Do you want to pitch a tent and start a campfire? You don’t have to go far to find adventure. Here are eight suggestions for making a memorable and enjoyable family camping trip for your children.
- The Advantages of Backyard Camping
While young siblings (tweens and above) are likely to be ready for a true camping experience, youngsters aged 7 and less may not be. Your children will feel comfortable and protected, be within walking distance of a bathroom, and have a lovely family camping trip experience if you stay near to home. In fact, there’s no reason to limit your guests to the family: a backyard campout is also a great place to throw a sleepover party or celebrate a birthday.
2. Camping Equipment for the Backyard
Before you rush out to the nearest superstore to buy equipment, have a look around your house to see what you already have. If you’re going to the great outdoor patio, Stephanie Ogozalek, an enthusiastic camper and blogger at MommyPoppins.com, says you won’t need that much. “All you need is a regular pop-up tent, sleeping bags or bedrolls, a backpack, and flashlights,”
Also, make sure the children pack and carry everything they’ll need for an overnight excursion. This includes pyjamas, a change of clothes, must-have toys, a camera, and books, among other things. A compass, canteens, binoculars, drinks, snacks, and food to barbeque can all be included.
3. Hiking in the Area
You could stroll out the back door and into the yard, but why would you do that when you could go for a hike around the neighborhood? Put your backpacks on and go for a walk in the woods. (Parents, it’s fine to “cheat” by leaving bulky goods at home, such as the tent.)
Are there any local streets or parks that you’ve never strolled down? Now is the time to investigate them further. Plot a course with a compass or a map—or even a GPS on your phone—and see if your kids can follow it. Get those binoculars out and see what birds you can spot. Pick up leaves, flowers, or rocks from the environment to analyze later. Take some pictures. Simply return to your campground (a.k.a. your backyard) approximately an hour before sunset.
4. Organizing the Campground
Your voyage may have left you fatigued, but there is still progress to be made. Make sure the kids assist in setting up the tent (a pop-up should just take a few minutes to set up), unrolling sleeping bags, and setting up the tent’s interior. Examine your sleeping arrangements and supplies. Have you got everything you’ll need for the night? This is an excellent time to go inside one last time for any items you might have forgotten.
Start the grill or build a fire pit if you’ve decided to grill or roast your cuisine (for a super-authentic experience). While the kids are playing, an adult should always prepare and manage these stations.
5. Dinner Preparation
Some families may choose to forego the campout custom and eat a typical supper at the dining room table instead as its better for the family camping trip. If you do, set a rule that no television, texting, computers, or other technological distractions are allowed. If you want to eat outside, you can get real dishes and utensils from the house (no need to add additional plastic forks and plates to your local landfill) and then dine by the fire. Alternatively, start a “campfire” with candles or flashlights to light your meal (be sure to have extra batteries). Whatever you do, remember that dinner should be a time for family bonding.
Choose beloved songs for the time-honored ritual of singing around the campfire, and ask the kids how they’re enjoying their experience with questions like “What’s your favorite part so far?” and “What are you looking forward to later?”
6. Camping in Your Own Backyard
Are you looking for some creative backyard camping ideas to up the ante on the fun factor? Consider stargazing, going on a scavenger hunt, observing bugs, playing lawn games, investigating animal trails, tie-dying clothing, and reading novels by flashlight.
7. Construction of a Bonfire
S’mores are a hit with kids, so make some in the kitchen or over an open campfire in the backyard. Telling ghost stories over flickering flames is also a joy. If you’re camping with older kids (ages 9 and up), read from Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories, which includes 14 terrifying tales chosen from over 749. Try titles like Woo! for younger youngsters. The Not-So-Scary Monster Handbook or The Not-So-Scary Ghost Make up your own stories, or take turns weaving a tale that leads to a frightening (or benign) conclusion.
8. Sleeping in the Open Air
Make no attempt to enforce a curfew. “There’s not a lot of sleeping,” Ogozalek says, “especially if you’ve got more than one kid in a tent.” Expect a lot of laughter and tossing and turning, but the youngsters will eventually tire out. Rather than having them sleep in their own beds, challenge them to spend the night in the tent. Make an effort to keep them outside as long as possible. Grab another blanket if they’re cold. Place a mattress or cot on the patio if the sleeping bags are too uncomfortable. Remind them that Mom and Dad are right there to safeguard them if they’re afraid of eerie shadows or unusual noises.
It’s fine if they insist on returning to the house; a good night’s sleep beats the outdoor experience. Determine what is best for your child’s health, as backyard camping should not be a dreary experience, but rather a fun one.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make the best camping trip ever. All it takes is a little creativity and planning. Now that you know what to expect, all you have to do is decide where and when!
With the right idea, your camping trip could turn into an unforgettable experience for your children.
We hope you enjoyed our suggestions! Let us know if you try any of them out in the comments section below.