Sometimes the simple things in life are the best (and isn’t that why we love camping?) and the same can be said for the game of quoits. There’s nothing complicated about throwing a ring over a stick from a distance but the game has been known to keep kids entertained for hours! And, even better, it’s entertaining enough for the adults to get involved with as well!
Quoits has been around since ancient Greek times and has evolved little in that time.
You can find a set of basic rope and pine quoits for as little as $6 from Kmart
– though these may not withstand heavy use, wild weather or being thrown around for too long. However, they will be light and compact – two important benefits when space is limited. Alternatively, look for a sturdier hardwood set with thick rope rings from somewhere like Freedom ($80) or Rebel Sport ($39.99).
Also known as ‘Flashlight’, this game is basically Hide and Seek in the dark. Everyone bar the ‘Spotter’ who is ‘it’ finds a place to hide and the spotter then has to find everyone using only torchlight. It’s the perfect campsite game as you don’t need much light to play, and campgrounds are full of endless places to hide. It’s probably not a game for the littlest campers or those who are scared of the dark, though.
And the real beauty of a good game of Spotlight is that you probably already have everything you need to play in your camping kit. One good handheld or head torch and you’re ready to go! To make the game a little easier, a little less scary and a little more fun for littlies, you could also attach a glow-stick to all the players.
There’s a dozen or more card games suitable for junior campers but the one that’s most likely to keep them occupied under the awning on a wet day or a quiet afternoon is Spoons! It’s a pretty simple game but, unlike many card games, it also has an active element that appeals to kids. It’s almost like a game of musical chairs – but with spoons! All players sit around a table which holds one less spoon than there are players (ie, if there are five players, you need four spoons).
The dealer gives each player four cards that only they can see. Players then pass one of their cards to the player to their left, and receive a card from the player to their right. This happens simultaneously. This continues until the first player to get ‘four of a kind’ grabs a spoon (as secretly or surreptitiously as possible!). Once the other players realise a spoon has been taken, they scramble to take the remaining spoons. The player who doesn’t manage to grab a spoon is out. Be warned – it can get a little physical!
Like Spotlight, you won’t need to buy anything additional for a fun game of spoons – just grab a handful of spoons from the kitchen and a deck of cards and you’re on your way!
This classic Aussie car game is perfect for keeping little adventurers entertained during long stretches on the road. And the best part is that is requires no equipment or pre-planning, so you can keep it up your sleeve and whip it out when things get tense!
The rules are basic, and flexible. You all take turns as the ‘batter’. During your turn at the crease, you score runs for each vehicle you see. Vehicles are worth differing numbers of ‘runs’ depending on their size/colour, etc (ie, sedans 1 run, 4WDs 2 run, trucks 4 runs, etc). You can make up your own list of points, the only set rules are that the vehicles must be moving and travelling in the opposite direction to you, and a red car gets you out. The game can drag on for quite a while (which may be a blessing or a curse!) so you could limit the game so the first person to 100 runs wins.
No equipment is needed for car cricket, except perhaps a pen and paper (or a phone) to record the scores.
This game is an oldie but a goodie! In years (decades) gone by, you could buy Spotto cards from BP service stations and those iconic green and yellow cards were a fixture of most family road trips. The cards can still be found online, or you can create your own before you leave home.
The rules are pretty basic – as you’re travelling along, you keep an eye out for any of the objects on the card (such as a dog, stop sign, caravan, etc), cross them off when you see them, and yell ‘Spotto’ when you’ve crossed out your entire card (or a row/column, etc, for a shorter game). The first person to yell ‘Spotto’ wins.
For a campsite version of this game, simply replace the items that are specific to the road to more campsite-appropriate objects and make it like a scavenger hunt!
MEET THE AUTHOR
An RV journalist working across Australia’s premier caravanning and camping magazines for the past five years, Laura is also a judge at the annual Best Aussie Vans awards. She has been camping in the great outdoors since the of two, when she was packed, by day, into a Toyota LiteAce van and, by night, into a brown canvas tent with her parents and two siblings for an extended trip around the vast playground that is northern Western Australia.