12 Funny Family Campfire Games
1. Murder in the Dark
This camping game is something that teenagers could have fun with and even adults. It works this way: Place enough scraps of paper for the number of people in a bowl or cup, making sure that one has a star or the letter D on it, one other has a black dot or the letter M, while the rest are blank. The person who draws the star or D is the detective, and the person who picks the M or dot is the murderer. The rest of the players are potential victims. While the detective is looking for the murderer, the murderer will be winking at people to “kill” them without the detective noticing who did the winking. Once winked at, the “victim” may “die” for all to see. The game ends when the murderer kills everyone except the detective, or the detective figures out who the murderer is.
2. The Alphabet Game
If you have younger kids with you on your camping holiday, then this version of the alphabet game is a fun one! You can play this camping game for kids either at the campsite or even when you’re on a hike or walking around Byron Bay’s town centre doing some shopping. The kids just need to find and either write down or point out objects or signs that start with the letter, going from A to Z. The first one to Z wins!
3. I Spy
Kids love this classic guessing game. For those unfamiliar with I Spy – one player is chosen as the first ‘spy.’ They look around the area and choose one item they can see (not telling what it is they have chosen). The ‘spy’ says, “I spy with my little eye something starting with (initial sound)” For example, ‘f.’ The other players try to guess what they item is, looking for items starting with the same initial sound. The player who guesses correctly becomes the ‘spy’ for the next round.
4. Noah’s Ark
This memory game works for both kids and adults. This camping game can be played in several variations. Noah’s Ark involves naming animals in alphabetical order that you’re taking on the ark. For example, “I’m going on Noah’s Ark and I’m taking two aardvarks.” The next person repeats what the first person is bringing and adds to it by using the next letter. And so on. Another variation is, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking X.” Again, whatever you are taking goes in alphabetical order. When a person can’t remember the order and items, then that person loses, and it continues until the winner is the only person left.
5. Two Truths and a Lie
The player nominated to go first shares three ‘facts’ about themselves – two of which are true, and one which is not. For example, “I have a friend named Bowie, on Tuesday I went to the school library and this week I ate a whole bag of Goldfish crackers.” The other players try to guess which is the lie. The player who guesses correctly is allocated one point. Once every player has had a turn at sharing their ‘facts,’ the player with the most points wins.
6. Simon Says
One person is chosen to be ‘Simon.’ Simon tells other players what they must do, however the players must only obey the commands that begin with the words “Simon says.” For example, if Simon says, “Simon says rub your tummy,” then players must quickly rub their tummy but if Simon says, “Rub your tummy” (without the ‘Simon says instruction), then players must not do the action. Those who do perform the action are out.
7. Telling Stories
Family camping games that work for any age and don’t require any pre-planning are excellent ideas to keep in mind for your next camping holiday. Kids, teenagers, parents, grandparents—truly anyone—can get in on the fun with this one. Hanging out in the evening, suggest that everyone tell a story; it can be scary, funny, true, made up, whatever works. It’ll be a blast to hear what your littles come up with, and the kids will love listening to their parents tell a tale. If you happen to be a competitive family, then you can always add in voting for a favourite and even keep it going during the whole stay to see who has the most wins!
8. Catch or Don’t Catch
Teenagers can be a hard group to tear away from their devices, but games like this could be fun for them too. All you need is a ball to play this game. Everyone stands in a circle except for one player who is in the middle with the ball. The player in the middle goes around the circle saying “catch” or “don’t catch” and throwing the ball. Like the children’s game, Simon Says, if a player catches the ball when told not to or the other way around, that player is out.
9. Obstacle Course
This ranks up there as one of the favourites of our camping games for kids. This makes parents and kids happy because it’s fun, it’s unique and it burns energy! This particular game could be changed up based on what you brought with you, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
Crawl over the picnic table
Do 10 jumping jacks
Run to the third campsite and back (without going through them, of course!)
Hop on one foot
Jump over the cups
And so on …
10. Pass the Water
Of all our camping games listed here, most don’t really have a season that they should be played in, but this one in particular would be best on a warm day. If you’re looking for camping games for kids that might cool them off on a hot summer day, then try out this one called Pass the Water. Here’s how it works: All you need is cups for each person playing. It starts by filling up the first cup all the way to the top, and then the first person dumps the water out over his or her head into the next person’s cup. And you continue in the line, trying to keep as much water possible. If there’s still water, the first person can run to the back of the line to start it over. (This might be a good event for Camping Olympics! See above.)
11. Dance Off
Looking for simple, fun camping games for all ages? Try out this one. All you need is a phone with access to music or any other device that plays music. You can play this one several ways—a contest where each person does some dancing and everyone votes on which one was the best or silliest, a variation on freeze where people need to stop dancing when the music stops or just an all-out dance party to get the wiggles out.
12. Cloud Watching
This final suggestion is our most calm and laid-back camping game, which might be perfect for kids or even adults or teenagers looking to relax after a busy morning of seeing the Byron Bay sights. Spread out a blanket in a shady spot (so you don’t have to squint so much!) but can still see up into the sky. Then you can play the alphabet game, looking for clouds shaped like something that starts with each letter or you can play “I Spy” on what the clouds look like or even just talk about what you see.