Whenever you go on family camping trip, you hope and pray that the weather will hold out and be sunny and warm but that won’t always happen.  You might run into cold, damp, rainy weather that will make keeping the kids occupied a challenge.

The key to handling bad weather on a camping trip is to be prepared. Plan games and activities ahead of time so that if the weather does turn bad or if the kids are just too hot and tired to go hiking and want some down time. Here are five ways that you can keep the kids from getting bored if the weather gets bad:

1. Arts and crafts – Kids love to make arts and crafts, and you have a whole world of supplies at your fingertips when you’re in the outdoors.  Plan ahead and pack a storage tote full of things like glue, papers, scissors, sparkles, pens and pencils, chalk, crayons, and other arts and crafts gear. You can have the kids do crafts in their tent if the weather is really nasty or if your campsite has a covered picnic table or pavilion let them do the crafts there.

2. Tell stories – This is a fun way to get some real quality time with your kids. Have everyone curl up on their sleeping bags in one tent and tell stories. When you get tired of talking have the kids make up a story to tell you.  Kids love stories and a rainy afternoon of story time with a parent will be something your kids will always remember.

3. A paper bag puppet show – Make sure that you pack paper lunch bags, felt and glue and your can kids can put on a paper bag puppet show. Have them come up with an idea, then make the puppets for the show and practice how they want the show to go. Then let them put on the puppet show later that night.

4. Enjoy the rain – Put the kids’ rain gear on them and send them out to splash in puddles and play in the rain.  Kids love to play in the rain and at home chances are that they don’t get to very often.  Just be waiting with warm, dry clothes and a warm cup of hot chocolate when they’re done splashing around to make sure that they get warm and dry quickly.

5. Organize activities with other families – If the weather is bad then the entire campground is probably full of kids that have nothing to do. You could take your kids to visit the other campsites and say hi to everyone and see if the other kids would like to do arts and crafts with your kids, or help with the puppet show.

If the campground has a community center you could set up arts and crafts for all the kids to do or you could organize some indoor games in the community center.  The key to keeping kids busy during bad weather is to be creative and plan ahead.