A Campout with Kids: Backyard Edition

There's nothing like an old fashioned camp out—vacationing under the stars and breathing in all of what nature has to offer. However, reality may not give you many opportunities to escape with your family from busy city life. Or perhaps you have little ones not old enough to rough it out in the wilderness. that will create dozens of outdoor memories for your kids in the safety of your yard This is when you can get creative with family time and think of places close to home. Better yet, your own backyard! No need to travel any further than the comforts of your yard to spend real quality time with your family. Here is how you can create your own backyard campout.

Backyard Campout with Kids
"Backyard Camping" by mildflower is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What you will need

You won't need to buy much for this over-night excursion on the patio. Most of the stuff you will end up using can come from the things you already have, but your must haves, if you don't already have them, include a tent, sleeping bags or roll out beds, and flashlights for your family. You will need to make sure you also "pack" pajamas, a camera, toys for the little ones or books. For extra fun, you can include some canteens, binoculars, and a compass to make your open-air stay feel more like an adventure for your kids.

Play before dark

Your backyard is an outdoor play room, with so many options for group games to explore. Many of these game ideas can come from your kids alone, like tag, duck-duck-goose, and even a run through obstacle course. Try taking advantage of as much sunlight as possible and play as many games as you can think of. Scavenger hunts will keep your kids busy as you set up the campsite and water games will help to cool your family off when it gets too hot. Crafts are also a great transition to keep in mind as the sun goes down. Think of simple crafts that don't require many supplies or maybe make crafts out of found items around the yard.

Yummy things to eat

Food and snacks are a must for a backyard campout and what is convenient is that you may have a barbeque grill on hand to fire up and roast some marshmallows and some hotdogs. Explore other options for outdoor meals like grilled cheese sandwiches or even nachos! S’mores are a classic camping food favorite that your kids are sure to enjoy—after all, who doesn't like sweets? In the morning, you can treat your family to a proper breakfast since your kitchen is just steps away and serve the meal outdoors.

After dark fun

The fun doesn't have to end when the sun goes down. Use your flashlights to play games in the dark! You can play "Hot or Cold" and hide a special prize around your backyard campsite. The prize can be a candy bar, or even a whole goodie bag filled with little toys and candy. Have your kids go searching for it with their flashlights and tell them if they are close by saying, "hot," or if they're way off by saying, "cold." End the day with a game of 20 questions or an exciting bed time story.

The thrill of being outdoors and sleeping in the midst of nature is what we all love about camping, but with kids can be a little chaotic. Backyard campouts are perfect to help lower those stresses, but still give you the high thrills of camping fun that your family craves. All of this within the confines and safety of your yard, as well as shouting distance of a bathroom and a well stocked kitchen. Camping out in your backyard with all the members of your family is sure way to create lasting memories of a truly unforgettable experience

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