Summer is here which means it’s time to pack up the tent and head out to the Great Outdoors for some much needed family time and relaxation. If this is your first trip with a small person you will need some fun camping activities for toddlers to keep them entertained and to help them make the most of the trip.
We’ve got some pretend play ideas for you to do at home, to help them understand what camping actually is, and then some toddler friendly activities to do both during the day and after dark so the whole family can have fun together!
Fun Camping Activities for Toddlers
Pretend Play Camping
If you’ve never taken your toddler camping before it’s a great idea to set up some pretend play activities at home to help them understand what to expect.
- Check out this campfire craft and this DIY Camping Lantern.
- We love this pretend play camping set because it has pretend S’Mores you can toast over the campfire!
- Older toddlers will love this dramatic play camp set which has a little stove and a utensil kit complete with a compass!
- Set up a play tent, or even a real one in your family room or better still the backyard and have fun talking to your toddler about what will happen when you go on your camping trip together.
Camping Activities in the Wild
Help your toddler to have as much fun as possible on your camping trip (as well as learning lots of new skills and information) with these simple activities!
- Print out this scavenger hunt and laminate it. Then see if your little one can cross off all the items on the list, it will help them really pay attention to their surroundings and you can talk about the tress and the insects you come across.
- Speaking of insects, this bug vacuum is pretty cool and is great for catching all kinds of critters from bugs and worms to frogs and even fish! There’s a little barn to keep the critters safe while your toddler gets a closer look at them through the magnifying glass. Carry a copy of this book with you to help your child figure out exactly which critters they’ve caught and learn more about them.
- Don’t forget to pack a cargo vest and binoculars so your little explorer can really feel the part!
- You can use the binoculars to hunt for clouds as well as critters!
- If your toddler is happy to sit still for just a little while then fishing is a great camping activity to do together, forget about plastic toys this rod will actually catch real fish!
- If your toddlers love bubbles as much as I do take advantage of the space and have fun with these gigantic bubbles which are as big as your child!
- And just because you can’t guarantee the weather make sure you pack a copy of Mad Libs just in case it rains and you have to stay in the tent for a while!
Nighttime Camping Activities for Toddlers
When the sun sets there is still time for some fun camping activities.
- Try adding some glowstick bracelets to this ring toss game for some glow in the dark fun. Or drop those glowsticks into water bottles for a game of glow in the dark bowling!
- And don’t forget to pack Marshmallows and Graham Crackers with some bamboo sticks so you’re ready for toasting some S’Mores!