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We have found that our weekend camping adventures have really brought out the differences in our kids’ ages and attention spans. Lily is quite content with a book or a notebook and pen. She will (very happily) read, draw, write or just walk around our campsite taking in the various examples of nature. She does love to play games and play with toys, though she is usually very good at making her own fun. Landon, on the other hand, at not quite 3 years old, is another story. He certainly can’t “just wander” around the campsite without close supervision or he’d wander clear into the next county. The last thing we want to do is throw a tablet in front of him, so we’re always on the lookout for toys and games that are easy to bring along and that engage both of the kids.
Check out these 10 toys that we have found to be super campground friendly, not to mention very portable.
1. Play-Doh – An absolute timeless classic, Play-Doh is a FANTASTIC toy for kids to play with while camping. It’s fun, it’s creative and they can make all the mess they want since we’re outside! Sometimes we take cans of Play-Doh with us, other times we take a Play-Doh playset. Last weekend we brought the Play-Doh Cake Party Playset with us and I’m not exaggerating – it bought us a couple of HOURS of happy playtime over a couple different playtimes.
2. Zuru Bunch O Balloons – When the temperatures soar, most kids enjoy some water play for cooling off. Water balloons are fun, and these self-tying balloons fill in seconds. They are simple and quick to fill – no more waiting around forever waiting for someone to manually tie all of those tiny balloons. Now of course you’ll do your best to clean up all of the trash – but a big bonus: the balloons are biodegradable! (The hose adapter straws are recyclable, so simply drop them in the recycling container at your campground.)
3. NERF Super Soakers – We always bring along some water toys for a quick campground cool down! One of our favorite versions is the Nerf Super Soaker Breach Blast which holds up to 50 fl oz of water and shoots water up to 38 ft!
4. NERF Blasters – Same concept as the Super Soakers, without the water. Chances are pretty good that if you’re camping you have some sort of tree coverage. Trees make great cover during a NERF Blaster fight! Just be sure you stock up on lots of extra elite darts – they like to get lost forever in the brush! Landon loves the new Marvel Captain America: Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield!
5. Pie Face – If you follow me on Facebook, you know we LOVE this game!! It’s so entertaining, so easy and really a fun-for-all-ages game. Don’t forget to throw a can of whipped cream into your camping cooler!
6. Hula Hoops – Hula hoops are such a timeless classic! They don’t require batteries and you can pick them up from your local dollar store.
7. Bulldozer and Dump Truck Toys – Stones and sticks and leaves, oh my! So many little bits of nature all around the campsite – so many opportunities to scoop them up and dump them out! We never leave for camping without packing Landon’s excavator and dump truck toys!
8. Kinetic Sand – I am leery of letting the kids play in big open public sandboxes. One reason: cats. Yes, too many times we have discovered that public sandboxes also serve as giant litter boxes for the neighborhood cats. Instead, we love playing with kinetic sand at the picnic table at our campsite. It’s so much fun with little to no mess.
9. Baby Pool – If you have a campsite with water hookup, bring along a small baby pool to fill up for water play. These pools also serve as a great “refill tank” for the Super Soakers I already mentioned. Make sure you clear the ground of sticks and stones to avoid any rips!
10. Jenga GIANT – What’s even more fun than the original Jenga game? A GIANT version!
What are YOUR favorite campground friendly toys and games?
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