campfire image resized

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When we go on vacation, I have a mission. It is called “Get the kids off the electronics.” Seriously! Doesn’t it get old? We’re out in NATURE, for heaven’s sake! What ever happened to exploring and using your imagination?  Well, sometimes the kids need a little encouragement in that department, and so I wanted to share some fun ideas I’ve come across for when we are sitting around the campfire, or even just hanging out together while on vacation. I love how these things encourage the kids to be present and interact with each other (two challenges we face now that iPods have become permanently attached to our children’s hands.)
Marshmallow Shooters
Thanks to Come Together Kids for this fun idea that everyone enjoyed, from the 14-year old boy to the 2-year old girl. Find the instructions to assemble here. (Funny story…after the shooters were assembled, we took turns shooting the marshmallows while everyone tried to catch the launched marshmallow into their own cup. One of the funniest moments of the trip was when my 11-year old daughter accidentally caught a marshmallow in her mouth instead of her cup. I wish I’d had a picture to capture the pleasantly surprised look on her face!)
bingo card
Another winner with my kids. I found these bingo boards on Amazon, and brought plenty of prizes from the dollar store. Bingo has become a family tradition when we travel.
Campfire Songs
I wanted to share this link I found at Country Farm Lifestyles where I got a lot of fun campfire songs. This even includes some guitar chords if you are so inclined! The kids pretended to hate it, but I heard them singing the songs on their own the next day!
Candy Bar Game
Here are the rules for this game in case you haven’t played it. You need a bunch of full-sized candy bars, two bowls, four dice, and a timer. Set the timer for 10 minutes, and pass the bowls around with two dice inside each of them. Bowls are passed quickly as everyone tries to roll a 7, 11, or doubles. After rolling a 7, 11, or doubles, the lucky roller gets to select a candy bar, and then tries to hide it from everyone’s view. Once the candy bars are all taken from the pile, you may steal the candy bars from each other until the timer goes off. The trick is to keep track of your favorites, because if someone doesn’t have what you’re asking for, then you don’t get to try again.
If/Then Game 
I actually played this at a Christmas party a few years ago, and it has become a favorite with my kids. Everyone has a slip of paper and a pen. They write on their paper a statement beginning with “If.” For example, “If Mom didn’t get so many misquito bites…” And everyone folds their paper and puts it in the center of the table. Everyone then draws a slip of paper and answers the “if “ with a “then.” The answer might read, “Then she wouldn’t itch her bites so much!” Once everyone has written down their “then” statement, it’s time to read the statements out loud. But as you go around the circle, the first person reads their “if” statement, and the person sitting next to them reads their “then” statement. The if’s and then’s are unrelated but are often quite funny when paired together.
On a crafty note, check out this darling Camping Pillow I came across at Ya’ll know I’m not the craftiest person in the world, but I would love to give this a try…the kids would LOVE it!!!

Camping Pillow

So there you have it… family’s favorite games to play while camping. I’ve found that a little planning on my part usually pays some big dividends. The bigger kids might resist them at first, but these games prove to be the catalyst to coming together and creating great memories. I hope these ideas can get you thinking about some fun things you can do together as a family this summer. Please comment and let me know how you like them…and be sure to share your favorite campfire or vacation activities!

2 Responses

  1. Thank you! These are just what I needed to prepare for a family reunion this week! The marshmallow shooters will be the perfect activity for the kids!

  2. Campfire is one of my favorite parts of camping. It seems like campfire inspire people to gather round and enjoy the comfort of its warmth. Campfire games, add fun and enjoyment to our camping experience. Thanks for sharing cute games for kids.

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