Games are essential when camping with children. Keeping them occupied makes them less likely to get into trouble and everyone is happy. Generally, they like to play traditional, outdoor games but some are more fun on a camping trip. Depending on the game, there should always be adult supervision. Better yet, join in and have some fun!
We all know that kids love to use their creative abilities. Let them keep their own journal to document their own experiences and a scrapbook where they can collect and paste in pictures and items of interest.
Keep kids happy while teaching them how to use maps, compasses, life jackets and other useful items. This knowledge could prove to be crucial or even life-saving in certain situations.
Try a story activity when sitting around the campfire. One person begins a story with a couple of sentences and the next person adds on. If the children aren't too young, you can make the story really spooky and see who tells their part the best.
Gather something of what nature has to offer, such as rocks, leaves, acorns, etc. Put them in a jar or container and have a contest. Allow everyone to guess how many items there are and offer a prize or privilege to the winner.
Kids have fun searching for things so why not have a scavenger hunt to keep them busy? Make a list of natural things that need to be gathered and name a winner only when their list is completed. They'll find it interesting and will learn about nature as they go. Keep the hunting area small and give each child strict rules and a loud whistle.
Shadow games are popular with campers, played only at night. You'll need a flashlight or light source and someone good at making figures and shapes with their hands, standing outside of the tent. Have the children sit inside of the tent and guess the animal or object you are making by manipulating your hands and fingers.
Have your group search for a hidden artifact (whatever you choose.) How much planning you want to do is up to you. You can have the hunt detailed, with a treasure map, or by hiding a series of clues, leading to the treasure. You can bury it or have it hidden somewhere in the "wilderness." Again, keep the hunting area limited and give each child a whistle.