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A Camp Teepee: Fun Camping Activities Ideas for Kids

Updated on February 28, 2018
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Fun Camping Activities and Ideas for Kids

Camping with kids takes a lot more planning than an adult camping trip. Especially when it comes to activity ideas for the kids.

Besides all the normal camping stuff involved, you must be prepared with a plan for activities that will occupy their time when they aren't involved in a group activity or task. If you want to be able to enjoy any relaxing down-time for yourself that is.

You know what happens when everyone gets back from the morning nature hike, you are ready for a little "chair-time" before starting lunch. But not the kids -- they're looking for something to do or get into, "chair-time" isn't for them. Same thing after dinner. It's been a long day and you're ready to relax by the campfire -- not the kids, they're looking for more great "camping fun." So if you want to enjoy your own free time, you better be ready with something for the kids to do.

A Camp Teepee They Can Make

Kids love tents. They love playing in them, running around them, and a camping trip seems like the perfect place for them to have some real tent fun. Until you lay down the rules of course.

No food in the tent. No shoes, no horseplay, no running around them -- that's certainly no fun, and not what they were expecting. But you can take the sting out of those rules, and let them have a play tent of their own with a simple camp teepee, another fun kid's activity from Campingwithgus.com.

It's a win-win project. They can be involved by helping pick the materials, and helping to build it. Plus you can let them decorate it anyway they want, and play in it in all the fun ways that they can't do in a regular camping tent. A few long sticks or poles, and old bed sheet, some rope, and you are all set for a camping project that could turn into a lifetime memory.

How to Build a Camp TeePee

This camp teepee is one of those easy camping activities that does double duty; it allows them to participate in building a lashing project, and it is a great play activity to occupy them so the adults can have a little relaxing time.

The materials:

  • 4 to 6 poles, and old white bed sheet, and about 20 - 25 feet of baling twine or rope. - that's the basics
  • An extra touch would be poster paints or maker pens for the kids to decorate their tent, and a small area throw rug or Indian blanket to use as a floor

The building steps:

  1. Use tripod lashings to lash 3 of the poles into a tripod.
  2. Space 2 of the tripod legs a couple feet apart - this will be the entrance
  3. Stake the three tripod legs, then add a couple more poles to fill out the frame for the covering (sheet)
  4. Use a loop-type lashing at the top of the tripod to wrap around the sheet to hold it in place
  5. Cut slits in the sheet at the bottom of each staked pole to use the baling twine, (or rope), to secure the sheet to the poles.
  6. One end of the sheet should be lashed to one of the entrance poles, and the other loose end will be the flap they can use to open or close the entrance.

That is the construction -- now turn them loose with the paint or markers to decorate their teepee. (if they are really young campers, have them put painted hand prints on the covering - it will make a nice memory)

A tripod lashing example:

A tripod lashing - for camping activities for kids
A tripod lashing - for camping activities for kids | Source

Notes:

  • Actual "fallen wood" limbs or branch poles are best for authenticity, plus, if it is appropriate for your campsite to use fallen-wood, it adds to an additional adventure for you to take the young campers into the wooded area surrounding your campsite to find "just the right" teepee poles. But if this isn't an option, any type pole or wooden slats will work
  • Baling twine is better than rope because you don't have to worry about cutting up "perfectly good" rope, or bother saving the pieces. When it's time to break camp, just slash the lashings and toss them in the trash - it's your choice whether to save the poles and now-decorated sheet for your next camping trip, but the odds are the kids will want to
  • Remember, this is a fun, play-time camping activity, so no restrictions - except no fire or candles of course.
  • The link below will have a printable materials and instructions list for this camp teepee activity, plus other illustrations showing the placement and staking of the tripod poles

A Camp Teepee: Fun Camping Activities for Kids Comments

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    • Camping with Kids profile imageAUTHOR

      GA Andereson (Gus) 

      6 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @workwithnature - thanks for reading A Camp Teepee: Fun Camping Activities for Kids, and thanks for the comment.

      Yep, too bad more parents and adult campers don't remember how much fun it was to play with stuff like this

      Gus

    • workwithnature profile image

      workwithnature 

      6 years ago from Ireland

      Hey what a lovely piece of writing. Very informative. I used to do all that sort of thing myself when I was a kid :)

    working

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