a tent or at a picnic table. You can find smaller versions of your favorite games at big box stores, Amazon and even in McDonald’s Happy Meals. Coloring, reading or small crafts are also great for passing the time.

Play Into The Night

When the sun goes down, you can still enjoy some nighttime play. Some animals are nocturnal, so they only come out at night. Grab a flashlight or headlamp and go for a nighttime walk to see if you can find any night critters. Flashlights are also perfect for telling ghost stories, making shadow puppets on the side of the tent or playing flashlight tag. Frogs and toads are easier to catch at night with a net, or use a net or a jar to catch fireflies. Download a free app like SkyView Lite to search for the stars. A simple Pinterest search leads to all kinds of scavenger hunts, or you can easily make your own based on where you are staying. All you need is a guitar and your best singing voice for a night of music by the campfire. Dancing is encouraged! Have a talent show by the glow of the fire, or play a round of charades. Throwing and twirling glow sticks in the dark can also bring out the nighttime fun. Try as many s’mores combinations as you can think of, or cook a new dessert over the flame. Colored cones or crystals make a campfire more colorful.

Tap Into Nature

The nature you find within a campground offers many enjoyable activities. Bird and animal watch from your tent or RV site. Take a hike to see what you can see from the trail. You may enjoy searching for animal tracks, wild berries and edible plants. Grab some nets and jars to catch bugs. A simple Pinterest search leads to all kinds of scavenger hunts, or you can easily make your own based on where you are staying. Lie back, relax and just watch the world (and the clouds) go by. Use a geocaching app to find any caches near your campsite, or hide one yourself if you are experienced.