24 Best Camping Toys for Toddlers



Mar 21, 2022

Trying to get your toddler excited about going camping? Perhaps you are a camping/hiking/outdoor enthusiast like me and want to introduce the love of the outdoors to your toddler? Receiving camping toys for toddlers can help increase their excitement for camping. Some you might already own as outdoor toys!

top camping toys for toddlers
My son backyard camping with me

My son backyard camping with me

There are three different types of camping toys for toddlers: pretend play camping, camping books for toddlers and toys your toddlers can use on their camping trip.

When you do go camping make sure have the right toddler camping gear. Also check out ways to make it fun withy my 30 Fun Camping Activities For Toddlers.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Rest assured all products I suggest are products I have bought or would buy based on personal experience or through my network of other mothers!

What Toys To Bring Camping with Toddlers?

Trying to pack for a camping trip with a toddler you might wonder how many toys should I bring? Nature provides its own entertainment through rocks, sticks, mud, ponds and many more. However, a few key camping toys for toddlers will go along way.

I talk about my go to camping toys for toddlers below, but my personal favorites are toys that let you engage with nature. My toddlers find endless play with Bug Catchers, toddler camera, binoculars and lanterns for when it gets dark.

How do you entertain a toddler while camping?

Toddler camping entertainment: Making S'mores
Group Campfire with my family

Nature is a child's first playground and it doesn't take much to keep a toddler entertained in nature. My favorite activities to do with a toddler while camping are:

  • Hiking
  • Reading camping books for toddlers
  • Roast Marshmallows
  • Sing Songs
  • Go on a toddler scavenger hunt
  • Go Swimming

One of the best things to keep a toddler entertained while camping is using camping toys for toddlers for imaginative play.

What are the Benefits of Taking your Toddler Camping?

The best thing about nature is the numerous benefits it has for toddlers. Veronica Wallace writes the following benefits of exploring nature with children:

  • Benefits Mental Health
  • Increases Knowledge of Physical World
  • Encourages Good Physical Health
  • Time in Nature Protects Kids from Dangers of Internet
  • Reduces Screen Time
  • Nature Stimulates Imagination
  • Outdoor Time Helps Manage Stress
  • Builds Resilience

Best Pretend Play Camping Toys for Toddlers

Pretend camping toys can help your toddler get excited about the upcoming trip. It teaches them how we use certain camping equipment and gives them an opportunity to practice themselves. Your toddler can practice cooking

on a stove, roasting marshmallows, or hanging inside a tent.

By the time the big day comes to go camping your toddler should be well versed on what to anticipate. Hopefully that will bring a ton of excitement to your toddler. 

Pretend S’more set

Pretend S'more camping toys for toddler
My 3.5 Year old loves pretending he is roasting S'mores or Hot Dogs

What night of camping isn’t complete without making S’mores? Your toddler will love practicing roasting marshmallows and making S’more in anticipation of the real thing. This S'more kit is simple and comes with a nice duffle bag to keep all the pieces together when not being played with.

Pretend camping tent and gear

The Meland offers an ultimate pretend camping set. This set comes with a pop out tent big enough for 2 toddlers and includes 41 additional accessories to fully engage in the camping experience. Both the lantern and stove use batteries to enhance the play by lighting up.

Other accessories include cookware, camping tools and exploration gadgets such as binoculars and bug catcher.

Let your toddler’s imagination go with this pretend set. Some of the items they can even take when they go camping for real!

Camping coloring book

Toddlers love to color and a **camping theme colorin**g book is a great way to get them excited about camping. This 100 + page coloring book has thick lines designed for young children and tons of great pictures to demonstrate what they will see when camping.

Not only can you have your toddler color the pictures but you can also talk with them so they learn more about what to expect while camping. It includes ABC recognition and fun camping messages. 

Pretend Fishing Set

Getting your toddler familiar with activities you might do while camping, such as fishing is a great idea. This fishing set from Melissa and Doug works great. It comes with a handy blue carrying case and two fishing poles. You first can hook a worm on the hook and cast away and try to catch one of the 6 wooden fish.

![top camping toys for toddlers fishing set](https://res.cloudinary.com/ds8uw7t44/image/upload/v1685975300/best-camping-gifts-for-toddlers-fishing-set.jpg "Both my toddlers "going fishing"")

My 3 year old loves this set and always asks my husband and I to go fishing with him. My 2 year old has just figured out how to catch a fish as well!

Best Camping Books for Toddlers

I am a big advocate of books and reading to your toddler. A great way to familiarize a toddler with a new concept is by reading to them. My toddlers love to read the same books over and over again and the pictures help them visualize what the words are telling them. 

A camping books for toddlers will help your toddler understand what to expect when they go camping. It gives you and your toddler time to cuddle and talk about camping. It is a great primer for any camping trip you are going to take. 

Top Camping Books for Toddlers

Goodnight Campsite

A simple story designed for younger toddlers. Goodnight Campsite features colorful vivid pictures of lots of families camping and fun activities you can do all day long as a kid. The book is great at showing your toddler what fun they can have and different ways families might camp, RV vs tents. 

Suitable for Young Toddler +

Little Observers Go Camping

A simple book introducing what a family would see when going camping. Little Observers Go Camping is a great starter book to introduce a young toddler to new words you would discover while camping/hiking. It is not so much a story as pictures and short descriptions that can keep younger toddlers interested.

Suitable for Young Toddler +

Pete the Cat Goes Camping

Pete the Cat Goes Camping is great for toddlers who are beginner campers and also love Pete the Cat books. He is new to camping and the book takes the reader through common things you do when you go camping; setting up the tent, hiking, fishing, cooking dinner and having s'mores. Pete’s older brother tells him about Big Foot which initially scares Pete but in the end BIg Foot likes S’mores as much as Pete does.

The book has minimal words per page keeping toddler interest and nice bright pictures.

Suitable for Young Toddlers +

Llama Llama Loves Camping

If your toddler loves the Llama Llama books then Llama Llama Loves Camping is the book for your toddler. Although this book doesn’t have the rhyming flow as some of the other books. Llama Llama goes camping with his friends, mom and grandma. The gang does traditional camping activities and emphasizes no gauges while being out in nature. 

Camping books for Toddlers: Llama Llama loves camping
My toddler preparing for his upcoming camping trip!

Llama Llama book has more words per page than Pete the Cat goes Camping and is best for toddlers who can sit through a longer book.

Suitable for Toddler 3+

Fred and Ted Go Camping

This book is part of the Beginning Books series and designed for early readers. Fred and Ted Go Camping is a book about opposites and doing camping activities differently. Fred and Ted have different experiences camping, one goes to bed early and one goes to bed late for example. The book is written in simple language with detailed pictures.

Fred and Ted is great to teach a toddler about different ways of doing outdoor activities and a good beginner book for when your child starts reading.

Suitable for Toddler 3+

Curious George goes Camping

Curious George experiences going camping at a campsite surrounded by other families. Of course George goes off and gets lost in the woods and the book takes you through his adventure of finding his way back to the campsite. The day ends with S’mores around the campsite.

Curious George Goes Camping is a very detailed book and more designed for an older toddler who can sit through a longer detailed story.

Suitable for Toddlers 4+

Oliver & Hope’s Adventure Under the Stars

A bear, bulldog and butterfly go camping under the stars for the first time. The friends use their imagination to add fun to the trip and help to calm the bulldog's fear of the dark. A nice story of friendship and camping under the stars your toddler will enjoy.

Oliver & Hope's Adventure Under the Stars is whimsical and fun. It is geared towards an older toddler who can follow a more complex story and use their imagination.

Suitable for Toddler 4+

Best Camping Toys for Toddlers To Use While Camping

The last form of camping toys for toddlers is one that your toddler will be able to take with them when you go camping. A toddler loves getting something new and building that anticipation of your upcoming camp trip. 

The gift will have more practical use than the previous items, but doesn’t make it less exciting for a toddler.

Best Outdoor Toys for Camping

S’more Roasting Sticks

This won’t look like much, but once you explain to your toddler that the roasting sicks will be used to make S’mores while camping you will have them hooked. If your toddler is new to S’more making you can show pictures using the Camping books for toddlers.

best camping toys for toddler smore making
3 year old practicing S'more making in the backyard

Or better yet, you can even practice making S’mores at home before the big day. What toddler wouldn’t like a graham cracker with melted chocolate and marshmallow inside?

Toddler Sleeping Bag

If your toddler doesn’t already have a sleeping bag, now might be the right time to get one. A toddler should have a sleeping bag designed for a shorter person, otherwise there is a risk of suffocation and too much heat loss at night. Kids under the age of 3 shouldn’t use one, however there are other alternatives you can use, such as a wearable toddler sleeping bag.

ANJ Outdoors offers a reasonable priced right size toddler sleeping bag. It is rated for temperatures down to freezing and perfect 3 season sleeping bag.

To learn about more sleeping options for your toddler read Best Toddler Sleeping Bags.


Toddlers are fascinated by light. A lantern is sure to spark your toddlers interest and get them excited about being able to use it outside in the dark. 

camping toys for toddlers: lanterns
My toddlers playing with their Coleman lanterns in the tent

My two toddler boys got these Coleman lanterns for Christmas and love to take them out when it is dark to illuminate their play area. The lanterns have been dropped endless time and thrown and they are holding strong with no show of distress. They haven’t used them camping yet, but they are already talking about when they can!


I will say this again, toddlers Love light! Not only will your toddler adore a lantern but also a headlamp. When it gets dark outside when camping your toddler can pop on this owl LED headlamp and you will always be able to find them. They can use it to read, search for bugs or just hang out.

This will help if you need to leave the tent in the dark or help your toddler not be afraid of the dark.


Binoculars are a classic camping accessory. Your toddler will be able to look out into the wilderness and see what they can find. Binoculars are great for when you go on a hike and want to spot the bird in the distance or search the trail ahead.

camping gifts for toddlers binoculars
True explores need binoculars to explore the woods

My boys both love to wear their Living Squad binoculars and feel like little explorers. The great thing about these binoculars is that they work as intended and can focus on objects at all different distances. Many binoculars made for kids don't actually work.

As your toddlers grow these binoculars will continue to be a staple item he/she takes when outdoors.

Adventure Kit & Bug Catcher Kit

More great activities for toddlers while camping is trying to find bugs. With this Essenson explorer and bug catcher kit a toddler can spend quite a while around the campsite playing. It comes with a butterfly cage, magnifying glass, compass, flashlight, hat, whistle and more. 

camping gifts for toddlers explorer hat
My 3 year old loves wearing his explorer hat!

My son got this as a gift when he turned 2 and has played with it ever since, and not just while hiking or camping. He will take his kit outside in the backyard and go searching for bugs. I love gifts that can be used in multiple situations.

Toddler Camera

I am not sure about your toddler, but mine loves taking pictures. He loves to steal my phone and snap away. When on a trip or hiking he loves to snap his own pictures and look through them while back at home. Getting a toddler camera allows your toddler to snap memories from their perspective and have fun afterward looking through them.

camping toys for toddlers : camera for the win
My 4 year old loves to take pictures out in nature

Agoigo toddler camera is perfect and works in wet or dry conditions. I know I don’t trust my toddlers not to drop things in water or on the ground to break. You can even take it on a boat with you if you go fishing or in the lake swimming.

Toddler Whistle

It is never too early to start teaching toddlers safety. Gifting them a whistle and teaching them to blow it when in danger is smart. Toddlers shouldn’t be left alone in the wilderness, but starting them young on learning to whistle when they need help or stranger danger can’t hurt.

Also toddlers love to blow whistles.  I can’t get mine to stop blowing theirs in the house!

Toddler Walkie Talkies

Walkie Talkies are like magic to toddlers. You might not be able to get them to stop talking. Also has dual purpose, your toddler will love using them around the house and outdoors, not just while camping. Selieve Walkie Talkies also doubles as a flashlight and toddlers just love messing around with light!

This set is perfect for the younger kid as it has a key lock function. Meaning it will be hard for them to modify the channel, ensuring it stays on the same channel as the one you are carrying, or an older child. It also is lightweight and has a long range.

Toddler Camping Chair

A younger child might struggle to eat meals, unless confined in a chair. A toddler camping chair is the perfect solution. The Hiccapop chair features a removable tray and when not being used your toddler can get in and out of the chair themselves, just another seating option. When the tray is in use the toddler is fixed and can concentrate on eating.

best travel highchair and camping gift for toddler
My younger toddler using his chair and water bottle out on the lake beach while camping

I use this camping chair with my toddlers and love it. The removable tray is the winner for me. Without the tray my toddlers would not sit still and food would end up everywhere. It can be used in multiple situations from camping to the beach or at a friend’s BBQ.

Bucket and Shovel

There are many things a toddler can use a bucket and shovel for when camping which makes it great camping toys for toddlers.

They might collect rocks in the buckets or use the shovel to dig a small hole. Perhaps where you are camping there is sand nearby to play in. The possibilities are endless.

A bucket and shovel is one of those toys that can be played with everywhere, especially camping. They are also great on a toddler beach trip or if your campground has a beach.


Another toddler classic toy. Playing with bubbles outside is a staple and can be enjoyed for many many years. 

Bubble wands are a great addition to add fun to a camping trip. Let each child have one around the campfire and watch them be entertained. Just don’t let them empty all the bubbles out by accident, my 2 year old loves to do this!

Water bottle

If you don’t already have an appropriate toddler water bottle to take camping, then a brand new water bottle is perfect. Toddlers love to have their own gear and a toddler size water bottle comes in handy. 

Adult sizes are too large for little hands and I don’t personally like sharing my water bottle with my kiddos, especially if one is slightly under the weather.

Final Comments on Camping Toys for Toddlers

Camping toys for toddlers have many purposes.

  • Pretend Camping Toys can help a toddler prepare for an upcoming camping trip
  • Camping Books for Toddlers can help a toddler understand what to expect on a camping trip
  • Outdoor Toys for Camping can aid in entertainment for your toddler while camping

Hope you found this article helpful in selecting the perfect camping toys for toddlers! You might also be interested in My Tips on Hiking with a Toddler or Best Hiking Backpacks for Toddlers.