Top RV Camping Activities for Kids and Families

We love RVing with our families - most of the time; it creates lasting, happy memories - not just for the kids, but also for us as the parents. We do, however, try to block out memories of our screaming, crying tots at the campground. Fortunately, with proper preparation, you can (mostly) avoid those situations by making sure your kids are stimulated and entertained during your trip. If you do it right, they’ll be too worn out to cause any trouble around the campfire.



No matter where you take your RV, there are bound to be birds, and they are usually different from the ones you see at home. Kids may or may not notice this, and a good way to encourage curiosity (and keep them busy) is to introduce them to new bird species with a field guide.


Even if your little one can’t read, field guides have colorful pictures that they can use for reference. And it doesn’t have to be just for birds - it could be a field guide of flowers, trees, and/or other wildlife. Do this activity as a family so that you can help the children identify what they see and turn it into an educational experience.


On future camping trips, they just might point out the window and proudly announce the species of the critters you encounter on the road. That’s when you realize those memories really mattered.



Most of us are familiar with cornhole, but in case you’re not, here’s the gist: about 15 feet apart, you’ll set up two rectangular boxes. The boxes slope downard and each one has a beanbag-sized hole near the top. You divide your group into two opposing teams, and each team takes turns throwing bean bags at the box opposite them, aiming for the hole on top. Each bean bag that enters the hole earns the throwing team one point.


This game is very popular for campers and summer BBQs alike. It’s meant to be played in open spaces outdoors, which depending on the size of your campsite, is a great way to pass the time. The rules are easy to understand, making it ideal for children of all ages. It also helps develop your kids’ basic motor movements, increase their attention span, and promote an active, healthy lifestyle.



Another way to keep your children entertained and active is to bring something they can use to play catch and/or pass back and forth, like a frisbee/throwing disc or a football, soccerball, or baseball. This is something most kids can use to entertain themselves for hours, tiring themselves out while you and the other adults kick back and relax.


If you have very young children, we recommend that you do bring something to throw, make sure it is soft disc so you can prevent injury. Soft throwing discs and foam balls land lighter in the hand than normal frisbees.


And here’s a hot tip: if you have a dog that also requires exercise, you can multitask by having your child play frisbee with the dog. That’s the secret to sleeping through the night. Pass it along.

Painting rocks


If you or your children are creative, crafts are a fantastic way to keep them engaged. A simple craft you could try while camping is rock painting. All you need is some paint (we recommend you invest in environmentally friendly paints made from natural products that can dissolve in water so that spills don’t leave toxic material in the woods that animals might get into), brushes, and some paper plates or tinfoil to use as paint palettes.


Simply let your child find some rocks at the campground, rinse them off, and let them dry. Next, they can pick out a handful of paint colors, squirt a dollop of paint on a paper plate, and then begin painting the rock however their imagination directs them.


When the rocks are done being painted, you can coat them with spray sealer (like Scotch Guard) to waterproof their art. These creations make wonderful additions to any garden.



Remember back in the day when we used disposable or instant cameras and had to wait for our film to process? I think most of us think back on this fondly, as it made us appreciate the photos more for their candidness and charm. What if we could share this simple joy with our children?


As cameras with polaroid instant film rise in popularity (especially among kids), it may be worth jumping on the trend and getting one for your family. During your next RV camping trip, your kids can express themselves with photos of the plants, the animals, or the campground itself.


Save these photos to use later. You can keep them in an album, a photo box, or a scrapbook - keeping them safe so you can look back at them years later, and potentially use to embarrass them in their teens.

Sand toys


If you are going to a RV campground that has beaches or sand dunes, do not forget to bring sand toys like shovels, pails, castle molds, and more.


While playing in the sand is messy, there are a lot of perks to having your child do it: it helps develop motor skills, improves hand-eye coordination, nurtures creativity, and strengthens muscles - plus, most kids find playing in the dirt to be a special treat.


Experts say that sand play is important because it helps kids create an awareness of their bodies, encouaging them to understand how they can use their mind and their body to analyze  and complete tasks. These are all things to remember when you’re dusting the sand off your kid’s back… and legs… and feet… and hands… and don’t even get us started on the rest of them.

Scavenger hunt


Have timid kids? Help them break out of their shell with a camping scavenger hunt. This is something that you can prepare ahead of time or just do off the cuff when you need it. Simply create a list of things your kids might see at the campground, give them the list (with pictures if they can’t read yet), and watch them explore their surroundings in hopes of completing the list and earning some kind of reward (marshmallows often do the trick).


Whether or not it is a competition, there are lots of camping scavenger hunt ideas online. But to save you the time and effort, we recommend this one.



Suppose your children don’t want to go to bed and you need something for them to do when it’s dark outside. It’s time to try stargazing.


There are several ways to approach this. The easiest way is to download a sky map app on your phone and hold it up towards the sky. The app will identify all the planets and constellations you can see from your location. This is fun, but if you really want to hold your kid’s attention, you need to teach them something new.


Stargazing is a great opportunity to teach your children the true scale of the universe. See if they can grasp the concept of vastness or if it sparks curiosity about their environment. Or if you want to keep things light, you can always be space detectives searching for shooting stars - especially during meteor showers. The night sky is fascinating to everyone. The more each of us learn about it, the more we tend to find it awestriking.



Another night time activity that you can share with your family is storytelling around the campfire. You could trade stories about when you or your loved ones were younger, made-up fairy tales, scary ghost stories, or anything else your imagination can conjure.


You can also make a game out of it. For example, you can bring story prompts (like StoryCubes or homemade) or you can begin a story and have everyone take turns adding to the plot. You could even make Mad Libs.


Whatever storytelling activity you choose, it is bound to open up communication and create a special bond with your kids as you make something truly special together.



Give your RV trip the spice it needs with the ultra-competitive card game, Uno. The rules are simple and everyone that plays is sure to get a rush when they drop nearly all of their cards - so close to victory. And then there’s the rush you get when you sabotage a player with one card left by making them draw four cards - three times in a row (be careful with this tactic; no one wants a game of Uno to go nuclear during the family camping trip).


This game comes in lots of varieties, including a special Wilderness version, so you can pick a deck that sounds the most fun (and just a bit chaotic) to you and your family.

These are just a handful of easy activities you can plan for your children during your next RV vacation, all of which are bound to create happy memories that everyone will remember decades from now.


Looking for the right RV for you and your family? Find a dealer near you.