A scavenger hunt is a great way to keep everyone from getting cabin fever. Send your campers all over the house in search of hidden clues and riddles. Road trip games are good for rainy days, too; classics like "I Spy" keep little brains busy.
Indoor Camping Activities
There are definitely advantages to camping indoors instead of out, aside from the lack of bugs -- you can break out the board games. Candy Land doesn't always travel well, but in your living room tent, it's right at home. An electricity-free camping experience is the perfect opportunity to have some old-fashioned fun with Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, Crazy Eights or whichever games your family loves best.
Another time-honored campout (or camp-in) tradition is telling stories around the fire. For older kids, ghost stories can be deliciously spooky. You can retell stories you've heard, but if you'd really like to send a chill down their spines, check the library for collections of local lore. Books like these are great entertainment, and they offer a little history lesson about your city, state or region.
For the younger set, read aloud from story books. If you'd like to stick with the wilderness theme, consider tall tales such as "Pecos Bill" or "Paul Bunyan" by Steven Kellogg. Graeme Base's intricately illustrated stories contain riddles and mysteries that will delight any audience, no matter the age.
Feeling crafty? Try your hand at friendship bracelets. There are all sorts of patterns, ranging from easy to challenging; get started with help from a book like the "Klutz Guide to Friendship Bracelets." You'll have a fun keepsake of your rainy-day camping adventure. There are lots of other crafts that are perfect for the indoors, too. For example, making bird snacks is a fun way to use up odds and ends from the pantry, with the added bonus of helping out the local feathered population.
But it's not just the birds that need a snack -- read the next page for camp-in recipes.