As a kid growing up, my family went on annual camping trips. All of us kids would spend the day riding our bikes, hiking, adventuring and generally goofing off, and once we’d worn ourselves out, we’d come back to camp for an evening of games. We would have epic tournaments where we’d try to become the reigning champion of a card, dice or board game. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of those game nights in the campgrounds.
Games are a great way to bring the family together with some friendly competition on your next camping trip. This list will focus on card games and dice games since those are easy to pack and each can be used several different ways for hours of fun.
Card games are great for camping, while there are a lot of cards in a deck that have the potential to get lost, I’ve found over the years of camping as a child and now as a parent that so long as they’re being used to actually play games (and not just being “played with”) the decks tend to stay together pretty well. Depending on how many people will be camping with, you might want to bring a few decks so more than one game can be going on at once. Here are some great card games for camping.
- Solitaire – even young kids can learn to play this in their downtime or while waiting for their turn to play the winner of another game.
- War – this classic game is another great one for even young kids since the rules are so simple
- Speed – this game may be a little confusing for younger players, but it’s a very fun and fast paced game great for school age kids and up. This was always a favorite on our family camping trips. My uncle was reigning champion and we would have tournaments between the kids to see who would get to challenge him. I don’t think any of us ever beat him, but it was still fun!
- Golf – Golf is a great card game for kids and adults alike. It can be a pretty simple game to learn, but the more you play it, the more you learn how to strategize and make it more challenging.
- Uno – Uno is perfect game for kids and adults alike since, like Golf, it’s simple to learn but using strategy can make it more challenging and fun. Uno does use a game-specific deck of cards, but it’s such a classic kid-friendly game I couldn’t leave it off the list.
While dice are also small and can sometimes get lost, I’ve again found that they tend to stay together if used only for game-play, and having a specific container to keep them in is important so that they can always be returned to their home. Also, since dice are all pretty much the same, if you keep a couple extras in your container, it won’t be too big of a deal if one or two do happen to get lost. Here are some fun dice games to play with kids on your next campout.
- Yahtzee – it’s a classic for a reason, and pretty simple to master, you will need a Yahtzee score sheet, but the game uses ordinary dice, so there’s no specialty pieces required.
- Pig – a fast paced and simple game where the first person to get to 50 points wins! This a great game for younger kids so long as they can count the dots on the die and can count to 50.
- Aces in the hole – this game may take a bit to get the hang of, but once you do it’s faced paced and fun.
- Farkel – Like Pig, the goal of the game is to strategize when to keep rolling and when to stay safe and pass play to the next player. This game uses 6 dice instead of one, and the goal is to get to 1,000 points instead of 50. For that reason, this game is more suited to older children, about 8 years old and up, and adults.
A family camping trip is the perfect time to get the family together for some fun competition in the form of table games. Hopefully this list will give you some great ideas for games to play with your kids the next time you’re camping (or even at home!) and all you’ll need is a deck or two of cards and some dice.
Of course there are a lot more games that are great for camping and great for playing with kids. What’s your favorite game to play with your family while camping?