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Games for All Ages
One of the many great things about camping is that it gives families a chance to put their electronics aside for a while and reconnect in simple ways. Here are a few fun games that campers of all ages can enjoy:
There Once Was a Skunk
This fun storytelling game comes from the blog Escapeadulthood.com. To play, someone in the group begins a story by saying, “There once was a skunk who . . .” and they finish the sentence however they wish. Then they point to someone else who continues the story with a sentence beginning with “Fortunately, . .” Then that person points to someone else who continues the story with a sentence beginning with “Unfortunately. . .” Have the players alternate between “fortunately,” and “unfortunately,” and the story will likely get sillier as it goes on, resulting in something like this: “There once was a skunk who took ballet lessons. Fortunately, he looked very good in a tutu. Unfortunately, he got dizzy very easily and often tripped on his tail. Fortunately, a drink of root beer always cleared up his dizziness. . . ” And so on. This game is sure to result in a lot of giggles.
It’s easy to put a camping spin on this classic game that involves players pantomiming a phrase to try to get others to guess what it is. The blog TheJoysofBoys.com offers a free downloadable list of campground charade phrases that you can cut up and place into a jar. It includes dozens of phrases like “Pitching a Tent,” “Using a Compass to Find Your Way” and “Making S’mores.” Or, of course, you can make up your own phrases. To play, the first person takes a phrase slip from the jar and acts it out, using hints like indicating the number of words by holding up that many fingers. (Then hold up one finger before pantomiming the first word, two fingers before the second, and so on.) Or, to pantomime a word that rhymes with the word to be guessed, the player can tug on their ear to say "sounds like." Each person who guesses a phrase correctly earns a point. The game can also be played in teams to foster a little friendly competition.
Glow Stick Ring Toss
This is a simple, but fun nighttime game to play. Before leaving home, pick up a few packs of glow sticks from your local dollar store. The necklace-sized ones work well, and you can also include a few of the bracelet-sized ones for an extra challenge. To play the game, activate the glow sticks and place one in each of several water bottles to serve as the posts, then form the rest of the glow sticks into rings and play away! You can also adjust the distance of the posts to vary the challenge or to simplify the game for younger family members. You can set your own point system, such as the first person to get a ring around a bottle five (or 10) times wins.
This game comes from the blog iMom.com and would work well around the campfire. To play, have everyone sit in a circle. The first person begins by saying, “I’m going on Noah’s Ark and I’m bringing two apes.” The next person repeats what the first person said and adds something starting with the letter “B” as in “I’m going on Noah’s Ark and I’m bringing two apes and two birds.” The game continues around the circle with everyone reciting the list in order and adding their own animals. If someone makes a mistake, they’re out of the game and must move out of the circle. The last person in the circle wins.
This classic game offers fun for the whole family since the distance of the targets and size of the washers can be adjusted based on the ages/abilities of the players. It’s a simple target game where players toss different colored washers into a box with a circle inside. Getting a washer in the circle earns three points, and getting one in the box outside the circle earns one point. The first player (or team) earning 21 points wins. There are commercial Washer Toss games available for purchase, or you can find plenty of instructions online for making your own. Another advantage is that this simple game doesn’t take much space to pack.
No matter which games you decide to play, the most important thing is that family members of all ages can have so much fun playing them together.