As technology advances and screen-time has been crowned king, it's increasingly challenging to enjoy quality family time and connection. Camping and the great outdoors has reliably provided an organic way to disconnect from technology and reconnect with the family. Below are five ways to "gamify" camping and reclaim your kids' attention.
Pick a campground that doesn't have cellular reception. This is one way to minimize screen distractions and constant social media updates during family time. It also sets the platform for the next activities.
Gamify Camp Setup. See which child can find the most level and rock-free zone to set up camp. Then put on some music and see how fast the entire family can set up the tent. Try to beat your best time for every tent you set up. Give each child a role (in charge of pole assembly, stakes, rolling out the tent, etc).
Create a scavenger hunt based on your campground. You'll need about 10 minutes, a few pieces of scrap paper, and 4-5 prizes to accomplish this. To distract your kids while you're writing the clues for the hiding spots as well as hiding the prizes, give each child a bottle of bubbles and see who can blow the biggest bubbles or come up with the coolest bubble wand (found near the campsite). If there are two grown-ups, have one take the kids out of view of the scavenger area so they won't see where the prizes are hidden.
Make sure and purchase a few glow in the dark prizes (i.e. glow in the dark sticks or necklaces) at each location for the kids to discover, along with an easy riddle or clue for the next destination/prize (you’ll use these later to provide a super fun night light in the tent).
Have at least 4-5 locations/prizes.
Give each child a meal that they are in charge of. For example, if your oldest child is assigned breakfast, they decide what you'll all be having for breakfast, help shop for the ingredients (if possible), setup and cook with supervision/grown-up sous chef. Make sure everyone shares cleanup responsibilities.
Musical Chairs. After dinner and s’mores, play a spirited game of musical chairs or duck, duck, goose. Just make certain the chairs are a healthy distance away from the fire so guarantee if there is a fall that there is no danger. Or if that's not a good fit, start a story around the campfire where each person says just one word and work around in a circle and see what you come up with.
These are just a few ways to level up the fun on your next family camping adventure.