Fun ideas to keep the kids busy while you cook

Preparing meals at your campsite is a task more safely and efficiently completed without your little ones underfoot.
Child looking at jar of fireflies
February 08, 2018 05:21 PM

To help keep the kiddos occupied as the grownups prepare meals, you’ll want to have an arsenal of fun activities and helpful tasks for them. Try out some of the following suggestions, and the kids will be off giggling, giving the adults the space to get cooking without distractions—and that’s a recipe for success everyone in your group will enjoy.

Kids camping around lantern at night

Enlist the kids as helpers
If gathering wood is allowed at your campsite, put the kids in charge of tracking down enough kindling to replenish the woodpile.

Shucking corn, an easy job for kids, becomes infinitely more fun when you’re allowed to toss leaves and silks right into the fire (with adult oversight, of course).

Older children who have learned some basic knife skills may welcome the chance to use a pocket knife on simple slicing and dicing tasks. Just be sure an adult is always supervising as the kids help with meal prep.

girls hiking

Set them off to explore
Appeal to their adventurous and artistic sides by having the kids collaborate on drawing a map of the campsite and the surrounding area. Once the map is complete, they can hide some found treasures like acorns or river rocks and mark the spot with an X.

A scavenger hunt-type craft is a clever way to get kids exploring the campground. Simply ring some duct tape around their wrists with the sticky side out, then send them off to find leaves, flowers and small pebbles or shells to stick onto their homemade “camping bracelet.”

For just a couple bucks, you can buy each kid a balsa wood kit to put together a glider. Between assembling these and launching them from the top of every stump around, this will keep them busy for a good stretch of time.


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