5 Fun Children’s Camping Games | Canoeroots Magazine | Rapid Media
Skills
A group of people playing hide-and-seek in a forest. Photo by Alyssa Lloyd

Five CAMPSITE GAMES FOR KIDS THAT ONLY REQUIRE YOU TO PACK THEM

If you crave a logistical nightmare, try accommodating multiple children’s demands by packing all of their favorite toys or games. Even if you’re just car camping this plethora of stuffed animals and Clue will only weigh you down. Here are seven campsite games that don’t require a single thing brought from home, except your children. These games are also a lot of fun for adults to enjoy, we at Rapid Media should know, we tested them as feverishly as we test gear. —Alyssa Lloyd

CAMOUFLAGE: This game as you might expect is best played in wooded areas. One player stays stationary as the spotter and counts to an agreed upon number. The group of players hide. But here’s the catch—you have to be able to see the spotter. Using surroundings to their advantage, players can hide in plain sight. If the spotter is having trouble finding players, they can call "food" which is when they close their eyes and hold up their hand. Players have to run and touch their hand as they count to an agreed upon number, then find a new hiding spot. The spotter can also yell “fingers", which is when they hold up a certain amount of fingers and those hiding have to call them out, meaning they have to peak around to see the amount of fingers and possibly be spotted.

TELEPHONE: This one is a classic. It seemed a little too obvious to include at first, but when we recounted those rainy camp days giggling in our tents we had to include it. Effortlessly played with large groups of people, adults alike, one person is the operator. The operator will come up with a short sentence and whisper it once into the next person’s ear. That person then whispers what they heard to the next person and the cycle continues. The last person to hear the message will then say it out loud. Hilarity ensues when they compare it to the operator’s original sentence. And this folks, is why gossiping is bad.

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HUG A TREE : Can be played with small groups of explorers, like most outdoor games, designate a safe perimeter. Without blind folds, spend time with a tree. Sounding a bit too tree- hugger to you? Bear with me. Before they are blind folded, children get to know the trees texture, circumference, note what other trees are around it, feel it’s leaves if they can reach them, note what it smells like, and any other amazingly small details kids seem to pick up that we don’t. When they’ve spent their time with the tree, walk them away, blind fold them, to add to the mystery, spin them gently around a couple of times. Lead them back towards the tree, but bring them to different trees first. See if they can guess which tree they took the time getting to know. Caution, your child may become more aware of the natural world.

SARDINES: Think, inverted hide-and-seek. Only one person hides, while the entire group tries to find them. When you find the person, instead of ousting them you quietly hide with them. Slowly, players disappear from the game, all quietly hiding like sardines crammed into one hiding spot. The last player to find the sardines becomes the new sardine.

DEER EARS AND FOX FEET: Explorers sit in a circle on the ground. One player sits in the middle with her eyes closed or blindfolded. A stick sits in the dirt behind the players back that they don’t hold onto. This is an optional rule, but we think it’s adorable, so we encourage it; the player in the middle holds her hands up to her head as if they are deer ears. Explorers circling the player in the middle have to stealthily, sneak up on the player in the middle to steal the stick behind them. If the deer in the middle hears something, they point towards the sound, hoping to catch the sly fox trying to steal the stick. She has three guesses to catch the fox(s).

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