Whether you are roughing it in a tent or enjoying the luxury of a travel trailer, kids will inevitably get bored. Older children can usually decide what they want to bring for themselves, but younger kids would bring everything if you let them. From rainy days to fun in the sun, here are some suggestions on toys to take camping for toddlers and preschoolers.
Reading, or even just looking at pictures, is a great way to pass the time. Books make convenient travel companions since they tend to be a quiet activity and there aren’t pieces to get lost. Try to find books that have a forest, animal, or camping theme to keep children in the outdoor mindset.
No need to bring an easel or paints! Coloring books, blank paper, crayons, or markers will do just fine. Some other fun art activities that are fun for travel are ones that use water to create pictures. The Dollar Tree has some inexpensive options if you are not looking to spend a lot. Melissa & Doug is also a trusted brand when it comes to water art. Their Water Wow pads are always fun.
Other toys to promote creativity while squashing boredom include rewriteables like Magnadoodles or Boogie Boards. The latter is great because it comes with different writing tools as well as traceable inserts with games, letters, pictures, and more!
Toddler and Preschool board games are a must for rainy days. Peaceable Kingdom has several age appropriate games available and some even have themes that would be perfect for camping.
Outdoor games are a must as well. Aldi usually has a fun variety each summer, but are only available for a limited time. Bean bag toss, ladderball, ring toss, and tic-tac-toe are some ideas on space saving games. Even better if you can get an all in one!
If the campground has beach access or one nearby, then beach toys are a must. Buckets and shovels are a staple if you need to keep toys for camping to a minimum. Molds for sand castles and other fun shapes often come in beach toy sets as well. A sifter can task little ones with finding shells or cool rocks in the sand. And when they find any worth keeping (per municipal rules), they can carry them in a mesh beach bag.
Your Child’s Favorite
Children can have different interests. Bringing dinosaurs for a kid who couldn’t care less about them is a waste of space and effort. Here are some of my suggestions for sturdy toys to take camping based on top toddler and preschooler interests.
Green Toys are durable, made from recycled materials, and can be thrown in the dishwasher after returning home. There are a range of vehicles to choose from to suit any wheel lover.
The Dino Bucket comes with 12 realistic dinos and an informative book with a storage bucket for on the go dinosaur fun. Play in the sand, in the water, or in the sleeping bag! The dino beach set is also a great option with excavation tools and fossil molds.
Cabbage Patch has a newborn who loves to visit the beach! She comes with a sand pail and shovel too. Lilly Tikes and friends, Ami and Tommy, have a Sand & Sun edition that allows them to play outside. Sand fun doesn’t have to stop if it is raining. They also come with a small pack of Kinetic Sand.
A tin unicorn tea set for an al fresco tea party is sure to be enjoyable. The tin will hold up well outdoors, but be sure to thoroughly dry them to prevent rusting.
Nancy B’s Telescope is the perfect starter telescope for budding astronomers. Being out and away from light pollution, you’re sure to see some amazing sights in the sky! For daytime space fun, try a rocket water toy!
It is pretty easy to find princess themed anything, but some great toys to take camping include the Melissa & Doug Princess Dress Up set and the Disney Princess Secret Styles. Both provide quiet fun whether in the car or in a tent as it rains outside.
Other princesses available!