How to keep your kids entertained when camping – games for wet evenings

Keeping children entertained is often a lot easier during the day when it is raining. They can just put some warm waterproof clothes on and go outside and play. During the evenings’ it can be a nightmare. Children can be ratty due to tiredness, combined with boredom it is the worst combination.

When camping with children, you don’t want to travel with lots of toys. You still want to keep to the main essentials if possible. So the smaller items you can pack for your camping trip to keep your children entertained, the better.

For me, not just Nicholas, I want to escape from modern technology as much as possible. When we camp in late autumn, we tend to use more modern-day technology compared to summer.

1 – Card games

Nicholas play Pairs card game

Playing cards with your children while camping, especially when you’re camping with other single parents or friends’ can be fun. Cards are small and easy to pack plus cheap to buy. Cards’ can also be used to help younger children to learn numbers recognition whilst having fun.

We love to play are:

  • Snap
  • Cheater
  • Bingo
  • 7’s
  • Pairs
  • Patience

2 – Portable TV or Ipad movies

Download movies before you leave hoe ready for those rainy evenings

If you are camping with EHU, many campsites have free WiFI and allowing you to stream movies to your portable smart TV. Grab some popcorn or snacks and snuggle into your sleeping bag for the evening.

We also use Nicks Ipad and stream movies via Netflix if we don’t take our portable TV. Using an Ipad is convenient, but it’s not much fun crowding around a small screen.

3 – Puzzle books

If you want a quiet 10 minutes, then puzzles books are a must. You can buy children’s word search books for a couple of pounds from a corner shop.

4 – Board Games

Small board games that do not take up much space when travelling is a great way to pass the time during the evenings.

  • Scrabble
  • Charades
  • Yes or No
  • Chess
  • Drafts

5 – Going for an evening walk and creating mini-movies

If it’s not raining too hard or between showers, we will go out for a walk around the campsite. Mainly to get some fresh air, especially if we have been couped up in our tent. It does depend on the time and age of your children.

Nicholas has a head torch with infrared, and we create stories and act them out while we are walking and video them.

Exploring a campsite during the evening is fun, and a good time to try to identify night sounds, as experience

6 – Earn a fiver or win prizes

If you have a couple of children, it is a great way to create games. It gives children a chance to win some money to spend on their camping trip. Although some of the games do depend on the size of your tent.

  • What’s the time Mr Wolf
  • Hide the thimble (or something equivalent)
  • Can you find – I hide objects around the tent and the children have to find them. But the idea is for them to guess the object when described, and then to and find it.
  • Balancing games – See who can balance on one leg the longest to stay still

All of the games, I reward with money. Depending on your child’s age will depend on how much they win. If you do not feel happy with winning money, maybe take some mini prizes with you.

7 – Creating stories & reading time

If there is a group of you, creating a story between everybody. It is a great way to allow kids to use their imagination. One person starts the story off and then takes it in turns to add twists to the story.

To add more fun, grab colouring pencils and paper and create a storyboard. This is a great way to remember your holiday.

8 – Colouring books

Younger children’s colouring in books from The Pound Shop or Works

For younger children buying cheap colouring books from the Pound Shop or Works is a cheap and easy way to keep them entertained. Whilst they are quietly colouring, this also gives you a chance to have some chill time.

9 – Rock Painting & Hiding

Rock painting can be messy, so be prepared to have plenty of plastic covering or old newspapers to cover the area.

During the daytime, we hunt for rocks that can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Instead of using paints, you can buy rock painting pens. They can be expensive, but they do not create as much mess.

Rock painting pens are available from Amazon for about £14.99, depending on the quality you want.

Or from The Works shop they have rock painting kits for about £5.00. The kit includes prepared rocks and small pots of paint and paintbrushes.

The rocks will need to dry overnight, but depending on the temperature, they may take longer. When they are dry, you can hide them around the camping site for other children to find.

10 – Arts and crafts

During the day time, collect different types, sizes, shapes of leaves. These are great to trace onto paper, being creative with colours.

The works have lots of art and craft packs for under £5 that you can buy and are very easy to make. Pompom kits you can use to decorate the inside of your tent. Glass painting kits to decorate small jars and you can place LED mini candle lights in them.

Not only will these keep your children occupied, but they will also add memories and brighten up your tent.


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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