If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know we’re planning on camping out in our backyard this weekend as part of the Great American Backyard Campout. We’ve tried it once before and figured that since we have much camping on the agenda for the summer, it was time for another dry run.
Perhaps the one big, obvious difference between backyard camping and camping in nature is the setting. In the absence of serene, rustic, natural surroundings, what are the kids to do while camping right in their own backyard?
While some kids are content just to be playing in a tent, others may need a little more structure to help the evening go smoothly. If you’re planning to camp out in your backyard this weekend (and I hope you are!), here are a few ideas to keep up your sleeve.
Set up a play tent.
When we brought along a play tent on our camping trip last summer, it was a huge hit. Fll it with books, games, coloring books – whatever items are popular with the kids at the moment.
Sidewalk chalk is a must, as it can help transform concrete into a mural or game board in minutes. Glow sticks are the highlight of any nighttime activity around here. I also recently discovered glow bubbles, which would make nighttime blowing a real adventure.
Settle in around a campfire.
A couple of years ago, we invested in an outdoor fire pit, which makes creating the campfire mood much easier. A backyard fire pit or chiminea is the perfect place for roasting s’mores and telling campfire stories. (Younger kids may prefer reading stories to scary tales.)
Get busy after dark.
Being outside after dark is pretty exciting for most kids. It’s a time to see and hear plenty of new things. Go stargazing, take a flashlight walk or search for nighttime critters. Don’t forget to use your sense of hearing, too, to listen for the sounds of the night.
Explore at sunrise.
No matter how tired the kids are, chances are they’ll be up early. Why not take advantage it? Discover what goes on in your neighborhood in the earliest hours of the day. Go on a scavenger hunt or play a game of camping bingo. Hopefully, breakfast will be waiting for you when you get back to camp.
Great American Backyard Campout Link-Up
Looking for more ideas to make your backyard campout a success? I’m excited to be partnering with these lovely ladies to bring you a variety of posts designed to do just that. Go check ’em out!