8 camping activities for kids who love wildlife
There’s never been a better time to embark on a camping holiday and embrace all that the Great British countryside has to offer.
Family camping trips are the ideal opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and have fun in nature, all while teaching kids about the importance of wildlife. And there are endless activities to keep them entertained without having to reach for a smartphone or tablet.
So, grab your tent and sleeping bag, pull on your walking boots and get ready for a fun family camping trip to remember. Read on for our top eight wildlife camping activities to keep kids busy while you’re away.
Credit: iStock.com / Imgorthand
Camping with kids: things to do
1. Go on a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great way to get kids in touch with nature and make a perfect camping activity. Whether you explore your campgrounds or a wood nearby, see if you can find…
- A creeping caterpillar
- Pretty wild flowers
- A busy bumblebee
- A four-leaf clover
- Fluffy dandelions
- Spotty ladybirds
- A bird’s feather
2. Make natural art
Head out into the woods and see what natural items you can discover lying on the ground. Collect them together and have a go at making your very own natural art. You could create a picture on the forest floor using sticks, leaves and petals, or even have a go at making a 3D sculpture using twigs. Experiment with different techniques and see what you come up with!
Try and keep your camping trip as eco-friendly as possible by using bamboo toothbrushes, reusable plates/cups, compostable rubbish bags and packaging-free shampoos/soaps.
3. Listen out for and identify wildlife
When you’re in your tent at night, listen carefully to see if you can hear the sounds of wildlife around you. Can you hear owls hooting, or grasshoppers chirping in the grass? Perhaps you can hear a hedgehog as it snuffles along, or a frog croaking in a nearby pond? Write a list of all the different animals you can hear, or have a go at drawing them by torchlight.
4. Make a shadow theatre
Your tent is the perfect place to put on your very own shadow theatre show! Before you head on your camping trip, get some black card and cut out some animal shapes. Stick each one to a lollipop stick to use as your shadow puppets. Then, when you’re out camping, wait until it’s dark and then use your tent as a screen to put on a show!
Shine a torch inside the tent on one of the sides, place your puppets between the side of the tent and the torch (with whoever is handling the puppets inside the tent and the audience sat outside) and move them around to tell a fun story.
5. Go foraging
There are lots of delicious fruits to discover during the summer months, from juicy blackberries to eat in crumbles or pies to crunchy crab apples which make great jellies and jams (make sure your crab apples are cooked as they're not nice raw!).
Go exploring and see what fruits you can find to forage. Just make sure you follow our foraging guidelines and leave behind enough fruits for birds and other animals to eat.
6. Have a go at storytelling
Sometimes the simplest camping activities are the best, and you definitely can’t beat gathering around for a story on a camping trip. Why not bring along some books to read by the light of the torch, or make up your own stories about the wildlife all around you?
You could even play a fun game where each person takes it in turn to add to the story – you can end up with some really funny stories this way!
Credit: Ben Lee / WTML
7. Identify trees
Take a wander around your campsite and see which different species of trees you can spot. Take a look at the shape of the leaves and the colour and texture of the bark, as well as keeping an eye out for any flowers or fruits. Download our tree ID app, grab a tree and leaf swatch book from our shop or read our blog on identifying trees for some top tips on IDing trees!
8. Try stargazing
One of the best things about camping is that it’s just you, the great outdoors and the beautiful night sky. Lay a blanket on the ground, grab a hot chocolate and turn your eyes to the heavens to see which constellations you can spot. The Perseid meteor shower is active from mid-July until the end of August, so it’s the ideal time to take a look skywards.