A Personal Anecdote
Ever been on a camping trip where someone forgot to pack the board games? That was us last summer. As the night rolled in and the campfire crackled, we found ourselves game-less.
But who needs a box of board games when you’ve got a campfire and a bunch of playful spirits? We made up our own fun with a few classic campfire games for families and, trust me, we didn’t miss the WiFi.
So let’s cut to the chase and jump into the list of campfire games for families that promise to turn the great outdoors into your own game night paradise.
The Classic Campfire Games
Chubby Bunny (3 or more players)
Players take turns stuffing marshmallows in their mouths and attempting to say “chubby bunny” clearly. With each round, players add one more marshmallow to their mouths and the game continues until only one player remains who can say the phrase clearly.
For example, in the first round, players might manage to say the phrase easily, but by the fourth or fifth round, it becomes a hilarious struggle.
Charades (4 or more players)
Players take turns acting out a word or phrase without speaking, while other players guess what it is. The word or phrase can be anything from movies, famous people, or items around the campsite.
For instance, if the phrase is “Harry Potter”, a player might pretend to ride a broom or wave a wand.
Storytelling and Literacy Campfire Games for Families
Continue Story Game (3 or more players)
Starting with a predetermined line, players take turns adding a sentence to build a collaborative story. The game can continue for as long as players are engaged or until the story reaches a natural conclusion.
For example, if the starting line is “Once upon a time, in a dense, enchanted forest…”, the next player might add, “lived a curious young fox who loved adventures.”
Once Upon a Time (3 or more players)
Similar to the Continue Story Game, players build a story together, but in this game, every sentence must begin with “Once upon a time.” This adds a whimsical and challenging element to the storytelling as players continue the narrative.
Musical and Rhythmic Campfire Games
Name that Tune (3 or more players)
One player hums or whistles a tune while others guess the title or artist. The person who guesses correctly gets to hum the next tune.
For example, if a player hums the tune to “Happy Birthday,” the others would guess until someone gets it right, then it’s their turn to hum a tune.
Sound Train (4 or more players)
Players agree on an initial sound and take turns saying a new word that begins with that sound. The game continues until a player can’t think of a new word, and that player is then out of the game.
If the initial sound is “sh,” players might say “shoe,” “ship,” “shore,” etc., in a rhythm until someone gets stumped.
20 Questions (2 or more players)
One player thinks of an object, and others take turns asking yes-or-no questions to figure out what it is. They have only 20 questions to guess correctly. For example, if the object is “a campfire,” players might ask, “Is it something we can see right now?” or “Is it found outdoors?”
Two Truths and a Lie (3 or more players)
Each player shares two truths and a lie about themselves, and others guess which statement is false.
A player might say, “I’ve been to Hawaii, I have a pet frog, and I’ve never eaten sushi,” and others would guess which statement is the lie.
Creative and Role-Playing Games
Let’s Act a Movie (4 or more players)
Players take turns acting out scenes from a movie, while others guess the movie title. This game is fun and engages everyone’s dramatic flair.
For example, a player might act out a scene from “Titanic” by pretending to stand at the bow of a ship with arms outstretched.
The Name Game (4 or more players)
Players choose a category, then take turns naming items in that category. The catch is each item must begin with the last letter of the previous item named.
If the category is animals, and the first player says “elephant,” the next player might say “tiger,” and so on.
Humorous and Light-hearted Campfire Games
Telephone Game (4 or more players)
Players sit in a circle and whisper a message around the circle. The last player says the message out loud, and everyone laughs at how much it changed. For example, the phrase “camping is fun” might turn into “dancing in sun” as it goes around the circle.
Fortunately/Unfortunately (3 or more players)
Players alternate sentences, starting with “Fortunately,” and “Unfortunately,” to build a funny and unpredictable story. This game creates a rollercoaster narrative that keeps everyone entertained.
One player might start with “Fortunately, we found a beautiful camping spot,” to which the next player could respond, “Unfortunately, it was already occupied by a family of skunks.”
With these campfire games for families up your sleeve, you’re all set to replace the screen glow with the fire glow. So next time the wilderness calls, pack your marshmallows, tune your vocal cords, and gear up for a night filled with laughter and bonding.