Kids today are used to staring at their screens–computer, TV, cell phone. Camping trips leave them without their normally relied upon forms of entertainment. This is a good way for them to expand their worlds and find new things to do, hopefully a lot of them will be things that will give your family some bonding time. A lot of children will rebel against this though, missing the comfort of their reliable forms of entertainment, so you’ll need to offer them some things to do to keep them active.
First, think about day activities. These will probably include a lot of family activities. For instance, if you’re camping near the water, you can go swimming, canoeing, kayaking, build sand castles, or feed birds. Without the water, you can go biking, hiking, or plan a picnic. Whatever you do, try and get the kids to help with the planning stages, for instance, if you’re going on a picnic, have them help pick out food options and maybe have them help pack up the food into bags or tupperware. Anything you can do to get them involved.
Then think about evening activities. These can include telling stories or cooking around the campfire, going on a night walk with flash lights, reading books, coloring books, playing board games, or playing hide and seek (with defined parameters for how far away people are allowed to go).
Make sure to bring along things to help keep your children in good moods. The last thing you need on your trip are tired and hungry children. On this end, bring along favorite snack items, comfort items (like stuffed animals or familiar blankets), and comfortable sleeping arrangements like twin sized air mattresses. There are a lot of great, cheap, inflatable beds out there that can keep your children from complaining all night and being tired and grouchy all day. You don’t need to bring a whole lot to keep your kids entertained on a camping trip.