Campfire games for families and kids will make a camping night an unforgettable experience.

4. May 2024 - Alexander Schmidt

Campfire Games for Families – Adventure and Fun Under the Stars


Action & Trips


You’re sitting around a warming campfire with your family or friends, the stars are twinkling in the night sky and the atmosphere is simply magical. But what could make this moment even more special, even more extraordinary? campfire games for families are the answer!

They add an extra dose of joyful excitement and fun to the night. In this article, we present 10 exciting campfire games for families that will turn your next outdoor experience into an unforgettable adventure. From treasure hunts to singing games and spooky stories, this selection of activities has something for everyone.

Even for the youngest children, a crackling campfire is a source of pure fascination. The flickering flames, the glow of the embers with every gust of wind, the whispering crackling and crackling of burning wood, the cozy warmth that the fire gives off and the smell of burning branches – these sensory impressions create a unique atmosphere that has enchanted mankind since the earliest days.

10 Fun Campfire Games for Families for Magical Nights Outdoors

Whether on a family outing, camping vacation or youth group camp, children love sitting around a campfire with others. Then it’s the perfect time for campfire games! (By the way, you can also find campfire games for adults).

1. Campfire Treasure Hunt: Exciting Hunt Under the Stars

Let’s start with a real classic: a treasure hunt in the dark. Hide small treasures in the forest or near the campfire and equip the children with torches or flashlights. (With real torches, of course, precautions should be taken and adults should accompany the children on their treasure hunt. Torches are more atmospheric and fit in with the campfire theme, but flashlights are the safer alternative).

"One of the most exciting campfire games for families is a scavenger hunt."

Campfire games for families: A scavenger hunt is great fun!

The hidden treasures could be sweets or small toys, for example. For children who are old enough to read and solve puzzles, it can also be clues like a scavenger hunt that gradually lead to a large treasure.

A night-time treasure hunt like this is a wonderful way to enhance the exciting atmosphere that goes hand in hand with a campfire. You can also make a treasure map, for example. The excitement, the mysterious darkness and the anticipation of finding the treasure will thrill the children and the exciting search will challenge both their curiosity and their courage.

At the same time, completing such a task together also creates a sense of community and is a perfect ice-breaker for groups of children who don’t know each other very well yet. Afterwards, the kids can celebrate their triumph together around the campfire, for example with marshmallows roasted over the fire and hot children’s punch from thermos flasks.

2. Campfire Stories: Spooky Adventures for Brave Hearts

Spooky campfire stories are a must for every children’s night by the fire. Everyone can tell their own spooky story, and the more details and sound effects, the better! This is a great way to stimulate the imagination and test the courage of little adventurers.

There are few things that complement the atmosphere of a campfire as well as a good scary story. The mixture of crackling flames, the forest at night and the anticipation of a spooky adventure makes these stories a staple of many camping trips. Children love to be spooked and the campfire provides the perfect setting for exciting storytelling sessions.

From spooky haunted tales to chilling legends, the darkness of the forest and the flickering flames make these tales even more captivating. Scary stories around the campfire not only create goosebump moments, but also precious memories that children will cherish forever. So grab a blanket, sit around the fire, and let’s dive into the exciting world of scary stories – an essential campfire game for adventurous kids!

"Interactive scary stories are a perfect example of good campfire games for families."

Campfire games for families: scary stories are super atmospheric

Storytelling around the campfire is also a fantastic opportunity to encourage children’s creativity. A great variation of this game is to make up a scary story together. All the children sit in a circle and take it in turns to add a sentence to the story. The tension builds as the story passes from one to the next and the children have to use their imagination to continue the story.

It’s amazing what scary and funny twists and turns these collective stories can take. This co-creation bonds the children together, develops their creative skills and provides plenty of laughs and goosebump moments. So, at the next campfire evening, remember to let the kids take on the role of storytellers too and see how their imagination lights up the night.

Some good opening sentences to start such serialized horror stories are:

  • It was a dark and stormy night and the rain was pouring down; Benni was sitting alone at home, his parents were with friends, when he suddenly heard a scraping noise coming from the direction of the front door…
  • Many years ago, so the story goes in the village of Sankt Nimmerlein, a witch lived in the nearby forest…
  • Eva looked around the fairground in despair: her mother was nowhere to be seen, but instead she saw the entrance to a hall of mirrors…
  • His grandparents, with whom he lived, had tried to explain to Jonas over and over again that there were no aliens, but he knew better, he knew what he had seen…

3. Campfire Songs and Singing Games: Singing and Dancing Under the Stars

Campfire evenings become even more memorable when we bring the joy of singing and making music into the scene. Children love to sing and dance. So why not organize a little campfire music festival? Prepare songs together and accompany them with rhythm instruments. You can also print out song lyrics so that everyone can sing along. Singing and dancing together under the stars creates wonderful memories.

Singing games for children around the campfire are an ideal way to lighten the atmosphere and warm the hearts of the little ones. Whether well-known songs, campfire classics or self-penned songs about the day’s adventures – the melodies and lyrics add a special touch to the night. Singing and making music together under the twinkling stars strengthens the sense of community and creates memories that children will carry in their hearts forever. So grab a guitar, a harmonica or simply your own vocal chords and fill the night with music together with the kids.

One singing game that reliably makes for lots of laughs, for example, is gargling songs. One child stands up in turn, takes a sip of water in their mouth and starts to gargle a well-known song as best they can. The other children now have to recognize which one it is.

Another good game with campfire songs is the song lyrics jumble. The prerequisite here is also that the children are already familiar with a basic set of classic campfire songs. To prepare, print out the lyrics of some well-known songs and cut them up into individual words (depending on the number of children, the first verse is often enough). In each round of this game, distribute the words of a song to all but one child. This child now calls out the other children in any order and they read out their word. The child must now guess the song as quickly as possible, then it is sung together.

4. Campfire Quiz: Learn and Have Fun at the Same Time

"One of the most varied campfire games for families is a campfire quiz."

Campfire games for families: A campfire quiz trains the brain…

A campfire quiz for children not only brings knowledge and entertainment, but also an extra dose of fun to the atmospheric atmosphere around the campfire. This game is perfect for challenging young adventurers in a fun way.

Prepare questions that are tailored to the children’s interests or the place where you are: from knowledge about forests and meadows, animals and plants to exciting puzzles or even joke questions, you can include anything that is fun.

For larger groups, the children could also get together in teams to discuss their answers. A small prize for the winning team or the opportunity to choose the next campfire game increases motivation.

5. Campfire Painting Competition: Creating Creative Masterpieces

Let the children live out their artistic side around the campfire. Give them paper, paints and brushes so they can paint by candlelight. The unique lighting around the campfire gives the artwork a special magic that the children will love.

A campfire painting competition for children is a creative and fun way to make the most of the magical atmosphere of a campfire. The little artists can grab their painting utensils and unleash their creative skills under the twinkling starry sky. Whether it’s capturing the flames of the campfire, the surrounding nature or their own adventures, the paintings will become unique masterpieces.

The competition can also have different categories, such as the most beautiful campfire picture or the most impressive starry sky painting. The children can present their works and judge each other to choose the winners.

A campfire painting competition inspires the little adventurers to appreciate the beauty of nature and bring their artistic side to life under the stars.

6. The Deadly Gaze of the Medusa: A Classic Campfire Game

According to Greek legend, anyone who looks at Medusa, a woman with snake hair, turns to stone. In this game, all children have the ability of the deadly gaze, but it only hits if you look directly into each other’s eyes.

The game is played in such a way that all children sit in a circle and keep their eyes lowered. The game leader counts to three and “Zack”, all the children raise their heads at the same time and look directly at one of the other children. If the eyes of two children meet, they shout out loud and leave the circle. They leave the circle for the time being.

In the end, one or two winners remain, depending on whether the group has an even or odd number of children.

7. Campfire Memory: Fun Memory Training

Campfire Memory is a fun and mentally stimulating activity that brings the whole family or group together around the campfire. The game works very similarly to the traditional memory game, but instead of cards, small objects are used that the children have previously collected around the campfire, for example, pine cones, a piece of moss, sticks, stones, various leaves and so on. You can also use objects or even food that you have with you, such as a lighter, barbecue tongs, a skewer, a marshmallow, a harmonica, a flashlight and much more.

All items are spread out on a cloth next to the campfire. Be particularly careful and keep enough distance from the fire, especially if some of the items are highly flammable. A good number of items to start with is 10, but you can make it more difficult later on.

Now there are different game variants:

  1. One child at a time turns around, an object is taken from the cloth and the child turns around again. They now have to guess or remember which object is missing.</li
  2. If all the children can already write, you can also hand out pen and paper. The children are allowed to look at the objects for 30 seconds, then another cloth is spread over them. The children now have to write down as many objects as possible from memory. This can also be played over several rounds, increasing the number of objects or swapping objects.</li
  3. In the third variant, the children also have 30 seconds to memorize the objects. There should be at least as many objects as there are children. These are then placed face down and each child must name one of the objects in turn. If a child can’t think of any more, repeats an object that has already been named or names the wrong one, they are eliminated. This can also be played over several rounds.</li

8. Campfire Competition: Who Makes the Best Bread on a Stick

"One of the funniest campfire games for families is the stick bread competition"

© Tom Knudsen, License: CC BY-SA, Modifications: Image cropped

Stick bread is a classic at campfires, but how about a stick bread competition? Let the children prepare their own dough and make creatively shaped stick bread. They will then judge which stick bread is the tastiest and most original. This game combines cooking fun with competition and rewards the little bakers for their creativity.

The aim of this competition is to see who has the most skill and the most original ideas for shaping stick bread dough. The young participants can give free rein to their creativity and create funny or impressive shapes, which are later baked over the campfire. Whether artistic plaits, animal figures or simply the perfect stick of bread – this competition brings a pinch of competitive spirit to the cozy campfire atmosphere.

It’s also a great opportunity for the children to improve their cooking skills and enjoy together what the campfire masterpiece turns out to be. And the best thing is: at the end, everyone can enjoy their own stick bread, shaped and baked to their own taste.

9. Balancing Pine Cones: Skill and Fun

The game of “balancing pine cones” is one of the classic campfire games for families. First, each child looks for a pine cone that they can balance on their head. The children stand around the campfire with the pine cone on their heads. Now the game leader gives various instructions. It starts with the children walking around the campfire in a clockwise direction.

"One of the funniest campfire games for families is balancing pine cones."

Campfire games for families: Balancing pine cones gets the kids going!

Then it gets progressively more difficult: they have to change direction on command, run faster, hop, walk backwards, turn on their own axis, etc. Whoever drops the pine cone 3 times is eliminated.

This simple but entertaining game develops children’s dexterity and balance and is guaranteed to make them laugh and have fun around the campfire.

10. The Chaos Game: A Funny Mess

This game is particularly suitable for larger groups of children. Each child thinks of 5 of the other children they want to shake hands with. On a command, they all jump up and shake hands as quickly as possible with everyone they have decided to shake hands with and, of course, those who want to shake the child’s hand. This creates a wonderful mess and the children have great fun.

The chaos game can be varied in several rounds, with the action changing each time, for example high-fiving, hugging, slapping on the bottom, scratching the head or even playing Schnick-SchnackSchnuck. Finally, in the last round, all the children can choose an action themselves that they want to perform with 5 other children and the game goes wild.

Whether it’s a family outing, children’s birthday party or camp, we hope you have lots of fun trying out these campfire games for families!

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